Of all the big mountain ranges in the UK, Snowdonia seems to suffer the worst winter conditions, and any snow that does fall there doesn’t tend to stick around too long. This winter has been quite an exception, and I’ve been enviously eyeing up the “Snowdonia Winter Conditions” thread on UKC, jealous of all the talk of Parsley Fern Gulley and “full winter conditions” on Crib Goch and Tryfan’s north ridge. I’d all but surrendered to the fast that I’d missed out on these great conditions in Wales this winter, and so it was a complete surprise on Sunday to find my wading through the white stuff up one of my favourite mountains – Moel Siabod.
Within the space of a few hours on Saturday evening and another few hours on Sunday morning, a very considerable amount of snow had fallen, rendering Pen-y-Pass impassible to my Aunt and Uncle, Paula and Pete, whom we were meant to be meeting in Pete’s Eats that morning. We hastily rearranged our meeting location to Ogwen cottage and our walk, which was meant to be up Moel Eilio, to Moel Siabod instead.
Our route was from Pont Cyfyng, but instead of the usual Daear Ddue ridge (see my post dated January 12, 2011) we headed up the broader north-eastern shoulder and onto Siabod’s north-eastern summit ridge. This final ridge, whilst not being narrow enough to feel much exposure, offers a good bit of easy scrambling and is in such a fantastic position and was covered in so much snow that it had a really mountaineering feel to it. Add the white-out and wind, and for a moment you could have mistaken yourself for being in Scotland.
Said white-out necessitated a compass bearing from the summit, which lead us to the “tourist” route back down to the Afon Llugwy near Plas-y-Brenin. We walked back along the river to the cars, before popping by the Tyn-y-Coed for a well deserved pint of Purple Moose’s finest! All-in-all, a fantastic day out and it was great to eventually be out in Snowdonia in the snow.