1 Â North Â Wales Â White Â Guide Recent Â good Â winters Â have Â resulted Â in Â lots Â more Â people Â climbing Â on Â the Â snow Â and Â ice, Â leading Â to Â concern Â about Â the Â possible Â effects Â of Â all Â this Â activity Â on Â the Â special Â plantlife Â of Â Snowdoniaâ€™s Â mountain Â cliffs. Â This Â is Â especially Â so Â as Â the Â southerly Â location Â of Â Snowdonia Â means Â that Â we Â donâ€™t Â always Â get Â good Â snow Â cover Â and Â the Â effect Â of Â snow Â and Â ice Â climbing Â in Â these Â poor Â conditions Â can Â be Â damaging. A Â visit Â to Â Clogwyn Â Du Â (by Â the Â CCW Â and Â BMC), Â following Â the Â very Â busy Â 2009/10 Â winter Â climbing Â season, Â found Â that Â â€˜the Â condition Â of Â the Â ledge Â and Â crack Â vegetation Â did Â not Â look Â to Â have Â been Â affectedâ€™. Â Nonetheless, Â the Â growing Â popularity Â of Â winter Â climbing Â means Â that Â we Â all Â need Â to Â be Â aware Â of Â our Â potential Â impact Â and Â take Â steps Â to Â minimise Â it. Unlike Â seasonal Â climbing Â restrictions Â for Â cliff Â nesting Â birds, Â managing Â access Â at Â important Â plant Â sites Â canâ€™t Â rely Â on Â tem-Â porary Â restrictions Â as Â the Â plants Â are Â there Â all Â the Â time. Â Many Â of Â the Â cliffs Â which Â are Â important Â for Â winter Â climbing Â are Â large, Â vegetated Â and Â loose Â and Â so Â havenâ€™t Â been Â fully Â surveyed Â for Â their Â plant Â life. Â (Carting Â a Â couple Â of Â 300m Â ropes Â up Â to Â the Â top Â of Â the Â Black Â Ladders Â to Â do Â a Â survey Â on Â abseil Â would Â be Â fun!). However, Â there Â are Â a Â number Â of Â places Â where Â we Â know Â that Â Â rare Â species Â grow Â or Â which Â are Â particularly Â rich Â in Â plants Â and Â Â these Â need Â special Â consideration Â by Â climbers Â when Â deciding Â Â when, Â where Â and Â even Â how Â to Â climb. Â This Â doesnâ€™t Â mean Â that Â Â we Â can Â climb Â with Â abandon Â everywhere Â else, Â as Â there Â may Â be Â Â rare Â species Â we Â still Â havenâ€™t Â found, Â but Â these Â places Â do Â need Â Â particular Â care, Â especially Â as Â some Â of Â the Â large, Â more Â broken Â Â and Â vegetated Â cliffs Â may Â never Â have Â been Â disturbed Â before. The Â topos Â in Â the Â centre Â of Â this Â bilingual Â guide Â show Â these Â Â spe-Â cial Â sections Â of Â the Â cliffs Â highlighted Â in Â green. Â Many Â of Â Â these Â have Â been Â surveyed Â from Â scrambling Â around Â in Â the Â Â summer Â months Â and Â so Â are Â near Â the Â base Â of Â climbs Â or Â on Â Â rock Â steps Â higher Â up Â the Â cliff. Â This Â is Â particularly Â the Â case Â at Â Â Clogwyn Â y Â Garnedd Â below Â the Â Snowdon Â summit Â where Â large Â Â areas Â are Â accessible Â in Â summer. Â Some Â cliffs, Â such Â as Â at Â Â Clogwyn Â Du, Â have Â been Â surveyed Â on Â abseil Â -Â Â here Â the Â most Â Â important Â areas Â are Â on Â the Â upper Â left Â (looking Â in) Â and Â around Â Â the Â lower Â end Â of Â Clogwyn Â Left Â Hand Â Branch. 6RPH FOLIIV KDYH KDG PLQLPDO VXUYH\ EHFDXVH RI GLIÂżFXOW access. Â For Â example Â you Â will Â see Â a Â small Â part Â of Â the Â Â Black Â Ladders Â highlighted Â in Â the Â topo, Â but Â there Â must Â be Â so Â Â much Â more Â on Â this Â cliff! Â In Â other Â places Â such Â as Â Cwm Â Idwal, Â Â the Â whole Â of Â Clogwyn Â y Â Geifr Â has Â been Â highlighted Â because Â it Â Â is Â known Â to Â be Â one Â of Â the Â best Â sites Â for Â mountain Â plants Â in Â Â the Â UK. Â We Â can Â often Â judge Â where Â the Â best Â Â plant Â sites Â might Â be Â by Â knowing Â the Â geology Â of Â a Â cliff;Íž Â the Â Â richer Â the Â rocks Â and Â soils, Â the Â richer Â the Â plantlife. Â However, Â that Â Â doesnâ€™t Â always Â work Â as Â in Â some Â places Â water Â seeping Â from Â Â above Â can Â bring Â in Â lots Â of Â nutrients Â to Â otherwise Â acidic Â rocks Â Â and Â some Â rare Â plants Â prefer Â less Â rich Â rock Â types.
