Well, if your one of the crew, who are down in the dumps due to the lack of any winter here in Wales, then join the club. I reckon the club is a huge one this year, no doubt with the addition of many new axes just doing nothing but looking good, new and shinny.
Seems patience is running out out for some up north, with many accusations of routes being climbed not in condition. However, we have to remember this is UKC where the term pinch of salt springs to mind.
However, Nick Bullocks blog post on that subject is worth a read to pass some time away.
Quite an interesting subject, when is a route in or out of condition ? . When Simon Panton and I were putting the new North Wales Winter Climbs guide book together last winter. Ah last winter, days and days of ice, quality routes, great conditions, anyway back on track. We decided to hold a local meeting to discuss that said topic. We choose a list, of what we believed at the time represented a cross section of North Wales leading and new route activists and how surprised were we !!!! when all but a handful turned up, approx 30+.
All huddled !!! together in the back room of the Vaynol Arms in Nant Peris, the bullshit flew, so did the opinions. But that was what was required, as the meeting proved a fantastic forum to discuss ethics for North Wales in terms of when are routes in condition and what type of rock routes are taboo to climb in winter.
This meeting formed the basis of the advice given in the new North Wales Winter Climbs guide. in regards as to what type of rock routes should not succumb to the metal pointy brigade and what are winter conditions.
Brings me to last weekend, clear skies, light winds and bone hard ground to near enough sea level. Those turfy routes would have been well frozen, but black. One might say, well that is fine as no scrapping of snow off routes to find holds and pro, no hacking away to find pro, very easy to see where your pick and points are going, no chance of your tools ripping, best conditions for the vegetation. Lets not all rush out there just yet. Lets keep some sense to it all, otherwise as soon as it is cold for gloves, I am off out to have a crack at the Gates !!