Thursday, 28 March 2013

Torpantau Report

Pete Spearing just sent this detailed report of the conditions on Torpantau yesterday.

bottom steps thin with running water but climbable with care. Main pitch almost dry with good ice, top step of this (to my mind always the crux) again a little thin with overhanging chandeliers on all but three left where there is enough good ice although steep. Loads of good ice up the left bank at the to of this pitch for a screw belay. Final 'pitch'as usual fat with chewy ice and a reasonable solo as are the last few little steps.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Torpantau is in...

... that's it, someones said it. Torpantau is in. Whilst I'm enjoying the fine countryside of Taunton all weekend, try to save some ice for me when I get back. Report and photos hopefully coming later this evening. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Is it in? Isn't it in?

Well with snow a-plenty and cold temps lingering still ( There's a lot of talk about whether things are or aren't in. From first hand reports I've heard, of which it must be said there aren't many, stuff is forming. There's an awful lot of snow up around the horseshoe and ice is forming in places although was still a bit thin on the weekend. All winter walkers would be advised to take crampons. 

As usual, a lot of focus is on Torpantau - it should be noted that road from the south up near the Neuadd reservoir is IMPASSABLE under current conditions without 4x4, snowchains, and/or a certain level of tenacity. Your best bet without 1 or all 3 of the above would be a walk in over the tops. The difficulty isn't in getting there so much as getting back out of the dip in the road by the cafe, if you get that far you risk getting stuck in the bottom unable to get up the hill in front, or back the way you came. I speak from 3 hours of ice-axe-adze-road-ice-chipping experience a few years ago...

Putting on my mountain rescue hat, it should be pointed out that we've been very active of late with 5 callout's last week all relating to the cold weather. Be careful of slips and falls and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take appropriate clothing and emergency gear and know how to use it. These are tough yet potentially very rewarding conditions.

Please get in touch with any photos or conditions reports to ryanatkins09 (at) gmail (dot) com. 


From Phil  on Facebook... 

I managed to drive all the way to Neuadd yesterday (I have snow tyres). It may be possible to drive to the Torpantau car park but could be risky with ordinary tyres. However the walk from Birch Grove car park doesn't take too long. There is lots of ice around the Pen y Fan horseshoe so I think there is likely to be ice for climbing in most of the usual venues.

From Mal  on the weekend...

Very poor visibility and the fact that paths are snowed out means that navigation is very interesting up there at the moment. The snow around the peaks is very windblown leaving some solid ice patches which require crampons. Elsewhere, a weak crust forming on deeper snow is making the going quite strenuous.