Unexpectedly Wintery

Since last weeks mini blast out in the white stuff, I have mainly been hitting the lemsip as I seem to have developed a cold. The met office have been promising freezing levels above the summit and heavy rain has stripped most of the snow. So I headed out today with Brendan to walk up Snowdon. From the Bangor road the mountain looked like there was still some snow up there but not too much.

Looking for more guidance I went onto the metoffice website and looked at the ground conditions that the National Park contribute to the mountain forecast. Which again said there was no adverse conditions on the mountain. How wrong were they, I suspect they have either not bothered to update the site and it has instead got a default setting, or they posted factually wrong information.

I would have loved to have crampons and my main ice axe today in these conditions. Instead I had a ski mountaineering axe and a pair of good all-round boots the Scarpa Chamois. As such I was kicking and cutting steps for my client up the zig-zags in soft snow warmed by the sun. On the ridge to the summit the snow was still frozen bullet hard and step cutting and boulder hoping continued. I suspect the the main gullies on the trinity face were in good nick today and will be tomorrow as the temperature has dropped this evening.

I guess we all make bad calls, but as you can see from the met office screen grab, the conditons were not meant to be like this. You live and you learn.

Anyway we made good time, and so headed up Y Gribau and along Lliwedd to finish the day off. So we had a rather great day out in the sun, snow and ice. I’ll put some photos from the day up on my snowdonia mountain guides facebook page.


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