Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Winter on it's way?

So, talk abounds of winter being imminently on it's way. Is it true? Quite possible. Does this mean you should go climb something this week. Probably not! 

Bear in mine that Ice. Is. Delicate. 

Sure it might be climable before the week is out. But if everyone flocks to it then, it won't last long. Far better to wait for some slightly fatter ice/rimed up rock and allow everyone to have some fun. 

I would make an educated guess that ice routes would potentially be climbable this weekend and that the P-y-F headwall and rib lines will be in also. That's educated in the sense that I've been up and looked at them. 

I'm not sure that there will be enough snow in the gullies, or what there is almost certainly won't be consolidated. Remember these gullies are NORTH FACING and deep clefts. Thus, they get little sunlight and with the consistent sub zero temperatures up there this means barely any freeze thaw. So please, be sensible. If you can see exposed vegetation and rock, and you're sinking in fluffy powder, maybe stick to the ribs/butresses. 

Now I know in reality this will make almost no difference posting this. Keen winter warriors from all accross the south of the UK will be flocking to the beacons on Saturday morning to climb whatever they can. But I guess it's my hope that if just one or two people read this and climb sensibly, there might at least be more left for everyone to share and enjoy. 

Whilst we're on it, a quick plug. Stay safe out there! At a member of central beacons mountain rescue team, I'm all too aware of how quickly the weather can change and what can one moment be a clearly defined footpath can turn into  a blind whiteout. Take a map. Take a compass. Know how to use them. And if you do one thing for me, when you're walking back down to pont ar daf and hit the windy col -turn right! Forward will take you straight down the Neuadd, and given recent events, I can promise you the bogs down there are a bitch to go a-wandering in.

Climb safe. Climb sensible. And here's a nice photo to get you excited. 

Looking across the NF Gullies on Sunday late afternoon. 

1 comment:

  1. Good call Ryan. At the beginning of the seaon people should consider getting on a top rope and practice hooking. You don't learn anything getting gripped and smashing stuff to bits on lead