Friday, 31 December 2010

Still Mild

It has been quite warm over the last dew days. There is still snow lying in the gullies high up, but the crags are BLACK. Reports say of soft snow and un frozen turf high up.

It does look like the temp will drop Sat eve for at least a couple of days.

Any reports please feel free to send in.

Happy New Year

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Bad Timing

After all the good conditions, it is a shame they have not continued over the Xmas break and into the new year.

There has been a big thaw. However, there was a considerable amount of snow high up so there is a chance a lot will stay.

Due to go cold soon, but that keeps changing.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Those sweets taste so good( part 2 )

In a previous posting, I reported that Tim Neil and Nick Bullock were going round North Wales as excited as kids in a sweet shop.

Well they show no way of slowing down as the links from Ray Wood and DMM give you all the details

Part Two

Part One

Hope you all enjoyed a great Xmas and managed to get out.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Time To Say Thanks

Today and Boxing day is time to remember our forces who I consider to be doing an amazing job.

Camp Bastion


Happy Xmas to you all.



PS Tim Neil and Nick Bullock show no sign of slowing down, couple of top ice fall ascents, more news in the week.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Plenty to go At

Thursday Lee Roberts, Stu Stanley and myself went up to the East Face of Bristly Ridge. We did the first winter ascent of great Tower Buttress HS 4B

This gave in our mind a 3 star outing with four quality pitches, IV-4 / V-7 / V-5 / V-6 ( overall V-7 ) Bit of a wade to get up but another great day out. Quite Cairngorm like.

Lee on Crux

Baggy on P3

Stu on P4

Hi Baggy

Just to keep you informed of life in the deep south!

Nant Cafn fall is the name of the attached picture, near Llanymawddwy. Very wet surprisingly since it was minus a lot I think, and hard to get off the ground. Lots of deep powder to wade through!

Daf Davis..............pulling over the top whining about being wet! What could I say! Cheers Andy Hall

Even if the locals are not here, there is always a way. Chris Guest bags a new route of the Dovestones on his Xmas break.

Hi Baggy,

Tortoise and the Hare VI 6

1st Pitch 6 130ft - Climb up Initiation corner for 50ft to grassy ledge. Traverse right(5m) to gain the scooped groove of Whipper In. Follow this leftwards moving out round its left edge to a pedestal. Continue up turf and cracks to a large flake. Traverse right and belay in the cave.
2nd Pitch 6 30ft - Exit the cave rightwards and hang tough!
3rd Pitch 5 40ft - Climb the wall just left of the chimney of Browns route to reach the top.

Cheers Chris

Pics of Rob T seconding.

Also a late post last time, so some might not have seen it.

Tim Neil and NickBullock have been like kids in a sweet shop of late FULL DETAILS AND SOME TOP PICS FROM RAY WOOD AND THE TEAM - VISIT DMM SITE

Appendix has been in nick last few days and had a few ascents some exciting !!

Owen Hayward on Appendix - from turf to ice in a few days - Not a bad xmas present

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Those Bloody Texts and Calls-Major New VII-7's In One Day plus other routes. - Wales Is K A

The Psyche continues, the game is upped and North Wales keeps giving the UK top Product.

Amongst all the deep snow and chaos the boys are still out knocking out the product and the grades rise.

Bring it one.

4 new routes in two days at V-6, VI-6, VII-7 and another VII-7 ( Actually make that a few more see V12 and DMM links for all the news )

Tim Neil and Nick Blullock bagged a super line which they had been looking at for some time. Central Route ( summer line VS ) on Llech Ddu at VII-7. Tim and Nick raved about the route on the phone " one pitch is as good as any pitch on Central Grooves up North or Black Cleft " said Tim " Best route I have done in Wales " was Nick's view. Wow that is some praise as these chaps have done a few routes in their time.

The route follows the summer line taking in obvious winter deviations along the way. Lots of snow walking in, snowing all day and more snow on the way out gave the full experience. With Nick being a little modest on his grading could it be harder ?

