Well here we go again, winter is dawning and as always the tease of the weather is going to play havoc with our minds.
Firstly, I must thank you all, for the support and thanks which I received at the end of last winter. The results of the blog were far beyond my expectations. The aim, was to inform climbers of conditions and promote N Wales as a leading venue for winter climbing and boy did it do that. Finally, it was to open all your eyes to the fact that N Wales is not a place that you have to wait years in order to climb some fat chunky ice, mixed is where it is at and those North of the Border have had it too good for years.
So how do we follow on from last winter, I for one have no answer this question, apart from pray !
Has North Wales had any signs of winter as of yet ? The answer is yes, but before you get too excited is was just a very small tease.
November 9th -09 found North Wales covered in its first ground frost of the season ( see picture ) alongside blue skies. Two days previously the first snow arrived, though it was insignificant, just a thin covering on the tops of the Carneddau which quickly disappeared as we were hit with two weeks of deluge. Our thoughts must go out to those in certain areas of Cumbria.
Based on last year, winter is behind currently. Having climbed Central Trinity near the end of October 08 in knee deep snow, North Wales found itself under a cold spell near the end of November 08 which produced the first good conditions of the season on the 28th November. This lasted for nearly two weeks and lots of action was seen, new routes produced and first ascents of certain rock routes recorded.
The result was a sense of excitement and physce, not seen in Wales for some years in regards to winter. Alongside this was the accompanying BS and all this before XMAS what a year. Anyway without the where would we be.
So what is in store for this winter, I predict a huge wave of action when conditions arrive, there is so much muttering in North Wales, climbers are being coy, hinting at great things and I have got thee Andy Turner running 3 dry tooling workshops at the AMI AGM this weekend and they are all full. What a result, would this have happened a few years ago ?
So stay tuned, this is the beginning, I HOPE, of a another 4 month relationship which will see us all in the dog house at sometime as we battle with the elusive draw of the white stuff alongside that arena called life. Oh and not forgetting that BS which we all will add to those tales of that was the best route of our life, it was so hard, I was so pumped out my box, but how I am a Jedi.
Finally, for total inspiration I leave you with one of North Wales greatest winter achievements, still waiting a second ascent !!!! produced from a man - not a sponsored climber - called Dia Lampard. With no desire for the latest fashion or gear, but just an immense passion for climbing on his home patch, he produced a winter a traverse of LLiwedd. Where is that crag you may ask ? The picture below will give you a clue, but some of you will need a map. But this is a crag which would rival many of the greats up North and leave many of them standing.
Above - On the walk into LLiwedd
FINALLY I leave you with the following image. It just goes to show that no matter what anyone can be mad for it.