This time of year is quite special for me. I am lucky that my drive to work in the morning means I can keep a look out for the first snow of the winter. Often it is a dusting, but its a sign and the mountains take a sudden change of appearance and that passion starts to light the fire inside.
As you might be aware N Wales had its first dusting of snow last Thursday and Friday. With a great forecast for Sunday morning it was time to take to the hills to get some winter fitness in and get accustomed to all the other things again, such as crampons, moving on snowed up rock etc.
We parked at Pen y Pass and took the fox's path into Cwm Uchaf. This meant we were in the sun and had the pleasure of contouring around Grib Goch. Quite a cool path this, but you would not wish to take slip. Once in the Cwm we headed for the Parsons Nose. With a 30m rope, a small rack, the odd pitch and moving together we were able to enjoy this grade 3 scramble without to much stress. We put the poons on which meant we could move quicker, which actually proved a good move as there was quite a covering of snow on the ledges.
From the top we went over Crib Goch, down the N Ridge of Crib Goch and back along the foxes' path to the car.
We all wish for a good winter season but no one has a clue what the outcome will be. For me I just take it as it comes. Getting out was a bonus as I only planned it at 11.30pm on Saturday evening driving back from the Dales.
It was strange as we drove up the Pass as there was not 1 car parked in any of the lay byes and this was at 9.30am. The car park was also very empty. Therefore we did not see many people out.
Cwm Uchaf - Parsons Nose
Bottom Gully of Parsons nose
Top of North Ridge