Tim and Nick have been like kids in a sweet shop of late FULL DETAILS AND SOME TOP PICS FROM RAY WOOD AND THE TEAM - VISIT DMM SITE

Next on the blower was Owen Hayward who with Martin Land ( His first route on the Ladders ) climbed a new route in between Gerlan Heights and Gallipio on the Black Ladders. Yr Arianrhod ( Named after Hedd Wyn's Lass who apparently looked like this Celtic Lady ) Giving 4 pitches ( once your in the basin of Central Gully ) two at VI-6 and one at VII-7 . Owen was again praising the climbing with varied mixed ground, at times run out " classic ladders climbing" . Saying that is was as classic as Hedd Wynn and slightly harder gives an idea of the quality of the line. Having lead all but one pitch, snowing all day again the full experience was had by Owen with Martin well chuffed with his first route on the laders and his first VII- Not a bad day out then chaps and not a bad for someone who is into bouldering Owen !!!

Finally, Mr Parkin alongside Kieth Ball claimed two more lines on the Ladders, see the V12 link for full news.

For me, its been a day of suspense, texts, and calls, all the time wishing I was out there. Anyone know the feeling ?

This season has truly exploded and with a new guide out soon, ah that guide, the new guide which is now out of date !! cheers chaps it has been another mega season and its still December !

There is plenty scope out there, so expect more exciting reports and news as the routes fall.

Talking of scope, hears a good tale , sounds quality and scary !!


Been in the Kitchen today. Still deep powder, and was snowing heavily again as we left. We met someone coming off The Stream, which was apparently ok on the steep bits but was terrible in between. Teams queuing on The Ramp, which looked thin. Screen and Curtain were not in. A team started The Appendix but we didn't see them top out. Met another pair who backed off South Gully due to poor ice, although it was climbed later on. They went on to climb Stingray. We climbed Devils Drainpipe, which was very scary due to poor ice in the upper gully. Hopefully a bit better tomorrow?

Jamie Mac and Justin

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Coming Out-Not Me Though !!!

Hi baggy

Just quick update, clogwyn du was in great nick over the w/e. We did left hand - looks like got done again today according to UKC. A mate was on El Mancho but apparently they abbed off before the third pitch because the leader wasn't feeling well... turf was great though apparently. Couple of pics attached including a reminder to keep out of the way of flying lumps of ice!

I have lots of time off mid week at the moment but struggling to find people to do stuff with. Do you have email addresses for 'locals' who might be up for some mid week winter stuff?

Ad Booth


For those of you who have followed the blog over the previous two years you will be aware of a man called Al Leary. He was one of those closet winter climbers who would never admit to enjoying the white stuff.

Well things have taken a taken and he has come out, at last.


Wow, what a difference a couple of evenings make ! Total shocker !!
I don't think I've ever seen so much bleedin snow in one place ; It's
like Ogwen Valley has been transported to Scandinavia !!!

Think I may need some help and advice from your audience ? My
previously discussed dark affliction is slowly , but surely returning
and now hangs around my neck like an Albatross.

The winter solstice ( 23.38 pm, December 21 ), is usually the catalyst
and inspiration for a Sun Rock trip. But now, instead of dreaming of
warm, sunny and fully bolted crags, I find myself awaiting the arrival
of an altogether different type of publication !

During the last spell of conditions, I declined the the magnetic draw
of " The Gold Coast ", in favour of another two routes in the shadowy
depths of Idwal ; I even asked to lead a pitch ! ( see attached pic of
Central Route ).

With enthusiasm building up to a frightening level, I pointed Sam at
an unrecorded finish on the upper wall. Fortunately the Wife is a bit
more experienced in these things, and quickly realised it would be far
too hard for myself. Even missing out on our moment of " interim "
fame, I still found myself almost having a good time !

So Baggy, what is to become of me ? I've already winter climbed for 5
months of this year ( which is about the same as my rock season ).
I'm about to run out of fingers to count the routes and I certainly
don't remember the last time this scenario cropped up !

Is all hope lost ? Is darkness ascending ? Has the light faded ?

Best regards from a worried, aspirant " Winter Man


Ramp and screen climbed, thin though, stream in with lots snow on it .

Glyder Fach buried, but fun once you get there and dig in

Grib Goch on Sunday, no tracks at 7.30am from Pen Y Pass and so deep that party turned back on summit

Loads snow walking upto Parsley Fern, what was the point then said

Hard work into Ladders and R/H the only real thing in OK nick

Another new route amongst in the mix

Well this afternoon has been stunning

Various reports have come in many informing me of things being a wade fest.


