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SR: It Snows in Wales - 2016/17 Winter Season in the Brecon Beacons & Snowdonia National Parks

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
SATURDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2016

YR EIRA GYNTAF - THE FIRST SNOW

Day 1 skiing in the Brecon Beacons National Park for winter 2016-17

I've recently moved from Cardiff to Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire (my girlfriend Nerys has a new job with the National Trust) so the Mynydd Du (pronounced 'mun-ith dee', Black Mountain) slopes in the west of the Brecon Beacons National Park have become more accessible.

A 30 minute drive from Llandeilo takes me to Llandeusant and the 45 minute walk to the slopes above Llyn y Fan Fawr and Llyn y Fan Fach.

This part of the park is more difficult to access than the Central Beacons Massif and as a consequence sees far fewer visitors and feels more remote and wilder.

Llyn-y-Fan Fach is ringed by the glacial cirque of Waun Lefrith (677m).

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?ll=51.884968%2C-3.789597&spn=0.254296%2C0.494385&hl=en&t=p&msa=0&z=11&source=embed&ie=UTF8&mid=z14RFdnlNxxE.kZzv9qaRgjy8


Quote:
Llyn y Fan Fach (Welsh: 'lake of the small peak') is the smaller and more westerly of two natural lakes within the Black Mountain. It is enclosed within a rock hollow formed as a result of glacial action during the ice ages. It is about 500 yards long and 200 yards wide, and roughly oriented east-west. It is drained by the Afon Sawdde which cuts through a glacial moraine which in part forms a natural dam. Llyn y Fan Fach is associated with the Lady of the Lake legend.

The lake can easily be reached by foot from the car park on the water board access road near Llanddeusant, although the road to the car park is poorly signposted, and in very poor condition for car travel.


Lady of the Lake Legend
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myddfai#Lady_of_the_Lake_legend


You can access Fan Brycheiniog (802m) and the larger LLyn-y-Fan-Fawr (the larger of the two lakes) off the A4067 Abercrave to Crai road, but this trail although shorter is often waterlogged and boggy.

There was just a dusting of snow around LLyn-y-Fan-Fach so I traversed around the base of Bannau Sir Gaer (749m) and walked up the Twr y Fan Foel ridgeline (802m) to Fan Brycheiniog.

The summit plateau was snowcapped with skiable snow approx. 150-200m down the face.


Making turns off Fan Brycheiniog

Not many, not pretty, but all fantastic Smile





About To Walk


http://youtube.com/v/mu_lexN6Hpo



Previous seasons reports

SR : Wales 2015 / 16
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2790816#2790816

SR : Wales 2013 / 14
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2388201&highlight=wales+brecon+beacons#2388201


SR : Wales 2012 / 13
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=92399&highlight=mike+pow+wales


The best sources of information I've found to maximise my chances of making turns are:

Derek 'the weather' Brockway on BBC Wales TV and Radio

Met Office Weather
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/mountain-forecasts/brecon-beacons#?tab=mountainWeather

Snow-forecast Pen-y-Fan
http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Penyfan/6day/top

Brecon Beacons webcam
http://www.breconbeacons.org/webcams

Storey Arms web cam
http://members.traffic-wales.com/cctvimages/camera4001.jpg?

But even with that information you never know until you go.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sat 6-05-17 8:40; edited 3 times in total
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Excellent, and kudos to you sir ! I know exactly how much hard work turning those skis would have been, and jump turning the tufty bits must have been very tempting Toofy Grin
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Cheers @moffatross Smile
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Nice. Love your dedication to the cause! Hope you get some properly deep snow up there this winter at some point.
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Unwaith eto'n nghymru annwyl.

Nice one @Mike Pow
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Thanks @rob@rar and @Chamcham

It's been hammering down all day in Llandeilo. Cold too.

