Sunday, 10 January 2010

Detailed Torpantau Report - 10/1/10

Here's a detailed report on Torpantau including info on the approach and driving conditions, thanks to Sam Leach.


Hey man,

Had a great day out at Torpantau falls today. Both roads from Merthyr to Pontsticill are clear, plowed but perhaps not salted. We parked at the turn off for Dolygaer, where the plowing seemed to stop and our little car could continue no further! We walked up the road thereafter, two 4wds made it to the roadhead, but it seems less than wise, unless you have chains. Skiing would seem to be the best method of approach, the road or verges would be skiable from where we parked right up to the falls. More snow was falling through the day, about 1cm, and as we left the weather seemed to be closing in, perhaps there will be more snow overnight.

The falls above the carpark on Nant Bwrefwr seem to be coming in - water is still running pretty hard, but with much ice on the edges, perhaps it could be climbed now, but rather you than me... It'd be pretty thin.

The going round into Cerrig Edmwt (and back down Craig y Fan Ddu) is pretty unpleasant: partially consolidated snow and some slab over long grass, almost supporting your weight, but never actually doing it!

The falls themselves are in good nick, the lowest step is running a bit, but still easily climbable. The main pitch is great, good thick ice, plenty thick enough for screws, I even got a 22cm screw in at the belay. There's some water running behind the ice, but not much and it reduces as you climb up. It looks like 4 or 5 parties climbed it at the weekend, though there was only one other party a fair distance behind us. At the top of the main steep section, the ice is stunning - sculpted bulges and icicles, giving a nice boulder problem. There are a couple of water pools, but mostly things are frozen solid. We thought about going across to Pen y Fan, but the soft snow and low visibility put us off.

There's a lot of ice smears on road cuttings below Merthyr, including one rather large one, but I don't know where it was, as I'd just woken up! Somewhere between Merthyr and Bristol...!

Hope this helps and you get out soon.



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