An ascent of Snowdon ( Yr Wydffa ) in winter provides a unique mountain experience, very different from it’s summer atmosphere, with snow and ice transforming it into one of the UK’s most majestic mountains. It can be a serious undertaking, with changing underfoot conditions and adverse weather requiring all the skills of winter mountaineering.
To fully appreciate and enjoy a winter ascent, it is best to be properly prepared for the winter environment – with an early start, good crampon technique and the right equipment all helping to give a truly memorable mountain day.
Most winter ascents take advantage of the best conditions from December through to March, although good conditions can occur in other months ( from November to April! ) – please see the calendar for scheduled trips or drop me a line if you have suggestions of your own.
Itineraries usually follow a one or two day schedule:
Two day ascent: For those with limited mountain experience:
Day one is used as an introduction, with a kit check, an introduction to the terrain, a look at ice axe / cramponing skills and the style of mountaineering required for a winter ascent.
Day two has an early start, with the option of ascending using the path from Pen Y Pass via the Miners or PYG track, the more challenging approaches via The Gribin and Bwlch Saethau or Crib Goch and Crib Y Ddsgyl, depending on experience and ability.
One day ascent: Suited to those with summer walking or climbing experience, with the added skills and equipment of winter added as the day progresses. Route options include the Miners or PYG track, the more challenging approaches via The Gribin and Bwlch Saethau or Crib Goch and Crib Y Ddsgyl, depending on experience and ability.
What you need:
- Waterproof Jacket – full weight breathable model preferred
- Base Layer
- Light fleece jackets + heavy fleece jacket or softshell or insulated jacket
- Trousers and waterproof overtrousers or salopettes
- Hat or Balaclava – must fit under a helmet
- Warm Ski Type Gloves – Spare pair just in case one gets wet and / or:
- Spare Mittens – especially if you suffer from cold hands.
- Socks – a few pairs of warm socks.
- B2 / B3 winter boots, crampon compatible.
- Ski Goggles ( can be supplied )
- Rucsac 30-35 litres
- Waterbottle and / or thermos flask
- Personal medications + blister kit
- Packed lunch for the mountain days.
- Technical Equipment ( can be supplied at no extra cost )
- Climbing Helmet
- C2 / C3 Crampons (preferably with anti-balling plates)
- Ice Axe / axes
- Long sling + locking karabiner
- B3 winter boots, crampon compatible.
If you already have any personal equipment, bring it along – this will help with familiarity with your gear and give us the opportunity to discuss the pro’s and con’s of different equipment.
Although I have Public Liability insurance to the value of £ 5M, you may wish to purchase personal accident, and travel insurance as you think necessary ! Packages which include insurance for climbing and other mountain activities are available from: www.thebmc.co.uk
What is supplied:
Technical equipment – harness, helmet, ice axes, crampons, B3 boots.
I have a selection of other equipment available – Please let me know if you need anything else eg. rucksack etc. – especially if you are intending to buy any equipment for the course.
The winter mountains of the UK have an international reputation as unique mountain environments , with their own challenges and rewards to the mountaineer, this trip will hopefully give you an insight into the skills required and the inspiration to climb in these beautiful mountains.
This trip is based on a one or two day itinerary, with the extra day for those with little mountain experience. All technical equipment including winter boots can be supplied as is local transport around the area.
As a popular tourist destination, Snowdonia has many options for accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets including good campsites, chalets, bunkhouses, Youth Hostels, B&B’s, self catering cottages and hotels – please note, winter camping can be hard ! – all to be found on :
There a great many sources of information for the topics covered on the course, I would recommend the following:
Scotlands Winter Mountains – Martin Moran – ISBN 0715307940
Winterskills – Andy Cunnignham / Allen Fyffe – ISBN 0954151135
Chance in a million – Bob Barton / Blyth Wright – ISBN 0907521592
Winter climbing + by Neil Gresham / Ian Parnell – ISBN 9781873341964
Online sources include : http://www.ukclimbing.com
or drop me a line if you have any queries: firstname.lastname@example.org