Snow not stopping Tim Neil, he and Nick Bullock battled the snow on Saturday to do the first ascent of The Good Book. This fine new addition at VI-6 links a variety a sections from a few a rock routes ( which get little summer traffic ) well worth the slog to get there.

Nick Bullock on The Good Book P3

Yo Big Bad Baggy,
Think we did Camus today on Cloggy (Mike Pycroft & myself) but the descripton & photo in the old guide were not in agreement, so it could something else about IV 4! It was a very unpleasant slog up there in crotch deep snow (2hr 15min) & you won't get a vehicle along Victria Terrace, but we saw no one else there. The route was worth 3 stars & was in excellent nick, lots of gear & without too much snow to wade thru'. Views from the top were stunning. By the time of our return the path was also much more pleasant proposition. -8 by the time we got to 'Beris.
All the best,


Rich Stone and the Booth team found , ice fall r/h on the ladders to be in good nick, Found being the word.

Rich also observed a stack of snow being deposited in various locations on the ladders.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

18 inches and Jasmin White

Another 6 inches of snow came down here last night, giving 18 inches where I live. Never seen so much snow in Wales.

Snow clearing the 2nd time after the plow had been down

The MET office got their forecast wrong for today, It was a beautiful day and it did not really snow

For me it was another keep fit session, firstly moving snow, secondly a run and finally making the most of the not so good climbing conditions by stacking up some DIY in the bag. So painting with Jasmin white and snow moving has meant a some what alternative day with the white stuff !!

Another picture of the car after Friday nights top up. I cleaned all the snow off Friday, before this dump

Hi Baggy,

Totally wild day Friday! ( Friday ) Took 3 hrs to drive from Shrewsbury (normally 1.5!) then 2hrs+ to wade through knee deep powder to colgwyn du! Clogwyn left hand was in awesome nick. Rapped off before the top because Ed had to get back... Good job; just taken another 3hrs to drive back! Keen for more saturday!

Cheers, Ad Booth

Friday, 17 December 2010

12 Inches

Well, we are definitely not short of snow anymore.

Approx 12 inches of snow has fallen at my house between 3.00am and 2.00 pm. I live quite low down and on a bus route. However, their has been no movement, not even a sign of a snow plough. The odd 4/4 has come past. I have not seen such a big dump of snow so low down , before.

Outside my house at 9.00am today

Also the snow is powdery which is often not the case.

Not sure if it would be worth coming up the weekend, as most of the roads are closed today.

Anyway there are some keen bunnies around

Hi Baggy,

Totally wild day today! Took 3 hrs to drive from Shrewsbury (normally 1.5!) then 2hrs+ to wade through knee deep powder to colgwyn du! Clogwyn left hand was in awesome nick. Rapped off before the top because Ed had to get back... Good job; just taken another 3hrs to drive back! Keen for more tomorrow!

Cheers, Ad Booth

Jon Byrne & Geoff Bennet returned after failing to get into Upper Cwm Glas! School was closed so off they headed. Roads impassable without 4x4 or chains. Unfortunately chain on left wheel snapped @ Nant Peris. So they walked up to the "path" and then waded uphill for 1hr 20min. They were still well below the upper cwm & the snow was just getting ridiculously deep. There's so much snow up there you wouldn't believe it was Geoff's words; more like the Alps or Canada! Oh for some snow shoes or skis & skins!

They met a couple of blokes who got into the cwm & then turned round as everything was slushy.

Cheers for Geoff for the report.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Options around - Balancing Act


The snow has firmed up nicely. Myself and Nick Mortley (current flag bearer of climbing in the deep South) rattled up RH Trinity, Ladies and Cave gullies today and there're good where neve lies and thin otherwise. Take care with the vegetation, the routes we climbed were well frozen.

All the best,


Nick finding Cave Gullies rocky crux harder than any steep ice.

Cave Gully In really good condition some years ago ( Thanks to Al Leary PS this is the same section of climb as in above picture )

Monday, 13 December 2010

Best Xmas Present Ever

North Wales Winter Climbing (Interim Guide)

Its new, its upto date, you need one, get one.