Jon Â Ratcliffe Â on Â The Â Sting Â V Â 6, Â Clogwyn Â y Â Geifr Â photo:Si Â Panton
Tall Â herbs Â on Â Clogwyn Â y Â Geifr, Â Cwm Â Idwal Â photo: Â Barbara Â Jones
Some Â of Â these Â areas Â have Â arctic-Âalpine Â plants Â in Â cracks Â and Â Â crevices Â which Â are Â shallowly Â rooted Â and Â so Â could Â be Â dam-Â aged Â Â and Â easily Â dislodged Â by Â the Â tearing Â action Â of Â ice Â axes Â and Â Â crampons Â in Â marginal Â snow Â and Â ice Â conditions Â or Â even Â more Â Â by Â clearing Â out Â a Â runner Â placement. Â In Â other Â areas Â more Â â€˜ledgeâ€™ Â vegetation Â can Â be Â found Â out Â of Â the Â reach Â of Â grazing Â sheep. Â In Â Â summer Â on Â cliffs Â with Â suitable Â rock Â types Â a Â riot Â Â of Â colour Â and Â diversity Â of Â plant Â types Â can Â be Â found Â with Â many Â KHUEVVXFKDVJOREHĂ€RZHUURVHURRWDQGDQJHOLFDJURZLQJDQG sometimes Â giving Â the Â Â appearance Â of Â hanging Â gardens. Â Go Â to Â the Â base Â of Â the Â Black Â Ladders Â in Â summer Â and Â you Â will Â see Â good Â examples. Â These Â Â Â are Â most Â easily Â damaged Â by Â climbing Â when Â the Â turf Â is Â not Â Â Â frozen Â and Â when Â trampling Â will Â break Â up Â the Â vegetation Â cover Â and Â Â Â erode Â the Â soil. Â If Â you Â plan Â to Â climb Â a Â new Â line Â in Â one Â of Â the Â special Â areas Â Â marked Â on Â the Â topos Â be Â sure Â to Â tread Â carefully. Â If Â you Â are Â in Â Â any Â doubt Â then Â contact Â the Â CCW Â (email@example.com) Â or Â Â the Â BMC Â (firstname.lastname@example.org) Â for Â advice. In Â good Â winter Â conditions Â with Â a Â build Â up Â of Â neve Â and Â ice, Â Â there Â is Â not Â usually Â a Â problem Â with Â the Â passage Â of Â climbers;Íž Â Â the Â problems Â start Â in Â marginal Â conditions, Â when Â there Â is Â a Â Â thin Â cover Â of Â snow Â or Â ice Â and Â the Â turf Â is Â not Â frozen. Â The Â Â veg-Â etation Â can Â also Â be Â partially Â frozen Â or Â â€˜aeratedâ€™ Â where Â Â there Â are Â many Â air Â spaces Â in Â the Â plant Â cushions Â or Â on Â the Â Â vegetated Â ledge. Â These Â will Â freeze Â hard Â later Â in Â the Â season, Â Â but Â whilst Â they Â are Â aerated, Â they Â can Â be Â easily Â damaged Â Â when Â trying Â to Â get Â a Â secure Â axe Â placement. Â The Â use Â of Â dry Â Â tooling Â techniques Â on Â mixed Â routes Â (such Â as Â torquing Â a Â pick Â Â into Â a Â crack) Â is Â also Â a Â potential Â problem.
