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Thursday 31 December 2009


Christmas came and went and the rain returned to the Valleys washing all the goodness away :(


Went up this afternon and skied from the top of Corn Du half way back to the car park. Then hiked back up to the Cefn Crew ridge line and skied to within about 500m of the river.


Bolierplate, dust on crust, dry packed powder on a solid base, breakable crust and frozen tussocks. It was FAST.


The snow wasn't as good as the pre-Christmas falls, but more extensive.


But no visibility, hence no pics.

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Originally Posted By: tripler
Originally Posted By: MikePow
Bolierplate, dust on crust, dry packed powder on a solid base, breakable crust and frozen tussocks.

What does packed powder mean?

Where the wind has compacted the new snow to a solid layer that is still chalky on top
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Thanks all.



Saturday 02 January 2010



Beautiful morning in Aberdare. 5-10 cm of dry powder on the ground. Cold and sunny. Mixed cloud rolling in once in a while.


Glorious day in the Beacons. Hundreds of people out in the park enjoying the snow and the sunshine. Mostly families sledding near the car park and walkers. Saw a few people boarding and bumped into Sharkymark from the Snowheads forum.


The lines off Pen-y-Fan into Cwm Llwch were fabulous. Around 60-100cm depth that had firmed up, covered by 5-10cm of packed powder. Made for fast, creamy, consistent turns.


With views to die for.


The wind was really smoothing things out.



Cribyn from Pen-y-Fan





Unknown rider dropping off Pen-y-Fan into Cwm Lwch





Unknown rider dropping off Pen-y-Fan into Cwm Lwch





Cwm Sere and Brecon from Pen-y-Fan





Sharkymark from Snowheads dropping off Pen-y-Fan into Cwm Lwch





Sharkymark from Snowheads dropping off Pen-y-Fan into Cwm Lwch





Sharkymark from Snowheads in Cwm Lwch





Said farewell to Sharkymark and took another run into Cwm Llwch. As I was hiking back out of the bowl, the sunset delivered.



The slopes of Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du at sunset





Skied all the way back to the bridge for the first time this winter to the sound of 'breaking chandeliers' as I skied through the frozen tussocks and grass.



Frozen tussocks on the home run at sunset





Cefn Crew at sunset



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Something very very special about that place.


The light and the colour. I don't know if you were using filters (very subtle and creative especially on the first posts), and something about the air ... I always wanted to take fotos that you can "feel the air" and some of these have that feel.

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Originally Posted By: muikabochi
What conditions do you use a polarise, Mike?

Got it on permanently. It's a B&W circular so I can adjust it to offer nothing or maximum. Also acts as my lens protector smile
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Sunday 03 January 2010


After yesterday's glorious turns and colours, I set off in the dark hoping for sunrise and moonset off Pen-y-Fan.


Both of these events happened, I just didn't see them.


It was blowing a gale up there, with spindrift everywhere and about 10m visibility. Significant wind chill too.


The wind had blown the 5cm of fresh snow about and the turns into Cwm Llwch were better than yesterday.


Likewise the run back to the car park.


By the time I'd packed up and was driving back home via Penderyn the clouds dispersed and the sun came out.


Such is life!


There are wild ponies grazing all over the Beacons. This one was very accomodating.



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Thanks smile



Monday 04 to Wednesday 06 January 2010


Bitterly cold daytime and nighttime temperatures made for clear sunrises and moon sets on Monday and Tuesday.


The Darren ridge above Bwllfa Dare and the Dare Valley Country Park in Aberdare





The Darren ridge above the miners' cottages in Bwllfa Dare (the far right of the ridge is where I skied on the 6th)





Woke to 15 cm outside my back door on Wednesday morning, most probably double that in the Beacons. With more on the way smile


All the roads into the Beacons were closed, so decided to make turns closer to home skiing The Darren, above Bwllfa Dare and the Dare Valley Country Park in Aberdare.


Took about an hour to walk from home to dropping in.


Snowing intermittently and cloudy, but great to be out on the local hills with skis.


Where the wind had done its magic it was knee deep, dry powder.


A gully off the Darren that would be superb with a tad more snow wink





Likewise this copse





When it was good it was very, very good smile and when it was bad it was horrid sadface


Still it's not every day you can walk to and from skiing, especially in Wales.


When the roads open, the Beacons should be fabulous.

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Thursday 07 January 2010


Today in the Brecon Beacons was as good as it gets. Anywhere.


Alpine start. Cold, dry temps. Started off at -11 C, warmed to -3 C


The sun took some time burning through the mist, resulting in lunar landscapes.


Upper Neuadd Reservoir in the mist





Cribyn in the mist





But when it did burn through, blue skies and amazing views, even as far as the ocean which was illuminated all morning.


Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog, Corn Du and the NE face of Pen-y-Fan from Cribyn summit plateau





Close up detail of the prize - the NE face of Pen-y-Fan





Packed powder all over and light, dry powder stashes. Some up to knee deep.


Solitary signature on Cribyn





Skied some new lines for me off Cribyn and Pen-y-Fan. Dropped into Cwm Sere off Cribyn and then bootpacked up one of the spines lookers left of the main NE face spine - 'the prize'. Didn't manage to bootpack to the top - rock and iced out - but still got some great turns either side of the spine skiers right of the bootpack. There was some sloughing, but very manageable.


Looking down at the bootpack and line on the NE face of Pen-y-Fan. Nant Sere river at the bottom and the slopes of Bryn Teg ridgeline on the flanks of Cribyn above the frozen river bed





The run back to the car park was fast, smooth and creamy under cobalt skies.


The snow's not going anywhere and more in the forecast.


Happy days smile

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