Based on the conditions over recent years, the enthusiasm and buzz in North Wales has been so inspiring that this has seen winter climbing in North Wales totally re-energised with new routes being climbed and winter climbing ambitions held for decades being achieved. North Wales is where it’s at; be part of it or regret for years to come.

Simon Panton (Ground Up guidebooks) and Mark ‘Baggy’ Richards (the man behind the popular North Wales winter blog: are the co-authors of this exciting and bang upto date interim guide. In addition to this, valuable contributions have come from Tim Neil, Streaky Desroy, Owen Hayward, Rich Stone and Chris Parkin ( aka Mr Ladders )

It has been designed around the popular Ground Up format. It gives the reader information of all the new winter routes in North Wales, plus full definitive coverage and colour photo topos for all the major winter venues in northern Snowdonia (Ysgolion Duon, Llech Ddu, Cwm Glas Bach, Cwm Lloer, Glyder Fach, Clogwyn Du, Clogwyn y Geifr, Craig y Rhaeadr and Clogwyn y Garnedd). Finally, it also gives route information for the less popular crags.

Welsh Winter Renaissance

Recent years have seen superb winter conditions arrive in Snowdonia. This has lead to an unprecedented surge of winter climbing activity, fuelled in no small part by a rapid exchange of information, topos and conditions reports on the Internet. North Wales winter climbing is now more popular than ever. If you didn’t manage to climb in the winter seasons of 2009 and 2010 you certainly missed out on some of the best conditions in decades and fine clssics

The conditions created in these past two seasons have created an unstoppable momentum and will be talked about for years to come. Many of the classic ice routes formed, some that had not been in nick for a very long time - Central Ice Fall Direct and Maria, to name a few.

Mixed routes began to become a normal part of Welsh winter climbing, with many fine new additions and some classic repeats. One that needs mentioning is Andy Turners first free ascent of Cracking Up. This route high on Clogwyn Ddu, first put up by Nick Bullock comes in at a hefty grade IX9. Ray woods photo in Climber March 2010 makes you realise what a steep, strenuous and fine lead it was.

However, it was not all hard and new routes that were the focus of the past seasons. All the easy and mid grade classics were climbed on many occasions with all ability of climbers making use of these amazing conditions and enjoying the uniqueness of being in the hills in winter.

So, as this frenetic activity has triggered an explosion of new routes over recent years, plus a renewed focus upon the many neglected routes climbed since the old Welsh Winter Climbs guide was published in 1988, it became increasingly clear that a new winter guide was long overdue. And so the publication of the new North Wales Winter Climbing (Interim Guide) is both timely and a much needed guide.

It will hopefully inspire many more people to realise that Winter Climbing in North Wales is back with a vengeance and offers some of the most classic and inspiring winter routes to be found anywhere in the UK.

It is hoped the guide will be in North Wales climbing shops before Xmas, failing that Xmas hols/early Jan. From there it will be distributed nationally. The first outlet to purchase the guide will be V12 in Llanberis. Keep in touch with those guys for further updates.

Back to normal Biz

How do Baggy

Been up to Cwm Glas on Sunday, fair bit of ice and neve high up. Parley Fern left hand was well iced as was fantail gully. Thought they were much more sporting under these conditions good II's. Face route was very fat but the bottom 10ft had fell off, a day or so frost should mean a turf start would gain the ice safely.

Simon Lake has been up on the ladders today, monday and had found superb conditions on Icefall Gully, good ice and neve.

Cheers Rich Stone

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Roadside Ice

It just goes to show how keen some of us are, especially when work gets in the way.

Hey Baggy,

I think I may have climbed the most roadside ice route in the country! It's hard to beat. It is near Ganllwyd on the A470 in the South of the park. A new road section has just been built, which meant they had to dig a bit of the land to make room for the road. It has created about a 12m little slabby cragglet with enough drainage to ice up some micro routes that are 2m from the road! Good fun. Ar y ffordd goes at about grade II. I Only managed to do one of the routes after work on the 1st of December, but with another cold spell, there may be opportunity for more.

Steve Parry.

Steve on Roadside Ice

Report from Tim Neil on the Ladders. He went in today and quite a few other folk had the same idea. Cracking morning and it seems just the ice in places that is all that isleft from the thaw.

