1st – 4th November 2012
This is becoming a regular outing, one way or another. On this occasion Dave, Tom, Chris and Tony were along for the trip, with a cameo from Bart and his mate Adam. And each year brings something a little different. Last year it was torrential rain, with the paths flowing like rivers; the year before heavy snow and this year probably somewhere in the middle. Only once have the conditions been spot on for climbing, so maybe its time to move the trip to earlier in the year.
In usual fashion we arrived in the dark to set up on a very wet site. My tent decided it had had enough and became wetter on the inside than outside. For a Macpac I’m a bit disappointed. They are regarded as bombproof but this is anything but, with the bucket sheet losing its hydrostatic ability completely. Still, Macpac have offered to replace it, so it’s not all bad.
The two days ended up being centred around walking and scrambling. Not a bad thing, although I’d set my heart on climbing. The hills had a fair amount of snow on them and the decision to do the North ridge turned out to be a good one. Although a bit icy, it was great fun and some sections needed a bit of tenacity to get past slippy and damp slabs and holds. As usual the views from the ridge were stunning.
The next day proved a bit of a dilemma. I wanted to check out Criag yr Ysfa with a view to doing one of the V Diffs there, but in the end the cold beat us and we set off on the Carnedd ridge walk finishing at Pen yr Ole Wen.
With strong winds, snow/hail storms and generally inhospitable conditions it was fantastic. Regulating your temperature is so difficult in these conditions. One minute hot, then freezing – I must have taken my jacket off a dozen times during the day.
Having done this walk, I would like to do a bit more in snow and ice. Maybe some of the scrambles as long as I have crampons.
What I have discovered though is that cold is not my favorite condition, as I know from my surfing. Maybe its time for some winter sun destinations instead!