Friday 30 March 2012

A brief summer interlude!

The weather has been absolutely glorious in Snowdonia. Unseasonally hot temperatures have sent Nature crazy with many plants flowering before their time.

For me the warm conditions saw my Winter Mountain Leader Assessment which should have been this week being cancelled. Instead I spent the weekend assessing the Mountain Rescue Search dogs and lying around in a T shirt and summer trousers; a state I have never been able to assess in before (usually I am buried in around 7 layers of clothing desperately trying to keep warm!).

What were lovely conditions for the Assessors were not appreciated by the dogs and handlers up for assessment as they prefer windy, wet and cold which is better for the dogs' scenting abilities.

Both the Saturday and the Sunday's assessing were followed by Mountain Rescue callouts for climbers who had fallen, or in one case, who had his hand jammed in what must be the most secure hand jam ever. Several buckets of ice later and some handy work with a hammer, he was freed!

We ran a REC Level 2 Emergency First Aid course this week, and we are running one next week in Llanberis. Another 2 weeks and we have our Summer Mountain Leader Assessment which is now full.

I enjoyed the last of the sun yesterday with a beautiful walk over the Nantlle Ridge. The weather had certainly changed though, the wind was bitter.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

A busy winter

Steve and I have kept busy with both work, Mountain Rescue callouts and days out.
In February winter conditions in Snowdonia were fantastic (although I'm not sure I would call a wade in waist and thigh deep snow up Banana Gully on Y Garn 'fantastic conditions'!

However Hourglass Gully on Pen y Ole Wen and Easy Gully in Cwm Cneifion were definitely on better snow!

I headed up to Scotland at the beginning of March to observe a friend (Rob Johnson MIC) teaching a winter skills course. Snow conditions were variable changing dramatically from day to day but as I returned to Wales it really does feel like Spring has arrived. Yesterday saw the most amazing cloud inversion and brocken spectres in the Glyders.