It's been a long wait but at last the hills had a covering of snow this week. You can't afford to hang around with winter in Snowdonia, it's here one minute and gone the next - drop tools and get out there.
I took advantage of the snowy conditions to run a couple of winter skills days. Introductory courses to give folk some basic skills to use crampons and ice axe, a bit of winter mountain day planning ideas and some information about the snow pack and avalanche awareness.
Wednesday was the colder of the 2 days and together with winter debutants Owain and Dan headed off upto Cwm Bochlwyd and onto Y Gribin ridge. A great little route when the snow isn't too well consolidated (refrozen or firmed up). We had good weather up the ridge and took in both summits of the Glyderau before a speedy descent down the snow packed Bristly screes.
Thursday I was out with Nick for a refresh of his winter skills and Adam who was completely new to the winter scene. The thaw had set in so we were expecting a damp day and the snowline was a good deal higher. We went up into Cwm Cneifion and took a long snow ramp line onto the top of Seniors Ridge and over the top of Glyder Fawr. Despite the warm temps we got some good use of the winter kit.
Both days we were able to spend time looking at the techniques for walking in crampons and how to use the ice axe. I like to make my winter skills days a good mountaineering journey as well as a learning experience. Lets hope we see some more snow again this week...