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Thread: Snowdon in March

  1. #1
    Craftsman Oysterman's Avatar
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    Snowdon in March

    So, the guys at work have come to the conclusion I should go with them to walk Snowdon in Late March, is this wise? Am i going to be on the news as " Mountain rescue for idiot walkers from Norfolk"

  2. #2
    Master thegoat's Avatar
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    Snowdon officially gets one good day per year for walking to the summit. The problem being the day shifts each year so yes, you are certifiable.
    Just check a week before and you'll get a good idea.

  3. #3
    Me and a couple of mates walked the ranger path to the top in March a few years back. Bit chilly at the top but other than that it was a lovely days walking.

    Just make sure you check the weather before you go and have the right gear to be able to cope with whatever's expected and of course don't underestimate the conditions / overestimate your abilities.

  4. #4
    Craftsman Oysterman's Avatar
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    Two very contrasting views! we are all physically fit guys ,ex paras marathon runners etc , just curious about the weather and what to expect . Four seasons in a day!

  5. #5
    Master
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    I walked up it in March about 10 years ago. Weather was horrible near the top, very foggy and windy and cold, but lower down it was lovely with good views.

    As said above, check the forecast and make sure you have the right kit. It was so windy at the top that I lost a glove and had to put into a woolly hat to keep it from freezing.

    Great day though and you feel as if you really have earned the pints in the evening.

  6. #6
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    I have a mate, also unbelievably fit as he's in the military, and he went up with a morph suit on and a load of weight in a backpack, and he effin jogged most of the way!!. He's generally accepted as being one helluva nutter amongst those who know him. He says the worst bit about is was the loose rocks and shingle underfoot. I'm not sure what time of year he did it though. There is a train I believe for those that want an easier route, or perhaps fail in their attempts, worth knowing and looking into just incase like....


    Stuart

  7. #7
    Master
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    Four seasons in a day would cover it.

    It might be glorious, there might be a blizzard.

    You need to take clothing for each extreme really!

  8. #8
    Great weekend out, you just need to be sensible and abandon rather than press on if it's looking dodgy.

  9. #9
    Master Kirk280's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oysterman View Post
    Two very contrasting views! we are all physically fit guys ,ex paras marathon runners etc , just curious about the weather and what to expect . Four seasons in a day!
    Ex paras? I don't think you chaps will have a problem. Unless you were in the regiment 50 years ago! (Even then I suspect you'd cope).

    Take some photos for the rest of the forum!

  10. #10
    Master
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    It really depends which path you take. You're likely to get four seasons in one day regardless, but the whereas Pyg track or the Miners track are pretty straight forward, routes like Crib Goch are terrifying whatever's the weather!

  11. #11
    Craftsman Oysterman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement guys , what watch to wear for a wrist shot at the summit , Deep sea I think!

  12. #12
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oysterman View Post
    Thanks for the encouragement guys , what watch to wear for a wrist shot at the summit , Deep sea I think!
    From my experience of being up there in July, you might need one of these!



    M

  13. #13
    Craftsman Oysterman's Avatar
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    What on Earth is that????

  14. #14
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    A watch for those with impaired vision!

    It's called a Eone Bradley.

    M.

  15. #15
    Master
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    It'll probably be fine, just check the weather in advance. I'm a climber and have probably been up Snowdon in every month of the year. The worst I've seen was 3 or 4 winters ago when I did a grade II route on Clogwyn y Ddysgl (Parsley Fern left Hand for the climbers) in January. It's a fairly easy route that doesn't quite top out at the summit of Snowdon but not far from the top. On our descent via the tourist path (aka Llanberis path), in a complete white out, ground covered in rime ice, wearing full B3 winter boots, harnesses, crampons and carrying a pair of ice axes and ropes, we (almost literally) bumped in to a couple wearing trainers, jeans and jackets straight out of Uniqlo. She kept falling over but he was blindly dragging them to the summit. It took us several minutes to persuade them it was a bad idea and that they should follow us down.

    You're already questioning whether it's safe to do it so you're a thousand times better prepared than they were. Whilst Snowdon is a mountain and should be respected as such, most of the established paths are very accessible so if you're healthy, have good visibility on the day, and the appropriate equipment, it's quite safe.

    Edit: my favourite loop that doesn't involve climbing is probably the Rhyd Ddu path up and the Ranger path down. Rhyd Ddu maintains a bit more interest at the top as it has a ridge section.
    Last edited by Hammond; 20th January 2017 at 15:47.

  16. #16
    Journeyman
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    I rode up the LLanberis path route a few years ago on my mountain bike, having never rode up a mountain in my life. You might find there's snow up there in March but if you've got a waterproof jacket with a few good layers underneath and decent boots you should be ok in a group. I can't comment on other routes up the summit though, the Llanberis path is the easiest and most gradual route up.