Today - Eastern Gully on the Ladders

With the cloud free of the summits today it was obvious how much snow had gone. High gullies should give good sport now the temp has gone back down.

Something to whittle the long dark nights way, whilst waiting for the conditions to re form.

Welsh Action at

V12 News


Friday, 10 December 2010

Well that was good crack

Well folks, what a stellar few weeks, some might say a break will do them good, get back on track, stack the point ups,
re charge and do some work ?

However, it does look like a good thaw has set in and the forecast is for it to stay warm until at least Monday. The amount of snow gone since yesterday is very noticable.

Shame it has not lasted for the weekend warriors, but hey its early doors and there is plenty more to come.

I think we would all agree the last few weeks have been remarkable, not only due to such a good spell early on but with the amount of new new routes having been climbed.

I am aware of approx 30 new routes having been climbed in North Wales over the last 2 weeks. This shows the passion and commitment that is coming out of North Wales and shows that one does not just need to go to Scotland for the winter.

With all these new routes and others there seems a need for a new winter guide ? More news on that on Sunday

The last few days have seen teams on all the main crags with Idwal being packed as the normal. There are other crags folks.

However, one crag which surprised the locals was Craig y Rhaeadr, even more so when Central Icefall Direct came into condition early this week. With this having formed twice this year , yes twice, then there were a steady stream of locals getting that ticked.

For many, this moment was one they had waited for, a long time

One team was Jamie Holding, John Cousins and Chris Forest. Jamie has bouldered the start out in 1978 and Chris Forrest and John had also wanted to do it for some thirty years apiece so you could say they waited ninety years for this one. So a dream achieved, the result ? no doubt their top tick has just been replaced. Lets hope they do not have to wait another 30 years !!

Jamie Holding heading out on to the icicle on Central Icefall Direct on Craig y Rhaeadr. If he does have to wait another 30 years then those Predators will be 46 years old.

You may have got the route of your dream ticked off. If not next time. Here is to next time.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Big Numbers Fall

Just heard from Simon Frost that our Friend Rob Gibson (chap who did Bambi M9 on the slate) has just done Cracking up !!
Simon Frost followed him up

Also Nick Bullock and Matt Heliker made the 2nd ascent of Erazorhead a route Simon Frost put up last season

Grrr Why do I have a full time job? !!!


Dave Gary

Hi Baggy

Got out with Jim from V12 today, amazing day and very busy in the south of the park. Probably about 6-7 teams on the falls

Thought I would send you a picture just to keep you awake at your desk!!!!

Maesglasau Falls

Adam Harmer

The ice lines in Idwal are giving a lot of sport

Monday, 6 December 2010

Its all shaping Up quite nice

Martin Doyle and Ian Carr found solitude on Sunday

As the whole world seems to be heading for the Black Ladders we went to Cloggy Sunday. Climbed Jubilee Climb with Ian Carr. Rock climbing, turf and plenty of snow clearing. No one else on the crag - a great day out.


Hi Baggy,

Myself and two friends went into the Black Ladders on saturday (parking in the village of course). We saw four other teams about with Dave Barker saying that Pyramid Gully was holding good ice but a wade at the top. Conditions were warm all day but still a lot of ice lower down on the right. We got on The Some (V5) but it didm not seem in nick

Sunday we headed up to Clogwyn Du and climbed a combination of Clogwyn Central, and the top of Clogwyn Righthand Branch. Lots of folk out as expected and felt alot colder but very little ice on the left wall of Clogwyn Left Branch making for an adventurous looking V6 rock route a team was battling on.

Cheers Henry

Hi Baggy, up in the kitchen today. Superb and busy ice everywhere. Tim

Monday 6 Dec. Tim Jepson reports:

Two teams did Central Icefall Direct today, Matt Stygall and Adam Hughes just pipping Steve Long and Tim Jepson to the first ascent of the season. ( Matt and Adam were off to Idwal at 12.15 having had coffee in the Caban ) Although the temperature appeared to stay below freezing all day, there was quite a lot of water running behind the ice, and especially down the icicle, which combined with thin, brittle and hollow sections made for a steep and scary expedition. Interestingly, Cascade, whch normally forms before Central Icefall Direct would have been unclimbable today - just not enough build up to justify an ascent.

