Well, a very large welcome back to you all.
It seems the thought of all things white is starting to creep up on many of us. As summer has turned to autumn here in North Wales and many locals and that young DMM rep Rob Greenwood have been blasting all things good in the Alps, the rest of us can only move towards that sad mindless state of asking "will it snow". With Rob ticking off 4 major classic Alpine North Faces since the last Welsh winter ended back in Febuary, I am sure he will have to do some work soon for DMM !!
Wish I had £1.00 for every time I have been asked recently , " will it be a good winter Baggy". I have no clue and to me a forecast telling me it is going to be the worst winter for many years, in other words another great winter for us climbers, is just that. If I had that kind of knowledge or knew if the winter was going good, then I would have used those powers last February when Simon and I released our new book. The day after that event, winter went ! such good timing.
The first signs of winter arrived last week, when we had the first frost. To me this is the first day of winter. In addition to this, we have also received our first report of a first ascent in North Wales in winter. Yes, and it has not even snowed yet. Thankfully its not some controversial dry tooling route on the Cromlech. Steady on, mind you those moves would be good at the top of Left Wall. They should, be as that would be your last climb, hard to climb with broken legs after that ascent. Not from falling but from a meeting with the locals.
Exciting picture of frost !!
The new North Wales Winter Climbs book is already out of date, yes I am one of the authors. However, we got something wrong and some one has contacted us. We knew some routes would have been climbed before some of the dates we put in against them. That was one of the main ideas of the book, get the routes in, find out as much information as we could, then print. Then sit back and wait. So if there are any more genuine disclosures then please do let us know.
The route in question is The Scoop in The Lost Cwm (route 21 on page 70 of the new guide).
Juan Vilatela and Andrew Marshall climbed this line on the 10/1/10 and they think the stated grade is a bit high, probably being nearer IV4. If it requires re-naming Juan has suggested 'The Happiest Mexican in Wales'. Their group (CUMC) also climbed the obvious line to the right on the same day (clear on the topo on page 70) which we reckon is about III3 and was climbed by Lucas Laursen, Steven Andrews and Rachel Berkowitz.
Thanks to Steve Andrews for pointing that out. But if you know different we need to know.
So that is the first winter blog post of the 11-12 season. It all started here again and we can only wish for a season like the previous 3 years.
Good to be back, well I say it is, not sure really ? because many of you create me so much work. What ever happened to just using the climbing wall all winter.
One final thing to add, when sending pictures, try and keep the file size small, if you can. If not ,no worries, but small file sizes gives me more of a life on those dark evening sat in front of that Mac reading all of your antics.