Welsh winter – Wearing t-shirts in the snow

Having the opportunity to disappear to Wales for the weekend is always a welcome relief and with a forecast for sunshine it was always going to be a fantastic walk wherever we ended up going.

With only a couple of winter seasons under my belt I’ll admit to being daunted by the thought of being the one in charge, since the friend who was meeting me in Capel Curig had only had one weekend in the mountains previously. I had confidence in his strength to cope with the mountains in winter and confidence in his resilience to cope with a bit of punishing. I should have pondered a bit more about his ability to let others lead, he is a teacher after all.

Having sunk a few pints in the Tyn-y-coed Inn the night before, it was already 9am before we pulled up on the A5 at Glen Dinas in the Ogwen Valley. The sun was shining, there was hardly wind and by the time we reached Ffynnon Lloer there was already a throng of climbers heading up the rock face of Pen y Ole Wen.


Having reached the Llyn we found ourselves shedding fleeces and heading on upwards with just t-shirts on, which was certainly a first for a trip to Wales. The route up on to Pen y Ole Wen summit was via the cwm wall to the left of the large crag.


Once on the col we could see an amazing view of the cloud inversion in the valleys around us. We’d definitely picked the right activity for the day!



From there we headed across Carnedd Daffyd and onto Carnedd Llewellyn and while it was windy at times across the tops it was still gorgeous sunshine. I really needed my sunglasses!

En route to Llewellyn my friend lost the axe I’d lent him (I can only assume it dropped off his rucksack since he’s sure he tied it on when we’d stopped for lunch and while I made him back track to check he never found it). So instead of carrying on across the rocky edge to head south east off the summit, I decided we should back track over the south ridge and head south off the hill back to the Ogwen Valley.

Check out the broken spectre – I couldn’t get myself in it though!


The sun was just starting to go down (though the valley was dark with mist so it was hard to tell!), so once back at the car we headed to Plas y Brenin’s bar for a pint of ale. Check out this amazing sunset across to Snowdon!


4 Replies to “Welsh winter – Wearing t-shirts in the snow”

  1. A nice route in the snow… was once on the Carneddau in winter when it was so clear I could see Ireland – Wicklow I think – no tee shirt though; was so cold my coffee froze! Great post.

  2. Great photo’s and post. I hoped to head across to Snowdonia earlier this year for some winter walking but alas time seems to have disapeared like much of the snow there! Still I am planning on a quick visit in the next few weeks with Tryfan’s North Ridge as my target….we’ll see!

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