Storey Arms webcam looking very promising for turns up high tomorrow or Wednesday Smile
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@Mike Pow, snowHead snowHead snowHead
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Good stuff.
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Cheers @AndAnotherThing and @Whitegold
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TUESDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2016

Day 2 skiing in the Brecon Beacons National Park for winter 2016-17

UNDER THE SEA
At one time, in pre-history, the high peaks of the Brecon Beacons were under water. They were the ocean floor.

If you're lucky, you can still come across fossilised ammonites in the summit rocks

For my second day skiing in the Brecon Beacons National Park for winter 2016/17 I headed to the Central Beacons Massif (Corn Du, Pen-y-Fan & Cribyn) to see if there was anything left down low and anything new up high after the previous day's torrential storm.

The answer was yes to both.

There was a solid 'base' of compacted snow underfoot. Spongy, with a layer of buttercream frosting.

The visibility was down to 20 m at times with a fine mist blowing across the slopes which slowly but surely coated everything in a film of water - the snow, my clothes, the camera lens.

So much so it felt like skiing underwater.

The west face of Cribyn





It's been clear all day today, so the snow should last a few more days.

Thursday looks to be a sunny, inversion day.

Fingers crossed.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Sat 6-05-17 8:41; edited 2 times in total
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Hehehe - good stuff - hope I don't get to meet you on a call out Very Happy
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Me too @AsterixTG, me too.

A few more likely candidates ahead of me though I think.
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Nice day out by the looks of it snowHead
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Scarpa wrote:
Nice day out by the looks of it snowHead


Always better than being indoors.

Got plenty of turns under my skis Smile
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Mike Pow wrote:
Me too @AsterixTG, me too.

A few more likely candidates ahead of me though I think.

Yeah, although it's actually been a bit quieter since the weather turned. Maybe people are being a bit timid.

We've training tonight. I'll ask the more experienced guys as I'm a relative noob.
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@Mike Pow, Gwaith ffantastig! snowHead
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Harrison the Rabbit wrote:
@Mike Pow, Gwaith ffantastig! snowHead


Diolch yn fawr
For the non-Welsh, 'Thank you very much' in reply to your comment 'fantastic work / job'
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Cool!!
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Cheers @clarky999
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THURSDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2016

Day 3 skiing in the Brecon Beacons National Park for winter 2016-17

GO INTO THE LIGHT, CAROL ANNE!!
For my third day skiing in the Brecon Beacons National Park for winter 2016/17, I returned to the Central Beacons Massif (Corn Du, Pen-y-Fan & Cribyn) hoping to enjoy the forecasted inversion.

The inversion didn't materialise, instead today's turns were brought to you by the movie Poltergeist. Click the link below to get a sense of the pre-dawn conditions


http://youtube.com/v/i4Dc-J_mD7c


The turns off the summit of Pen-y-Fan down towards the Upper Neuadd reservoir were smooth and consistent on 'corn' like snow and the snow on the path back to the Afon ar Daf car park was firm and rutted, but good fun nonetheless.





Here's hoping for some sunshine tomorrow


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sat 6-05-17 8:42; edited 2 times in total
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Me getting ready if you keep insisting... Wink

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Nice.

As I said, quite a few candidates ahead of me.

Passed three guys on the way down this morning, walking up in jeans and trainers with no backpacks and no backup.
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Mike Pow wrote:
Passed three guys on the way down this morning, walking up in jeans and trainers with no backpacks and no backup.
Shocked

I was on an outwards bounds course when I was 17 and we got caught near top of Penyfan in April when the weather closed in. Sleet, strong wind, zero viz. Genuinely scary experience. Too many people think it's "just a bit of a walk". in the hills.
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Mike Pow wrote:
Passed three guys on the way down this morning, walking up in jeans and trainers with no backpacks and no backup.


Walking (edit: ski of course) in the mountains you sometimes enconter "funny" people - and sometimes you have to help them out. Puzzled
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Hyst wrote:
Mike Pow wrote:
Passed three guys on the way down this morning, walking up in jeans and trainers with no backpacks and no backup.