Tall Â herbs Â growing Â on Â the Â Black Â Ladders Â photo: Â Barbara Â Jones
2 Â North Â Wales Â White Â Guide What Â is Â â€˜best Â practiceâ€™ Â and Â what Â are Â â€˜good Â Â conditionsâ€™? Â‡)LQGLQJRXWDERXWFRQGLWLRQVEHIRUHKDQGZLOOKHOSWRVDYH\RX a Â potentially Â wasted Â journey. Â Before Â deciding Â on Â a Â Â prospec-Â tive Â route Â consult Â as Â many Â weather Â forecasts Â and Â Â condition Â reports Â as Â possible. Â These Â days Â you Â are Â spoilt Â for Â Â choice Â so Â there Â is Â little Â excuse Â for Â arriving Â at Â the Â crag Â Â uninformed. Â A Â TXLFNĂ€LFNWKURXJKWKHYDULRXVZLQWHUFOLPELQJEORJVQHZV websites Â and Â online Â forums Â should Â help Â you Â build Â Â a Â picture Â of Â what Â is Â happening Â on Â the Â mountain Â cliffs. Â If Â you Â Â donâ€™t Â live Â in Â the Â area Â a Â local Â contact Â is Â useful Â too.
Plants Â to Â look Â out Â for This Â section Â gives Â details Â of Â some Â of Â the Â important Â plants Â which Â Â can Â be Â found Â on Â the Â cliffs Â which Â attract Â winter Â climbers. Â Â Some Â can Â be Â seen Â during Â the Â winter, Â but Â others Â will Â be Â Â cower-Â ing Â in Â cracks Â to Â escape Â the Â Welsh Â winter Â weather. Â The Â Â latter Â are Â particularly Â vulnerable Â if Â any Â clearing Â out Â of Â cracks Â Â and Â crevices Â is Â carried Â out. Polystichum Â lonchitis/Holly Â Fern Â [pic Â 1] A Â rare Â fern Â in Â Wales Â Â only Â found Â in Â a Â few Â places Â in Â Snowdonia. Â It Â will Â be Â around Â in Â Â winter Â and Â has Â a Â characteristic Â toothed Â edge Â to Â the Â fronds Â so Â Â can Â be Â recognised. Â The Â picture Â shows Â the Â kind Â of Â habitat Â it Â Â likes Â -Â Â crevices Â with Â some Â shelter. Â 6D[LIUDJDRSSRVLWLIROLD/Purple Â Saxifrage Â [pic Â 2] 7KLVLVZHOONQRZQDVLWLVWKHÂżUVWVSHFLHVWRĂ€RZHURIWHQLQ )HEUXDU\DQGFDQĂ€RZHUWKURXJKWKHVQRZVRZLQWHUFOLPEHUV could Â well Â see Â it. Â Â It Â remains Â above Â ground Â in Â the Â winter Â as Â a Â trailing Â mass Â of Â Â small Â branches Â or Â a Â more Â compact Â mound Â and Â can Â be Â Â recognised Â by Â the Â tiny Â opposite Â leaves Â with Â a Â minute Â Â glistening Â secretion Â on Â the Â end Â as Â shown Â in Â the Â photo. Â Silene Â acaulis/Moss Â Campion Â [pic Â 3] This Â is Â a Â cushion Â plant Â Â which Â can Â cling Â to Â steep Â rock Â faces Â as Â VKRZQ ,W GRHVQÂśW Ă€RZHU XQWLO ODWH0D\-XQH EXW WKH FXVK-Â ion Â shape Â is Â distinctive Â (a Â Â bit Â like Â a Â smaller Â version Â of Â the Â thrift Â cushions Â you Â get Â on Â sea Â Â cliffs). Â It Â could Â well Â form Â a Â frozen Â cushion Â which Â is Â tempting Â for Â an Â Â axe Â placement, Â but Â it Â wouldnâ€™t Â be Â very Â secure Â and Â so Â for Â Â environmental Â and Â safety Â reasons Â should Â be Â avoided. Â
Miles Â Perkin Â making Â a Â pick Â placement Â into Â the Â frozen Â turf Â ledge Â above Â the Â lower Â crux Â on Â El Â Mancho Â VI Â 7, Â Clogwyn Â Du Â photo: Â Tim Â Neill
Â‡ ,Q VRPH FDVHV SDUWLFXODUO\ LQ SRRU YLVLELOLW\ LW ZRQÂśW EH clear Â Â what Â the Â local Â conditions Â are Â like Â until Â you Â arrive Â at Â the Â base Â of Â the Â Â cliff. Â Upon Â arrival Â you Â should Â make Â an Â initial Â assessment. Â Firstly, Â Â the Â ground, Â and Â in Â particular, Â the Â turf, Â should Â be Â well Â frozen. Â Â If, Â when Â you Â place Â your Â axe Â in Â the Â turf, Â it Â comes Â out Â wet Â and Â Â muddy Â it Â is Â quite Â easy Â to Â see Â that Â conditions Â are Â just Â not Â Â right Â for Â winter Â climbing.
