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SR : Wales 2012 / 13

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SR : Wales 2012 / 13

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
TUESDAY 23 OCTOBER 2012

The Met Office is calling for the freezing level to drop to 600 m in the Brecon Beacons National Park and 500 m in Snowdonia National Park this Friday with the possibility for the first snow of the winter falling on the highest peaks.

BRECON BEACONS NATIONAL PARK

Quote:

Friday

Perhaps cloudy with a little rain at first but once this clears southwards it should be a much brighter, clearer, colder day than of late with plenty of sunshine developing. One or two showers are possible and, with the freezing level around 600m, these would be wintry on the hills if they occur. Fresh easterly winds will make it feel cold.


Saturday

Another bright day with sunny spells and perhaps the odd wintry shower. Still cold, and feeling especially so in fresh to strong northeasterly winds. Freezing level falling to about 200m.


http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/loutdoor/mountainsafety/brecon/brecon_latest_pressure.html



SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK

Quote:

Friday

A much brighter, clearer, colder day than of late with plenty of sunshine developing. One or two showers are possible and, with the freezing level around 600 m, these would be wintry on the hills if they occur. Fresh easterly winds will make it feel cold.


Saturday

Another bright day with sunny spells and perhaps the odd wintry shower. Still cold, and feeling especially so in fresh to strong northeasterly winds. Freezing level falling to about 200 m.


http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/loutdoor/mountainsafety/snowdonia/snowdonia_latest_pressure.html


Took a trip to Snowdonia in September and with snow there are some easily accessed lines straight from the summit and from the path running beside the train line.









The previous three winters saw the first snow and turns on the peaks of the Brecon Beacons National Park in November (the 27th & 30th in 2009; the 8th and 27th in 2010) and December (5th and 16th in 2011).

Fingers crossed that this winter the first snow falls this week with turns possible in late October / early November.


TR: Wales 2009/10 - Between A Rock and a Hard Place
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=59222&start=80

TR: Cymru 10/11 - Eto, os gwelwch yn dda! (Wales 10/11 - Again, if you please!)
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=67725

SR : Wales 2011/12
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=77258
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER 2012

Nixed this weekend.

The below freezing temperatures and frost showed up but the precipitation was late to the party.

Glorious sunshine and high pressure on Friday and Saturday but no snow.

Wetter today but the thermometer has climbed to around 8 C

Another cold front sweeping through towards the end of next week.

Here's hoping.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
THURSDAY 01 NOVEMBER 2012

Yr eira gyntaf - the first snow - fell on Cadair Idris in North Wales today.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A6m2Wo9CcAAO_wW.jpg:large


The highest peaks of the Brecon Beacons were cloaked in cloud for most of the day and hard to tell from the live web cam images if any has fallen, but it looks a little white up top.

Brecon Beacons National Park Webcam
http://www.breconbeacons.org/pages/livewebcams


Snow showers forecast overnight and heading up early tomorrow morning to have a look.
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Mike Pow wrote:
... with snow there are some easily accessed lines straight from the summit and from the path running beside the train line.

Are you allowed to carry skis on the train ?
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Not sure.

Typically if there's snow then the train doesn't run.
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Ah, OK ... spring snow opportunities maybe ? I've used the railway once, rack-and-pinion IIRC. Presume the track would make an easy, if long, skinning route.
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^^ Train doesn't let you take kayaks on Sad
Probably have more luck with skis.
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FRIDAY 02 NOVEMBER 2012

Well the first snow of the winter - yr eira gyntaf (in Welsh) - did indeed fall on the highest peaks in the Brecon Beacons National Park yesterday.

Derek Cummings pic
https://twitter.com/derrylynne/status/264030813484617728/photo/1/large


Headed over this morning to see if there was enough to make the first turns of the winter.

Unfortunately not.

Overnight rain had eaten into what had fallen and the snowline had crept back up to aound 700 m.

So spent the morning driving around the park seeing where the snow had fallen.

