Running another winter skills day today with Sam and David. We met at Siabod cafe and had a look at some of the things to consider when planning a winter day out in the mountains - how to use the weather forecast, getting an idea of what snow conditions will be like and how it all links together. We also discussed how the weather influences the avalanche hazard and where on the hill it might be present.
After a quick kit check and look at what i carry we headed off up to Carnedd Llewelyn. It wasn't long before we were into the winter domain and although the general snow cover was very thin we found some excellent snow fields high on the flanks of the summit. This was all snow that had fallen over a week ago, had melted then re-frozen to produce hard snow ice or nevé. This is the type of snow that is so good to walk on and requires a series of thaw and freeze cycles to occur.
We practiced walking on the snow without crampons, using the boot to cut into the snow, how to hold an ice axe and then put the crampons on. The snow fields went for about a kilometre so we had plenty of opportunity for going up, down sideways using a variety of cramponing techniques and methods of using the ice axe. Ideal conditions for Sam and David to get their first go at using the winter kit.
We carried on the walk over to Carnedd Dafydd before descending into Cwm Lloer. A lovely winter day out.