Lloydia Â serotina/Snowdon Â Lily Â [pic Â 4] This Â species Â is Â well Â Â known, Â but Â nonetheless Â rare. Â The Â picture Â (from Â Clogwyn Â Du) Â Â shows Â the Â type Â of Â crack Â it Â grows Â in Â and Â KRZWKLVFRXOGEHGDPDJHGE\H[FHVVLYHFOHDQLQJRUĂ€DLOLQJ RID[HV7KHOHDYHVDQGĂ€RZHUVGLHEDFNFRPSOHWHO\LQZLQWHU just Â leaving Â the Â Â remains Â of Â bulbs Â sticking Â out Â slightly Â from Â the Â crack. Â
Â‡,GHDOO\HYHU\WKLQJVKRXOGEHFRYHUHGLQVQRZDQGLFHDQG should Â be Â obviously Â wintry, Â but Â many Â modern Â mixed Â routes Â Â rely Â almost Â exclusively Â on Â frozen Â turf Â (note Â the Â hint Â -Â Â it Â has Â Â to Â be Â frozen!). Â An Â ascent Â in Â â€˜softâ€™ Â conditions Â cannot Â be Â Â claimed Â as Â a Â legitimate Â winter Â ascent. Â You Â are Â very Â likely Â to Â Â FDXVHVLJQLÂżFDQWGDPDJH\RXPD\DOVRUXLQWKHURXWHIURP a Â Â climbing Â point Â of Â view Â by Â ripping Â off Â key Â turf Â placements. Â‡ *RRG WHFKQLTXH FDQ KHOS PLQLPLVH GDPDJH Âą SUDFWLVH LQ less Â sensitive Â areas, Â and Â hone Â your Â skills Â before Â Â getting Â out Â onto Â the Â more Â fragile Â sites Â Â highlighted Â here. Â An Â experienced Â climber Â will Â know Â where Â to Â Â look Â for Â the Â best Â placements Â and Â consequently Â is Â less Â likely Â Â to Â cause Â damage.
Â‡,WLVLPSRUWDQWWRNHHS\RXUWRROVVKDUS$VKDUSSLFNZLOO create Â less Â damage, Â it Â also Â requires Â less Â effort Â to Â use Â and Â is Â Â PRUHOLNHO\WRHQDEOHDGHFHQWÂżUVWWLPHSODFHPHQW Â‡*RRGIRRWZRUNLVLPSRUWDQWÂąFDUHIXOSODFHPHQWRIFUDPSRQV LVIDUPRUHHIÂżFLHQWDQGDJDLQLVOHVVOLNHO\WROHDGWRGDPDJH to Â the Â turf Â and Â vegetation. Â Try Â to Â avoid Â any Â sort Â of Â Â scrabbling Â RUZLOGNLFNLQJ&RQVLGHUXVLQJPRQRSRLQWFUDPSRQVÂąWKH\ encourage Â a Â more Â precise Â style Â and Â allow Â Â for Â a Â greater Â degree Â of Â accuracy. Â‡5RFNSODFHPHQWVDUHHVVHQWLDOIRUEHOD\VDQGSURWHFWLRQEXW avoid Â clearing Â turf Â and Â vegetation Â out Â of Â cracks Â on Â these Â Â YHQXHVÂąWKHVHUHDOO\DUHWKHPRVWIUDJLOHDUHDVZKHUHWKH rarest Â plants Â (including Â the Â Snowdon Â Lily Â and Â similar Â Â pro-Â tected Â plants) Â are Â found. Finally, Â consider Â this Â statement Â from Â the Â Countryside Â Council Â Â for Â Wales: â€œAny Â deliberate Â or Â reckless Â actions Â that Â damage Â Â pro-Â tected Â plants Â or Â habitats Â could Â lead Â to Â a Â Â prosecution, Â DQGFUHDWHVLJQLÂżFDQWDFFHVVUHVWULFWLRQVLQWKHIXWXUHÂ´
3 North Wales White Guide Crag Topos The crag topos in this section show the areas where we know rare species grow or which are particularly rich in plants that need special consideration by climbers. These areas of the cliffs are highlighted in green. Providing conditions are good you can climb in these areas, but it is essential that you are extra careful and tread as lightly as possible. Topo Key Take care, this is an area where rare species or potentially vulnerable vegetation may be found. 0DLQURXWHOLQHVWRDLGLGHQWL¿FDWLRQ