  17. #17
    Craftsman Oysterman's Avatar
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    This is all great info for me , any other advice on which route?

  18. #18
    Master
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    Check here before venturing out: http://www.mwis.org.uk/english-welsh-forecast/SD/

    Took my daughter again last year and this time we took the Rhyd Ddu path up (parking at the Snowdonia National Park Authority car park by Rhyd Ddu railway station) then the South Ridge back down. A little exposure on the ridges, but nothing serious. We didn't see a single soul all the way down the South Ridge despite the cafe at the summit overflowing with people, and the views back over Crib Goch are fab.
    Last edited by gcleminson; 20th January 2017 at 20:21.

  19. #19
    Craftsman Oysterman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcleminson View Post
    Check here before venturing out: http://www.mwis.org.uk/english-welsh-forecast/SD/

    Took my daughter again last year and this time we took the Rhyd Ddu path up (parking at the Snowdonia National Park Authority car park by Rhyd Ddu railway station) then the South Ridge back down. A little exposure on the ridges, but nothing serious. We didn't see a single soul all the way down the South Ridge despite the cafe at the summit overflowing with people, and the views back over Crib Goch are fab.
    Thats great ,many thanks

  20. #20
    Craftsman Oysterman's Avatar
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    So, following on from this I think a new pair of boots are in order, what is the recommended choice ?

  21. #21
    Master
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    Go for a good brand but try on loads, don't buy the most expensive just because it's expensive or the cheapest because it's cheap, keep in mind you'll be leaning forward on your toes going up and leaning back on your heels going down but pushing into the toes, a lot of places now have ramps to get the feel on ascents and descents.
    Make sure they have good(probably steel) support in the sole, you'll be treading on a lot of stones, as well as that they will help to avoid too much twisting.
    Last edited by K300; 21st June 2017 at 01:01.

  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    The weather could be anything, so no comment on that front (having done it 50+ times).

    Route wise however, I do have a suggestion. Assuming as ex Para's your map reading should be quite handy. So the South Ridge has to be the one. It starts very low, so a "full value" ascent. Parking is at the base of the Watkin Path, across the road from a very lovely little cafe in a converted church (great for food and a post climb drink). It follows the Watkin Path before forking left at small waterfalls, gaining the South Ridge, and following it to the top. Descent is best via Watkin as it makes it circular.

    Good luck and enjoy!

  23. #23
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oysterman View Post
    So, following on from this I think a new pair of boots are in order, what is the recommended choice ?
    Boots are probably the most important piece of kit you'll be using because if you get the wrong ones, you won't be going any further than the car park.

    First and most important, they must fit you well. Go into a good shop that has a proper boot fitting service. With high street stores (Cotswold, Snow+Rock etc.) it's pretty much the luck of the draw as to how knowledgeable their staff is, so if you're anywhere near a good independent shop like Lockwoods in Leamington Spa (used them personally to buy my first pair of mountain boots and the service has been excellent) or Up and Under in Cardiff (very well regarded in the mountaineering communities) I would use them

    As a rough guide, you should try boots on with the socks you intend to climb in to give you a better idea of the fit. Also, go try boots in the afternoon or after a long walk, as your foot swells during the day and you want to try them at their biggest.

    With your toes all the way to the front, you should have two finger's width room at the heel and there should be no rubbing between your foot and the boot. Once you have your boots on, take a good walk around the shop to get a feel for them. It's very important that your foot doesn't slide inside the boot, otherwise you'll be kicking your toes on descents and you'll get blisters. Walking up and down on the ramps in the shop will allow you to test this. Give something hard like a wall a few good kicks to see if your toes touch the front of the boot. Also, stand on your toes to see if you get loads of heel lift. With stiff mountaineering boots (if you decide to go for mountaineering boots, not regular walking ones), there will always be some heel lift, but you want to keep it to a minimum

    Lastly, most equipment, including boots, is very good nowadays regardless of brand, so a good fit is more important than the brand of the boot. The most popular mountain boot makers are Italian (Scarpa and La Sportiva) so that's what you'll find stocked in most shops. The problem is that the lasts they're using are very narrow, so if you have wider feet, they'll be shredded. Personally, I have short (UK 9) but very wide feet, so Italian boots don't work for me. If you have a wide foot (my understanding is that most British people do), you might want to try on a German boot (Hanwag make good boots at decent prices, although they're not as popular; I think that out of the high street stores, only Cotswold stock them) or a Spanish brand (Boreal are supposedly wider than Scarpa/La Sportiva, although I am yet to find any of their boots in a store in the UK)

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