I have been out with Kate today who is on my trainee instructor mentor scheme. As I drove down the Ogwen Valley this morning I was surprised to see snow on the road and a good coverage on the tops. After a cup of tea in the cafe we decided to make the most of the snow and head over Crib Goch. Kate had not worn crampons for a couple of years but had previously done some winter mountaineering and climbing and so was well within her comfort zone. As you can see in the photos the Northern aspects all have a nice coverage of snow whilst on the Southern side of the mountains there was less to see. We made our way over Crib Goch and discussed when to put the crampons on. As we gained height on Crib Y Dysgyl we were glad of them as a good layer of hoar frost and fresh snow covered the ridge. There were plenty of folk sliding down the zig zags on their backside who would have been glad of them too! As I drove home it was snowing hard again so it looks promising for the rest of the week.
Climbing Conditions: At the moment the snow is unconsolidated (except where its been compressed on the path) and needs a bit of a thaw and re-freeze to provide a snow pack for climbing on. The turf is also not yet fully frozen, even over 1000m. There was no ice forming yet today on the Trinity Face on Snowdon but rime ice is developing nicely and so with a couple more days of cold weather there could be some good mixed climbing to be had. The classic grade 1 ridges like Crib Goch, North Ridge of Tryfa, Bristly Ridge & The Gribin are already giving some great sport.