Cefn Crew





Cribyn and the NE Face of Pen-y-Fan





Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan from Upper Neuadd Reservoir





I went back over in the afternoon for a walk to the top of Pen-y-Fan and some late afternoon pictures. Glad I did.

Upper Neuadd Reservoir from Pen-y-Fan





NE Face of Pen-y-Fan
(going to need just a little more snow)





The Pen-y-Fan slope down to Llyn Cwm Llwch with Corn Du in the background





The Pen-y-Fan slope down to Llyn Cwm Llwch





Corn Du from Pen-y-Fan









There's snow forecast tonight and tommorow.

Who knows?
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Mountain-forecast.com is saying 8cm / moderate snow for our local hill ! I can't help thinking it's a software glitch.

http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Caer-Caradoc/forecasts/459
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Currently sunny and cold down here.

But snow is forecast for today, tonight, and early Sunday.

Quote:

SATURDAY

There will be some sunshine across the Brecon Beacons but there showers are also expected throughout the day. Some of the showers are likely to be heavy, with a risk of hail and thunder. Above 300 metres, these showers may fall as sleet or snow, giving temporary accumulations above 600 metres.


SUNDAY

Remaining unsettled. Rain is likely at first, locally heavy, with sleet or snow possible above about 800 metres, but should clear eastwards by about mid-morning. Thereafter, drier and brighter for a time, but showers probably returning from the southwest later, again with a little sleet or snow on the higher peaks. Confidence is currently relatively low regarding exact timings and extent of rain.


http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/loutdoor/mountainsafety/brecon/brecon_latest_pressure.html


As it is on mountain forecast

http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Pen-Y-Fan/forecasts/886


So it could be on for you.
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Mike Pow, I've just seen the BBC UK forecast and it looks a bit more likely Toofy Grin
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Plenty of snow in the Beacons this afternoon and snowing when I left.

Report to follow.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Mike Pow, Some Be Nice please! awesome pictures there mate!
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You know it makes sense.
Many thanks clarky999
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

Corn Du from Pen-y-Fan

That is a lovely photo...as are the others. Almost hoping it doesn't snow so there are more photos with greens showing through!
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Thanks ChrisWo, will keep my eyes open.
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SATURDAY 03 NOVEMBER 2012

Cold, dry, and sunny in Aberdare mid-morning when I received a text from my friend Martha Makin.

She was on her way to Brecon and took a quick snap on her phone from the back of the car as she sped by

Cefn Crew in sunshine and the new snow that had fallen in the past 24 hrs





I hadn't expected that much snow to have fallen overnight, so I wolfed down the remainder of my breakfast and I was off.


OPENING DAY IN THE CENTRAL BEACONS MASSIF 2012/13

Very busy in the toilets car park, with crowds of people coming back off the mountain and many more just starting up.

The snowline was halfway down Cefn Crew with between 5-10 cm of new snow falling since sunset the previous day.

From whence I came - the view down to the car park and the flank of Fan Fawr





Looking up the path to the snowladen slope below Corn Du




Cefn Crew panorama


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9fuX7QQplM&feature=plcp




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t-RQoAhUjk&feature=plcp



By the time I got to the saddle between Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan the sunshine had disappeared and a storm was imminent.

Cwm Llwch (Powder Valley) panorama with the slopes of Corn Du on the left and Pen-y-Fan on the right





Corn Du panorama - what a difference a day makes

Friday 02 November 2012





Saturday 03 November 2012






http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiHO86aFN8c&feature=plcp



The 'snowpack' that had stuck around in Cwm Sere (the valley between Pen-y-Fan and Cribyn) had doubled from the new snowfall and significant wind transportation.

With consolidation this evening and additional snowfall overnight it could be good to go.

The NE Face of Pen-y-Fan and Cribyn from the summit of Pen-y-Fan






http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXdv_xpsMUk&feature=plcp



I walked down the notch off Pen-y-Fan onto the slopes of Cwm Llwch and clicked in for the first turns of the season.

