HILL, DALES AND MOUNTAIN HIKING

18th February 2010: Moelwyn Mawr via SW Ridge

Start/Finish: Croesor

Highest point: Summit of Moelwyn Mawr, 770m

Distance: circa 8 kms

Weather: Cold, very low visibility on mountain

Vertical altitude gain: 700m

Time: 5hrs 30 mins


Photo of Moelwyn Mawr and Moelwyn Bach from near Prenteg
18th February was cold and dull when I walked up the South West Ridge of the summit of Moelwyn Mawr, (mountain to the left). A couple of days later there was a little bit more snow on the mountain. And superb visibility when viewed from near Prenteg!

Photo of Moelwyn Mawr from near Prenteg
The route I took up the SW ridge of Moelwyn Mawr. Maybe not spot on lower down, before I got to the mountain itself.

Photo of Moelwyn Mawr from near Prenteg
The closer view of Moelwyn Mawr without my route marked on it.

Photo taken on walk up Moewlyn Mawr South West Ridge
Back to 18th February. Before the visibiltity really closed in higher up!

Photo taken on walk up Moewlyn Mawr South West Ridge
A quick look to the West as the grade got steeper.

Photo taken on walk up Moewlyn Mawr South West Ridge
The ridge ahead of me. Getting closer to the cloud base now.

Photo taken on walk up Moewlyn Mawr South West Ridge
Very steep now, and I had to zig zag my way up a snow field that I soon encountered. The "path" up was
covered in snow, and there were no footprints to follow. So I had to choose my own route. Good fun!

Photo taken on walk up Moewlyn Mawr South West Ridge
A look back at the way I had come.

Photo taken on walk up Moewlyn Mawr South West Ridge
Into very poor visibility as I got onto the narrower parts of the ridge at the top of the snow field
that I'd had to zig zag across to get up.

Photo taken on walk up Moewlyn Mawr South West Ridge
Visibility still not good.

Photo taken on walk up Moewlyn Mawr South West Ridge
But at least I could see the summit Trig Point, where there were some footprints heading into the gloom. I followed them down for a while, but they were not going via Croesor Quarry, my planned descent route. And in visibility as low as 10 to 15 feet I decided the only sensible option was to climb back up to the summit and go back down the way I had come up!

Photo taken on walk up Moewlyn Mawr South West Ridge
A bit steep to the left. But I'd been on crampons for a while now. And my 90cm ice axe was doing it's stuff nicely.

Photo taken on walk up Moewlyn Mawr South West Ridge
Down off the ridge, and just a gentle downhill stroll now back to the small car park in Croesor.