Well, what a difference a day makes. Thursday was a beautiful cold crisp day but due to the conditions on the high mountains we stayed low and walked from Betws
y Coed to Penmachno
. We covered navigation skills and finished off at about 7 p.m. in the pub in Penmachno
Friday was horrendous - full on thaw and strong winds. I decided that a shorter walk was in order so we travelled from Capel Curig to Ty Hyll via Llyn Crafnant and Llyn Geirionnydd.
I was climbing with Rich today who had travelled all the way from Bristol to take advantage of the fantastic winter condition we have at the moment. It was relatively quiet today with most people spread across a good selection of routes. Afon Ifan (Idwal Stream) II/III, South Gully IV, Central Route III, Chicane Gully III, The Ramp II, The Screen III/IV, The Devils Pasture III and The Devils Cellar IV were all in condition and climbed today. We climbed The Devils Cellar IV (with the direct start V) and Central Route III both of which were in fantastic condition.
The photo is of Rich on the direct start of The Devils Cellar (V).
Went out with Steve today to have a look at Tryfan. I must say the most difficult part of the day was the condition of the snow - it was very much one step up and 2 or 3 steps down. The snow was very unconsolidated with no base. We think we managed to squeeze a new route between Green Gully and Deffing out the Ben which was about grade 5 up to the point were we had to retreat due to a lack of time (the condition of the snow was really time consuming) but it looked like we would have finished up Green Gully anyway. I think we'll wait for better conditions before returning. A good day out though.
I was surprised how little ice there was around today. We had an early start this morning but by the time we got to the bottom of the Black Ladders Andy wasn't feeling very well so we changed plans and went for Crib Lem via David instead. By the time we got to the start of the ridge Andy was suffering badly so we decided that the strong wind and spindrift wouldn't help matters so we decided to head for home.
There were loads of people out today but I guess most of them would be aiming at the mixed routes or just going for a walk. It wasn't freezing that hard up high and as we descended we encountered rain.