Sunday, 10 January 2010

Weekend round up - 9th/10th Jan

Well it's been a busy weekend. Reports are coming in of ascents far and wide, and with baltic conditions on pen-y-fan, seems a lot of people have been heading to craig-y-llyn and further west to joe's waterfall. I myself got stuck inside without partner or transport yesterday, and today i'm back home in malvern watching Oceans 13 and eating copious amounts of pizza for my girlfriends birthday, but I shall be back out in the hills tomorrow for some more evening ascents. At least I can give you all a good round up of conditions.

Ascents have been made of most of the lines on craig-y-llyn, Joes Waterfall, Virgin Falls, RAC corner, and Torpantau. Although there's still not a lot of news flying around about road access off the main routes. You'll see from my report that Torpantau was very tricky to get to the other day but apparently it's been climbed this weekend. I'm going to try get back there tomorrow, failing that it'll be an evening at craig-y-llyn for me.

Virgin Falls is apparently formed for the final two pitches in reasonable condition, although a little thin in places and the first pitch is still quite wet. There are reports of a possible second route in Blaencwm coming into condition, rumored to be polystyrene.

Joe's waterfall over on Camarthan Fan still has water running behind but is climbable and fat enough for screws, and has seen more than one ascent this weekend, with roads to the pub accessible and a short walk in. Belays consist of nuts.

Where the Stripes Meet, a roadside fall at Cwm Clydach still has a way to go till it forms, reported by Steve Fry this morning. See photo below. It's forming from the bottom up by the looks of things and still needs more water flowing down before it'll be climbable.

RAC Corner Still has water running behind but is getting fatter every day. Still a fair bit of snow shortening the top pitch but the pitches lower down give some interesting opportunities for steep water ice problems, with the best line still being the pillar of the first pitch on the right hand side.

On another note, snowboarding conditions on the northern cwms of The Beacons seems to be a popular past time at present, with a number of people out enjoying the powder.

With cold conditions set to continue well into this next week, it's unlikely there will be much consolidation on the snow routes on the north face of Pen-Y-Fan but if you don't mind breaking through the thin crust, and a bit of powder swimming, then it's sure to provide some entertainment. The most popular lines up still appear to be Central Gully, with more ice formed on the steps this time round than there was in september, and Central Rib, providing some interesting lines through the rock bands. Although be aware, as although the Brecon Beacons aren't a renowned avalanche spot, there are apparently pockets of wind slab forming in the lee, and with this being deposited on top of a more consolidated layer left from christmas, and the cold temperatures, there is chance that it could slip.

Thanks for these reports go to my friends, climbing partners, other contributors to this blog, and the masses of UKC. Please, still keen for more people to get involved emailing in reports and making this work, so if you have anything for me, you can contact me through UKC where my username is Tipsy.

Safe climbing everyone!

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