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Cheers all.



Friday 15 January through to Friday 22 January 2010


After what is being called the worst winter in Wales for 30 years, a return to normality in Derek Brockway's daily weather bulletins.


RAIN angry


The past 8 days has seen one sunny day; two cloudy, damp days; one day of rain, sleet and snow leaving a dusting on the hills and 5-10cm in the Beacons; and four days of torrential rain that washed away all but the deepest and most sheltered snowpack high up in the Beacons.


Since 01 December 2009 we've had 33 days of precipitation (12 days with snow and 21 days with rain) out of a total of 53 days.


If this part of Wales had consistent sub zero temperatures throughout the winter months then it would be akin to my most recent stomping ground, Hokkaido. The precipitation patterns are so similar.


I for one will rejoice when the gulf stream packs in.


There's more than a season's worth of lines all over the Park, the weather just has to cooperate.


What does the rest of the winter have in store for us?


I'd like to put lines on Cribyn, Fan-y-Big and the Carmarthen Fans in the Black Mountain.


Cwm Llwch, the glacial cirque below Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan translates to 'Powder Valley' in English and it would be great to get face shots high above Brecon.


And I would love Round 2 on the NE face of Pen-y-Fan, this time under stellar conditions. The spines and flutes in Cwm Sere cirque could be fun with a metre or two plastered into all the cracks and fissures wink


"People say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one" smile

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Tuesday 02 February 2010


Fresh snow over the weekend, but not enough to play. Dry, light powder - 'The wrong kind of snow' (which will make sense to the Brits reading this).


Pissing down and warmer today , and washed it all away. Might be luckier next week.


In the meantime some ski & snowboard action from Snowdonia biggrin



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Hey Mike - Snaked by a snowboarder eh' ouch !


"Before I could answer, he told me that a snowboarder had already ridden down.In that moment I was excited knowing that someone had made turns and deflated knowing that they'd beaten me to it."


Awesome thread love the photography....so sweet !


Chin up boy o

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sunday 21 February 2010


Got back from my Bavarian jaunt last night and woke to 5cm of wet snow at the back door in Aberdare.


Storey Arms web cam is looking very wintery.




Going to try to get up tomorrow.


Warmer temps and rain forecast from Tuesday afternoon.


Very small window this one.

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Snow fell on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Beacons to reveal extensive coverage under sunny skies on Sunday.


Sharkymark from the snowheads forum compared Sunday's turns with those made in early January as


"snow not as deep (grass was anything from 3in to 18in down) but softer and less windblown. The snow was fantastic and it was probably in the best condition I've seen it there. There was little wind so there was none of the usual windblown slab on the escarpment between Corn Du and Pen-Y-Fan."


Here for pics (need to scroll down)






Set off from Aberdare at 3pm and was hiking up from the toilets car park at 3:30. Passed a couple and their dog early on and then saw no one until I reached the summit of Pen-y-Fan at 4:30.


Half-way up the wind started to howl and the cloud descended. The light, dry powder was being blown in all directions and I was grateful for goggles to combat the spindrift.


Corn Du from the saddle between Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan





Cwm Llwch from the saddle between Corn Du and Pen-y-Fan





The snowline didn't extend down to the town of Brecon as it had in mid-January, but the contrast between snow and green fields reminded me of the club fields above the Canterbury Plains in NZ.


Cribyn and Cwm Sere from the summit plateau of Pen-y-Fan





I met Scott, a chef at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, on the summit plateau of Pen-y-Fan. He was spending the night up high under canvas.


Scott on the summit plateau of Pen-y-Fan with Cribyn over his shoulder





Yours truly on the summit plateau of Pen-y-Fan with Cribyn over my shoulder





Set off from Pen-y-Fan and was able to ski all the way back to the toilets car park (with a bit of poling) without clicking out.


As I descended the wind dropped and the cloud cover lifted to reveal Cefn Crew and Fan Fawr





As I was getting close to the bridge I skied past a herd of wild mountain ponies grazing on the grasses poking through the snow cover.


They were spooked a little and then started chasing me down to the river. Very used to people and this one let me get pretty close.





Homeward bound





Great to be back in the Beacons.





Snowed most of today in Aberdare and at road level and above in the Beacons.


Started lashing it down with rain in Aberdare at 8ish, drizzling now at day's end.


Tomorrow's turns in the Beacons could be fantastic if the freezing level hasn't climbed above 300m.

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Unable to make it over today, but if the weather and temps were anything like Aberdare then drizzle was the order of the day from noon onwards.


Hope someone got out early in the am.






Torrential rain overnight in Aberdare washed practically everything off the local hills.


Drove over to the Beacons this morning, and it wasn't a pretty sight.


There's a reason this glacial cirque is called Cwm Llwch - Powder Valley. Most of what is left in the Beacons is here. Pen-y-Fan to the left and Corn Du to the right





Looking up to the Cefn Crew ridge line above the Toilets car park. Was able to ski back to the bridge Monday afternoon.





I can't stand the fxxxxxg rain.

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Happy St David's Day to one and all.


All the goodness has been washed / melted away. Again.


Glorious morning here in Aberdare. Light frost, sunshine and not a cloud in the sky.


Things look promising for the end of the week:


Met Office: Brecon Beacons






Mostly cloudy. Outbreaks of rain, with snow at higher levels, is likely to spread from the west during the day, with patches of hill fog developing, and with moderate visibility beneath. Moderate to fresh winds from the southeast and freezing levels around the peaks.




Remaining cloudy, with outbreaks of rain at times. This will again fall as sleet or snow over the higher levels. Visibility is likely to be moderate or poor with winds strengthening from the northeast. The freezing level is expected to lower to around 700 metres.




After some bright or sunny spells an area of rain, sleet and hill snow may spread from the north later, with some significant snow accumulations possible, particularly over the peaks and summits. Winds should strengthen from the northeast, bringing lower temperatures and a risk of severe wind chill. The freezing level is expected to be only around 500 - 600 metres.




Could be the 5th consecutive month of turns in the Beacons this winter smile

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  • 3 weeks later...



Cold and dry for the most part with a recent period of rain.


7 day window left to record 5 consecutive months of turns in The Beacons, and The Oracle has spoken smile




Well it's turned milder recently, the daffodils are blooming, but after a very dry start spring has sprung a leak!


The gardens and allotments have all had a good watering and there is more rain on the way this week but with winds blowing from the south, temperatures will be above average in most places, especially on the North Wales coast.


Mind you, something tells me we haven't seen the last of winter yet and there is a hint that it may turn colder next week.


Low pressure will be bringing rain and strong winds, and as temperatures drop I wouldn't rule out some sleet and snow!



Fingers, legs and eyes crossed smile

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