Snow is starting to build up.
Victor (my springer spaniel) and I went for a quick bike ride up towards the CIC Hut this afternoon to see what's what and what's white. Snow fell down to 400m last night after a warmer day yesterday with rain at all levels. We did not get as much as further east in the country but the crags and the tops are covered in a white sheet (not quite a blanket and certainly no where near a duvet). It stayed cold all day though and there were puddles of ice on the path at 600m above sea level. The steep cliffs near the CIC Hut have dribbles of ice on them too showing it has been cold enough to freeze the drips and start to freeze the turf.
The great gullies only have a little snow in them and they will not be fun to climb yet. We need much more snow to build up first. The great ridges will be fun to climb with soft snow on the rocks but no build up yet to smooth off the ridge. They will be slow going, especially if you don't know the route yet. The best climbing will be on steep, rocky mixed routes such as Gargoyle Wall, Sioux Wall and Strident Edge. All of these were climbed over the last couple of weekends and none of them require any frozen turf. It looks like we will get another cold weekend and I'm sure there will be more people out climbing these modern, early season classics.
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Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.