Snow this early in the Beacons is not unprecedented and my Aunty Val, a retired schoolteacher in the area, often recites the tales of taking her class for a walk on the last day of school before the October half-term holidays and seeing snow on the peaks of Fan Fawr and Pen-y-Fan.

But this was the earliest I've made turns in the Brecon Beacons National Park, by almost a month.

Cwm Llwch panorama


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDopCDw4p1w&feature=plcp



First turns of the 2012/13 season

The snow / tufted grass hybrid was suprisingly accommodating and slick


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HvbZYcrJrQ&feature=plcp



The hike back up to the summit plateau of Pen-y-Fan was brutal with driving snow and high winds.

Homeward bound but not before a run below Corn Du (the slope on the left of this pic) and to finish off a great afternoon I hiked up to the cefn Crew ridgeline and dropped in for my third run (the slope on the right).




Corn Du about to get engulfed by the latest storm rolling through





Great to be making turns again.

It was about a 20 minute walk out from where the snow finished and by the time I got back to the car park I was famished.

Thankfully the Pit Stops mobile food wagon was still firing on all cylinders.

A steak roll with fried mushrooms and onions and a cup of coffee went down without touching the sides.

And all for under 5 quid. Highly recommended.

Pit Stops mobile food wagon













As I left the car park the sleet was turning to snow.
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Very Happy Good work!
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Good movies, son.
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Thanks both
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Mike Pow, Excellent snowHead

We didn't get lucky, just a few flakes on the top driven up from your way the same afternoon.
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Nice! That's some dedication.
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Pity AndAnotherThing.

Cheers meh, Mother Nature gives and takes quickly in Wales so when it's on you have to get out the door.
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Mike Pow, Great report. Thanks for posting
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Mike Pow, you must be the snowhead who skis the most extreme differential, from the wet, thin snow in Wales to the deep dry snow in Japan!!
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Nice one Mike Pow, looking for some action this winter in the Beacons for the first time since 2010. It's been too long. I just need Spyderjon to send my skis back to me! snowHead
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thanks cad99uk.

The yin and yang of skiing kitenski, but also had plenty of powder in Wales, and even some bulletproof on Hokkaido Shock

Skiing in the Beacons never gets old Sharkymark. Always some new experience, as the next post will show.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
SUNDAY 04 NOVEMBER 2012

Saturday evening brought torrential rain, hail, sleet, thunder & lightning in Aberdare putting a dampner on the Guy Fawkes fireworks celebrations.

But I went to sleep hoping that elevation would result in elation with the precipitation falling as snow in the Central Beacons Massif.

I met regular Beacons partner Chris Dainton just before 9am, and we were at the Bwlch Duwynt saddle about 40 minutes later.

By this time the morning valley mist had mostly burned off and the sun was lighting up all around us.

Ordinarily I don't head up to the summit plateau of Corn Du because it can be too icy and rocky, but I'm glad we went up today as the views were spectacular.

Yours truly heading up to the summit plateau of Corn Du
(Chris Dainton pics)













Cwm Llwch panorama - Pen-y-Fan to the right






http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33yWUv134yQ&feature=plcp



Chris Dainton on the summit plateau of Corn Du





Yours truly on the summit plateau of Corn Du





Yours truly on the summit plateau of Corn Du with Pen-y-Fan in the background





And a first for both Chris & I, a Brocken Spectre projected into Cwm Llwch.

Wikipedia describes the phenomemon as

"the apparently enormous and magnified shadow of an observer, cast upon the upper surfaces of clouds opposite the sun."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brocken_spectre





Ridgelines rarely provide good opportunities to make turns but I was in luck today. There was consolidated and skiable snow on the ridgeline below Corn Du in the left of this shot

Corn Du slope





and Chris did a fabulous job of catching me in the act.

Your truly skiing Corn Du with Cwm Llwch below
(Chris Dainton pics)









With turns under my belt it was time to take a look at the slopes off Pen-y-Fan


FAN-TASTIC

The slope into Cwm Llwch which I skied yesterday was looking good, but the NE Face was looking great.

