And snow it begins!

Last week saw the proper beginning of winter in North Wales. I woke up to a good few cm of snow. Temperatures have not risen much above zero for the past few days.

I spent the weekend sleeping in the van, getting out in the mountains and working on the bar. 

After a seriously amazing tour round the dmm factory Saterday morning my dad and I walked up Lliwedd via the Cribau ridge. Great day out. Ice was starting to form but the turf was not quite frozen.

Saturday night was super cold the thermometer in the van read -7 degrees C (inside!) when I woke up. I was super warm due to a massive down sleeping bag, a duvet and a blanket! Unfortunately by the morning all my water had frozen and my gas wouldn't work which meant I had to go without the morning coffee. Interestingly my milk had not frozen so cornflakes were still on the menu. Even though it was cold I still really enjoy sleeping in the van, its awesome to be able to slide the door open in the morning and watch the first rays of sun hitting the Snowdon horseshoe.

View from my sleeping bag on Sat morning!

On Saturday Lawrence (Mountain Leader) Ramsay and I climbed the Parsons Nose on Clogwyn Y Ddysgl. Again the snow was very powdery but the turf was solid. We topped out into  alpine esq sunshine. Another great day. 
Starting to form...

Jerry's Roof! and Ice Axe Modification

Last week I managed to do Jerry's Roof, a classic boulder problem in the Llanberis pass. Well kind of any way, I did it from the flake start instead of the arĂȘte. This makes it easier, possibly V8 instead of V9. But anyway it was still an occasion for celebration for me since it took about 5 session with lots of training in between.

Resting before the send!     
Cheers for the photo Dave

I dont often siege boulder problems or routes in this way, in fact I think its the first time Iv ever done a boulder problem which took more than two sessions! Boulder problems or routes which I cant do in two sessions often feel impossibly hard and I get frustrated and give up. Jerry's roof was different, I actually enjoyed going down to 'work' it. A first for me!

The last few days have seen the real start to winter in North Wales. After having to clear snow of the van after I finished work last night I decided it was time to dig out the axes. I have a pair of Petzl Atzars, last year I used them leashless with just a single Grivel slider griprest crudely fitted onto one of them. This year with rising winter aspirations and a taste for dry tooling I decided to try and fit a griprest. I managed to get the Petzl Quark griprest to fit. Here are some photos:

Stock Vs. modified Petzl Atzar
Some steady drilling was required to drill the 5mm hole on the right! Not much metal to spare
Close up

I'm pleased with how the mod turned out. I'v just been stress testing the grip-rests by subjecting them to repeated ice axe pull-up sessions! I plan to fit a Grivel Slider just above the orange grip to act as a trigger. 

I'm planning to get out in the hills over the weekend to see what's going on. I don't think there will be much in nick yet but its always fun to get out in the snow. Will report back. Check out Baggy's blog for N.Wales winter updates

Also the PYB indoor wall has been reset, well psyched! This is the most exciting thing to happen in Capel Curig for a while! 

First bit of snow of the winter

Hello, its Trystan here, Glyn asked me if I would like to write a blog about our day today as he is working hard on the plas y brenin bar and I'm just sitting here with a pint.. so here goes:

We were on our way to shovel some sand this morning in Nantmor when the view below appeared:

The first snow of winter! and a fantastic sunny day.

After last winter both of us have been waiting in anticipation for this winter, exited to get out and do some new winter ice climbing routes and for me especially to get out on my snowboard and do some new descents. The snow this morning was clearly not buckets but maybe a promising sign of things to come? It was enough to get us inspired. It was decided that a run was in store!

Glyn's dad was also interested to see the snow and so offered to drop us off at pen y pass, Glyn dropped his van off at nant gwynant. We decided to run from pen y pass via the pyg track, a grade 1 scramble up the cribau to the lliwedd ridge and then on up to the top of snowdon, down the south ridge and finally, left back to nant gwynant. I will stop talking now and show some pictures:

The first leg, along the pyg track

The top lake from the start of the scramble

Looking down over lliwedd

Running along the south ridge

Some dramatic snow imagery:

and a little bit lower.. no snow to be seen but still a very nice view

It was a great run, thoroughly enjoyed it and am now quite exhausted!