Black Ladders Eastern Arete
Pyramid Pyramid Central Gully Buttress Gully
Clogwyn Left Hand Branch
Clogwyn Right Hand Branch
4 North Wales White Guide
Clogwyn y Geifr
Hanging The Garden Devil’s Gully Appendix
The Devil’s Pasture
The Devil’s Cellar The Devil’s Kitchen
Back in Black
5 North Wales White Guide
Cwm Hetiau 5DLOZD\%XWWUHVV
Clogwyn y Garnedd*UHDW*XOO\$UHD
Great Gully Three Pitch Gully
6 North Wales White Guide
Clogwyn y Garnedd/DGLHV*XOO\$UHD
Snakebite Central Trinity
Cave Gully Couloir
Gentleman’s Groove Ladies Gully
Clogwyn Du’r Arddu Jubilee Climb
Camus East Gully
7 Â North Â Wales Â White Â Guide
North Â Wales Â White Â Guide Reconciling Â Conservation Â and Â Recreation Winter Â Climbing Â in Â Snowdonia Snowdonia-Active Eryri-Bywiol
Acknowledgements This Â is Â a Â collaborative Â work Â produced Â by Â Barbara Â Jones Â and Â Joe Â Roberts Â (CCW), Â Simon Â Panton Â (co-Âauthor Â and Â editor Â of Â the Â recent Â Ground Â Up Â North Â Wales Â Winter Â Climbing Â guide) Â and Â Elfyn Â Jones Â (BMC). Â Production Â and Â publishing Â has Â been Â handled Â by Â Ground Â Up Â with Â Simon Â Panton Â taking Â on Â the Â editorâ€™s Â role Â and Â Al Â Williams Â covering Â design.Valuable Â contributions Â came Â from Â Chris Â Wright, Â Mark Â Lynden, Â Ray Â Wood, Â Mark Â â€˜Baggyâ€™ Â Richards, Â Cath Â Flitcroft Â and Â Dave Â Turnbull. Â Photos Â were Â provided Â by Â Simon Â Panton, Â Dafydd Â Davis, Â Chris Â Parkin, Â Miles Â Perkin, Â Tim Â Neill, Â Graham Â Desroy, Â John Â Swain, Â Olly Â Sanders, Â Barbara Â Jones Â and Â the Â CCW. Â Finance Â for Â the Â project Â has Â come Â from Â the Â CCW, Â the Â BMC, Â Snowdonia-ÂActive Â and Â the Â Snowdonia Â National Â Park Â Authority. RAD Â (Regional Â Access Â Database) 7KH5$'LVWKHÂľRQHVWRSVKRSÂśIRUDOOWKHDFFHVVDQGFRQVHUYDWLRQLQIR\RXQHHGÂąIURPQHVWLQJUHVWULFWLRQVWRFRQVHUYDWLRQDGYLFH or Â preferred Â parking Â spots. Â It Â can Â be Â found Â on Â the Â Access Â & Â Conservation Â page Â of Â the Â BMC Â website: Â www.thebmc.co.uk/bmccrag The Â BMC Â recognises Â that Â climbing, Â hill Â walking Â and Â mountaineering Â are Â activities Â with Â a Â danger Â of Â personal Â injury Â or Â death. Â Partici-Â pants Â in Â these Â activities Â should Â be Â aware Â of Â and Â accept Â these Â risks Â and Â be Â responsible Â for Â their Â own Â actions. Cover: Â Streaky Â Desroy Â on Â the Â main Â pitch Â of Â Couloir Â IV Â 4, Â Clogwyn Â y Â Garnedd Â photo: Â Dafydd Â Davis.
Published on Dec 19, 2011
A very useful and clearly deisgned information booklet produced to help winter climbers minimise their environmental impact in North Wales....