Chris Dainton on the summit plateau of Pen-y-Fan with Cribyn in the background





Additional snowfall combined with wind transported snow overnight had covered up most of the rocks and large tufts of grass and I felt the face was skiable.

I first skied the NE Face of Pen-y-Fan in mid-January 2010 which was the first time this face had been skied. And to my knowledge it hasn't been skied since.

1st descent line on the NE Face of Pen-y-Fan, January 2010





On my first attempt I was belayed over the rock buttress on wind blasted, hard packed snow, but this time I downclimbed kicking steps into the windpacked powder.

Looking down the NE Face of Pen-y-Fan





Chris walked around to the ridge line separating Cwm Llwch and Cwm Sere and took the following shots of me skiing and hiking back up the NE Face

Ready to drop in


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FVdrLjrScQ&feature=plcp



Yours truly skiing the NE Face of Pen-y-Fan
(Chris Dainton pics)













The snow was very different from my January 2010 run.

Then the snow was hardpacked and slick in the upper section and powdery in the gullies down low.

Today the snow was toe to knee deep light powder with each turn going to grass and sending plenty of slough and pinwheels down the slope.

Amazingly the bases went scratch free.













Bootpacking back up













As I bootpacked back up, I took the following pic below me





and the top section of the face above me





And Chris took these pics of me getting back over the buttress
(Chris Dainton pics)









Fantastic day with great views, great turns, great company, and great memories.

And action shots in the Brecon Beacons to boot, a rarity for me, courtesy of Chris.

Here's to the next time.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Wed 7-11-12 20:32; edited 1 time in total
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That's the definition of "earning your turns"! Nice.
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Cheers rob@rar
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Mike Pow, It's been a long time since I was on Penyfan, and one of the few things I can remember is thinking how steep the north face is (we got caught by unexpected snow, so beat a hasty retreat from a geology field trip). Kudos for skiing it (and walking back up)! Actually had a quick look up to the Beacons today from Merthyr, on a flying visit to catch up with my parents. Would be perfect ski terrain if it were high enough to give more snow cover Happy
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Mike Pow, Amazing you scored that line again, and the ski's survived ! Well done Madeye-Smiley I am very jealous Toofy Grin
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Awesome!!!

Hope to catch you up there sometime this winter.

Will be keeping an eye on the weather forecast from now on.
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Mike Pow, holy crap, good effort and the very definition of skiing what you've got.
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rob@rar wrote:
Mike Pow, It's been a long time since I was on Penyfan, and one of the few things I can remember is thinking how steep the north face is (we got caught by unexpected snow, so beat a hasty retreat from a geology field trip). Kudos for skiing it (and walking back up)! Actually had a quick look up to the Beacons today from Merthyr, on a flying visit to catch up with my parents. Would be perfect ski terrain if it were high enough to give more snow cover Happy


Thanks.

Yeah we've got the terrain and we've definitely got the precipitation. Just need Scandanavia to do what Siberia does for Hokkaido and my house becomes ski-in, ski-out wink snowHead
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Thanks AndAnotherThing. Very lucky to hit this any winter, especially in November.
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imorris wrote:
Awesome!!!

Hope to catch you up there sometime this winter.

Will be keeping an eye on the weather forecast from now on.


Derek's talking snow on Saturday imorris.

If it materialises then Sunday or Monday will be my last chance until Spring.

I head to Hokkaido next Wednesday (14th).


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Wed 7-11-12 20:35; edited 1 time in total
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meh wrote:
Mike Pow, holy crap, good effort and the very definition of skiing what you've got.


Thanks meh. Getting into training for Iceland in April / May wink
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Mike Pow, Do you have a photo of the line uncovered, I'd be interested to see the surface ?
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Mike Pow, that's a little bit beyond epic Cool Where are my damn skis when I need them! Skullie
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