Monday, 21 January 2013

Torpantau is in

The Masterplan Photography chaps have been out on Torpantau this weekend along with a couple of others, reporting good conditions if a little lean on the lower falls. Snow chains or 4 wheel drive absolutely necessary for approach. 

Just back from a brilliant day on Torpantu, low down was a bit thin but the main fall was in good shape, used snow chains to access the car park from talybont and wouldn't have been able to get up without them

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Conditions update and important notice!

So snow has fallen across South Wales, but unfortunately the conditions updates aren't promising.

This in yesterday from David Webster...

Ok conditions update. Went to rac corner/Craig y fro this afternoon, most turf was well frozen from the road upwards if you could find it under the powder! We climbed the main stream, the first pitch was climb able on the left of the steepest ice pillar at about grade 2, the pillar wasn't fully formed yet but should be good in a day or 2 if nobody knocks it down b4! The top pitch was to delicate so we walked around it, it had been climbed today but we would have destroyed it if we had done it. We then went and climbed the micro route I named white fang last year which was climbable but again delicate. Finally rac corner was forming but very thin and although there were doable problems, it is in danger of being damaged before it is fully formed. Took some photos will try and post them on the Facebook group.

thanks Dave.

Also hearing reports from pen y fan north face that the snow fell so much and so quickly it has insulated the turf which isn't fully frozen.

If the temperatures stay low we should see RAC corner and Craig y Lyn coming in over the next few days with any luck but I'd recommend staying away from turf routes or you risk damaging the environment and yourself.

Torpantau road is reported to be impassible although if I get chance this week ill crack out the snow chains and try get down to check it out. 


Saturday afternoon saw a major rescue effort from three of South Wales mountain rescue teams including CBMRT of which I'm a part of. Access to storey arms was blocked by vehicles parked on the road and grass verges delaying access by our rescue teams and ambulances. Subsequently Dyfed Powys police have put out a warning notice to park responsibly in the area. Please be considerate of emergency service access wherever you park, particularly during the winter months where time becomes even more of an issue due to extreme weather. 

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.