Walking (edit: ski of course) in the mountains you sometimes enconter "funny" people - and sometimes you have to help them out. Puzzled


Absolutely.

I gave them a full description of the conditions they would encounter.

They carried on up.
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See it all the time.

Ignorance.
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FRIDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2016

Day 4 skiing in the Brecon Beacons National Park for winter 2016-17

WHITE FRIDAY
After a couple of days of near zero visibility, high winds and saturating mist I headed up to the summit of Pen-y-Fan under a clear, starlit sky.

I've never seen so many stars.

Little wonder the Brecon Beacons National Park is one of just five destinations in the world - and the first in Wales - to be accredited by the International Dark Sky Association as an International Dark Sky Reserve.

By the time I got to the summit the 'dragon's breath' mist had rolled in, shrouding Cribyn and the sunrise. But around 45 minutes later the mist cleared to reveal the Beacons in all its glory.

The snow had firmed up since yesterday and I was able to make laps on the East Ridge of Pen-y-Fan in the alpenglow of sunrise






http://youtube.com/v/djSmkFwe8w0


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Sat 6-05-17 8:42; edited 1 time in total
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snowHead snowHead snowHead
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Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Cheers @AndAnotherThing and @Chamcham
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Fantastic! Sounds like hard work though Shocked
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SnoodyMcFlude wrote:
Fantastic! Sounds like hard work though Shocked


Quite a bit of walking for not many turns, but worth it IMHO Smile
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@Mike Pow, Da iawn! snowHead
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Diolch yn fawr Smile
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TUESDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2016

Day 1 skiing in Snowdonia National Park for winter 2016-17

A change of scenery today, and my first turns in Snowdonia National Park.

I'd arranged to meet up with Mark Handford of Snowdonia Adventures (snowdonia-adventures.co.uk) who'd skied the Carneddau Range with our very own AndAnotherThing last season.

Other images from the area can be seen in AndAnotherThing's thread

English & Welsh Skiing - 16/17 (New season name change)
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=92360&start=160


Mark knows the area like the back of his hand and I couldn't have been in better company.

After watching the sun rise over Llyn Ogwen I met Mark in the layby on the A5 opposite the 'Glan Dena' hut.





We then proceeded to follow the path that crisscrossed Afan Lloer to Ffynon Lloer lake sitting below Pen yr Ole Wen













We bootpacked to about 750m and then skinned across to the saddle between Carnedd Dafydd and our final destination Carnedd Llewelyn (1064m)









Mark with the Menai Strait, Anglesey and the Irish Sea beyond





The final push to Carnedd Llewelyn (1064m)





Mark skiing off Carnedd Llewelyn





Heading down to Ffynon Lloer lake

















The King of Spain


http://youtube.com/v/3glQ_EnmY5Y



A brilliant day out with a brilliant host.

If you're looking to get the goods in Snowdonia, get in touch with Mark.

Can't wait to return.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sat 6-05-17 8:48; edited 1 time in total
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Epic...
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Great effort.

Skied down to the Black ladders from carnedd Llewelyn in Easter 1995. Absolutely superb run. Did it twice despite the hour walk back up. Lot fitter in those days.

Some fabulous skiing in Snowdonia if you can get the conditions. Cool
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Sharkymark wrote:
Epic...


Cheers Smile
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Peter S wrote:
Great effort.

Skied down to the Black ladders from carnedd Llewelyn in Easter 1995. Absolutely superb run. Did it twice despite the hour walk back up. Lot fitter in those days.

Some fabulous skiing in Snowdonia if you can get the conditions. Cool


Thanks.

Might have to get the passport ready and head for The Lakes Wink
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Hi all, it's been a few years since I last logged in!!!!!! sorry haha
cheers for a great day Mike,brilliant fun and always nice to meet a snowhead. Great write up about skiing in Wales, we really do have some great places to ski.
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