Snog in


This is, What was.... North Wales' own, snow report!

a cracking week (nearly) of what should be a more regular occurance in our hills, we wish.

The week before last saw the welcome return (to some of us big kids, and school kids included) of abundant snow to our welsh hllsides.Ok yeah sure we get dustings and some depth over the tops but when we get coverage like that down to less than 1,000ft and you can literally board or ski back to the car, well, one has to wonder what North Wales life would be like with more consistantly snowy winters. Which to be fair not that long ago, certainly within the last 25 - 30 years, the winters did appear to be more consistant deliverers of the white stuff. Global warming?
or a climate trend, hard to tell generally and whether we are genuinely warming the planet up or merely slowly, or even rapidly, poisoning ourselves remains to be seen - but that's a different subject.

A number of years ago i had the job of clearing out an old attick space of old boxes of records (not vinyl) and log books at the National Mountain Centre in Capel Curig, Plas-y-Brenin (Hall of the Kings) and according to the records the centre used to run, regularily, each winter, winter courses which were based around or included ski mountaineering, with logged reports, including sketches and cartoons of their antics, by the instructors and guides of epic days out on the hills trekking across the snowy slopes of the Carneddau etc. The stuff we not only spend the months between seasons as winter sports enthusiasts dreaming of nowadays, but years seem to pass between decent snow falls.

The other week brought that dreaming to an end and as more boarders and skiers took the slopes than i've ever seen before up there, walkers stood aside and looked on as swathes (well not quite) of slidey snow users made their descent seem relatively effortless.A wonder indeed how those who were not so well equiped for the return to sea level would ever make it back for tea! To be fair there was enough snow and space for everyone and plenty to go around, 'tis a fair expance our snowdonian wonderland and in some areas if you did not have a board or skis, you were definately the odd one's out.

This for me is brilliant, excellant to see, though i must admit, having been using, and appreciating, these hills for these, and alike, purposes for as many years at least as the last times we had decent winters perhaps, i did feel a little territorial about the use of 'our' slopes. However the hills when in this condition aren't necessarily for the faint or weak hearted, or the unfit and whilst i'd never wish to over advertise the fact that the hills of North Wales and in particular snowdonia, when the white crystals are down, is one of the most satisfying and pleasing environments to the soul to be amongst and behold, though not as dramatic an area as many of our alpine neighbours, being able to ski or snowboard at home on the real stuff is awesome.

North Wales is no secret spot and not wishing our hills to become a ridiculous scenario as many of our beach breaks can become as soon as a half decent wave hits our shores at least our back country takes a level of knowledge, experience and respect to be able to even access let alone make the most of.

However if the snowy hills are your thing, and you know what your doing, or know someone who does, then perhaps we'll see you up there, when? we'll have to wait and see what happens to the gulf stream, the arctic circle and our ensuing weather patterns and climate as it possibly shifts and changes in the near/distant future. Lifts in Snowdonia? an industry, heli boarding? who knows, or more crowded sunny beaches. All i know is the real thing sure beats the ass off some stupid proposal of building an indoor ski slope and well worth the wait, every time, but who knows maybe one that'll be our only option! til the next time...

is this the end of it?

by on:

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