Author Topic: Advice for Winter Summit of Snowdon  (Read 836 times)

marcello283

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Advice for Winter Summit of Snowdon
« on: 11:10:17, 24/01/20 »
Hey guys looking for some advice


I am new to climbing, so all advice is welcome and was looking for some advice on a winter climb of Snowdon
I am in good physical shape, so the physical demands shouldnt be a problem but have heared Snowdon can be more of a technical climb. I want to know what to expect and precautions I should take for a solo climb of Snowdon.


Thanks!




Owen

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Re: Advice for Winter Summit of Snowdon
« Reply #1 on: 11:38:54, 24/01/20 »
Which route are you looking at?


With Snowdon it very much depends on whether there's snow or not. If there is you'll need an ice axe and crampons, you might get away with microspikes on the Llanberis path. Knowing what to do with your ice axe is the most important aspect. If you don't know get someone to show you.


Most of the paths are well made and obvious in summer but once covered in snow you're back on your navigation. There's some big cliff very close to all the paths so you really need to be spot on especially when it's misty which is most of the time.


When there's no snow you'll still have all the normal consideration of weather and short day light. Make sure your clothing has warm and waterproof layers and carry a head torch, map compass, food hot drink. And tell someone your route plan.

marcello283

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Re: Advice for Winter Summit of Snowdon
« Reply #2 on: 12:20:15, 24/01/20 »
Thanks for the advice, Is there anywhere you can recommend that demonstrates the correct use of ice picks?


Thanks again

Owen

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Re: Advice for Winter Summit of Snowdon
« Reply #3 on: 12:30:27, 24/01/20 »
Try Googling "winter skills courses, North Wales".

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Advice for Winter Summit of Snowdon
« Reply #4 on: 14:59:48, 24/01/20 »
Even the ‘easier’ routes up Snowdon, such as the Llanberis Path and Miners Track have some dangerous areas in winter conditions and people have died on these routes. Do make sure you are properly equipped for the conditions and know how to use crampons and an ice axe. It is much better to learn how to use these in a safe environment than having to find out in a life threatening situation.

marcello283

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Re: Advice for Winter Summit of Snowdon
« Reply #5 on: 16:24:55, 24/01/20 »
yeah thats what I thought. I went up Scafell Pike on the weekend and it was clear to me with my little experience that even the smaller mountains still need proper equipment. A few of my friends want to go up without Crampons and Ice picks so I'm trying to urge them away from being "those climbers" who are a burden on the mountain

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Advice for Winter Summit of Snowdon
« Reply #6 on: 16:53:54, 24/01/20 »
If you Google Snowdon accident black spots, you will find lots of info to show your friends.


The following link for Visit Snowdonia shows a couple of the places that can be dangerous in snow and ice condition. [size=78%]https://www.visitsnowdonia.info/snowdon-walking-routes[/size]

Owen

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Re: Advice for Winter Summit of Snowdon
« Reply #7 on: 19:24:01, 24/01/20 »
I think rather than scaring yourselves silly watching youtube BS you'd be much better off spending a day or weekend with someone who knows what their talking about.


There are plenty to choose from,
https://int.search.tb.ask.com/search/GGmain.jhtml?searchfor=winter+mountain+skills+courses%2C+North+wales&enableSearch=true&rdrct=no&st=sb&tpr=omni&p2=%5EY6%5Expt316%5ES22702%5Egb&ptb=680EDCFD-184D-423B-B00F-C209AA6E0E2D&n=783a3d52&si=CKGczrv899UCFWW17QodwrAB8Q




Pitboot

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Re: Advice for Winter Summit of Snowdon
« Reply #8 on: 20:20:29, 24/01/20 »
Thanks for the advice, Is there anywhere you can recommend that demonstrates the correct use of ice picks?


Thanks again


The correct use of an ice axe is best learned on the hill, in a safe spot, and taught by someone with experience and common sense. A video can only show you so much.
Also, the ice axe that you choose needs to be one suitable for your size and the conditions in which you intend to use it.
There are plenty of shops where you can buy gucci  technical kit that looks the business, but you could probably get away with an all rounder like a DMM Cirque of the correct length. I use this type, it's good for winter walking and some moderate gulley stuff, and it's also light and robust.

forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: Advice for Winter Summit of Snowdon
« Reply #9 on: 11:43:12, 25/01/20 »
Important considerations when learning ice axe arrest are perhaps not the earliest for a 'beginner' to discern.  Such as snow condition, run-out risk and the consequences of someone losing their axe (don't train with a leash, for example).  Whilst many people can and do practice - they typically have some kind of knowledge or experience first so they can make those decisions better. 


Overall though Snowdon via the Llanberis or Ranger paths are not a significant undertaking in the summer - but you need to have respect for the conditions in the winter - be aware of the freezing level and whether there are reports of ice or snow at higher elevations.  The last thing you want as an  inexperienced party is to be slipping around trying to get to the top, especially when there are typically more accidents when descending. 


Minimum equipment would be microspikes and trekking poles/axe as well as proper footwear, but I'd be concerned someone in the group is at least a competent navigator - as has been said, often you'll be walking through low cloud in winter and having a disoriented group start to drift away off-route can turn a quick up and down into several hours of wandering.  This is especially likely in winter when mild hypothermia can rob the mind of the ability to logically think through navigation - you'll often see experienced winter walkers writing bearings and directions on their maps to stop them having to think about it if poor conditions are expected.


Lastly, don't feel put-off - renting kit is cheap, often some more experienced people have spares they can lend you too.  Overall I see it a little like owning car insurance - sure you don't need it to physically drive a car, but there will be a number of times where you are really glad you spent that money as it gets you out of a tough spot.
« Last Edit: 11:51:02, 25/01/20 by forgotmyoldpassword »