Photo attached: Matt Stygall leading the long, second pitch of Central Icefall Direct

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Sunday - Its getting even better

With me working over the weekend and well into next week then it looks like all i can do is write about others having a good time.

Saturday the temps went up and Sunday they went back down, Ideal for forming better conditions. With the long term still looking good how are you going to juggle life, work, the family and getting out.

Hi Baggy

Climbed Maesglasau Falls in the south of the park today and bumped into the farmer (very friendly) who I had a chat with. He is requesting that all climbers call at the farm on there way and on their return. This is purely from a safety point of view following a incident on the falls a number of years ago. I would ask that all climbers do this as we rely upon his good will as there is no formal access to the falls.

Cheers Nick Mortley

Maesglasau Falls

Thursday Olly ticked off what is now becoming a Welsh Classic Gallipoli V-5

Crux Pitch of Gallipoli

As report Gaz Davies did Oblique Gully first ascent last week and this shows the crux pitch

Hi Baggster

Good day with Tim and Dave on very snowy Ladders today - Hedd Wyn was cracking with sustained interest all the way - had to gid it out mind you! Similar overall feel to Flanders - less technical crux but bolder. Off width pitch is great.


Owen Hayward

Owen also thinks he may have claimed a new boulder problem at Parisella's Cave

Saying that the link up was quite tricky, with quite a few slippery slopers but good friction his route come in V17-VIII-9. !!!! I know it says in Ground Up's North Wales Rock year round climbing in possible at the Orme. but this ??

A team were trying Travesty Direct on Sunday.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Confetti keeps falling

More new routes visit link

Thinking of visiting Black Ladders ?

If so then consider the locals. There has been some crazy parking in Gerlan last week. We do need to consider that there is limited parking and the residents need to park. Also the farmer at the end of the road needs to get in and out with his trailer.

Do not be to miffed if you return and the side of your car is mangled, consider where you park.

Thanks the local climbing community

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

More New Routes When is it going to stop-Thursdays Report

Rocio Siemens and Owen Samuel did the first winter ascent of the Crack at V-6 ?

Rocio on the Crack ( Yes she is sponsored by Adidas )

Other news

Idwal is forming very quickley

Alistair Borrett on The Screen

Andy and Helen Teasdale climbed South Gully on Wednesday confirming what Alistair mentions ref conditions. Pic south Gully

Tim Neil and Chris Parkin AGAIN !!!! did the 2nd ascent of Tabasco Fiasco and Arch Gully saying top climbing was had on Arch Gully. if you see them out try and slow then down somehow ??

Ah up Baggy

Been for a late afternoon / evening soire up the ladders bumped into Miles and ?? on their way back from doing Artic Fox. Stumbled around in the dark and eventually found the bottom of Follow Thru first pitch was hard and thin V5 and scary. After this found a new varyiation line to the right of Swerving the Follow Thru mixed and turfy 4, 4, 3, 2 sugary powder making evrything quite wearing, some turf good but a lot of fluffy choss.
Av It!
Rich Stone

Hi Baggy

Me dave rudkin and john orr did hedd wyn on the ladders today. The route is awesome and in fab nick at the mo. off width is outrageous!!!!!! can confirm grade at VII 6/7. ( Phil this will be 2nd ascent of the route nice one Baggy ) Phil Dowthwaite

Phil Dowthwaite on Hedd Wyn

4 more new routes to hit North Wales

Full details of these new routes follow link and scroll down

HI Baggy,

Devils Kitchen today, many routes coming in quickly.
Idwal stream as good as I’ve seen in years, great last steep pitch
South Gulley a little thinner that last winter but had lots of traffic today.
Central Gulley - thin, thin and now thinner – bold for a grade three and delicate necky climbing in places. Be careful if this is someone first grate three.
Top Pitch of Grecian could be done now too, looks great.
The Screen, steep and sustained again harder than last winter but plenty there.

The ramp is complete.

Curtain almost in, Devils Pasture looks almost climbable as is.

Devils Pipes, this may be climbable, thin and bold but certainly there.

Appendix forming well as it Cellars and Sting.

Alistair Borret