Maesglasau

Winter Climbing

Maesglasau | ©Graham Desroy

Maesglasau

Winter Climbing

Strange as it might seem, the biggest ice feature in Wales is not to be found up in the mountains, rather it is hidden away at the back of a surprisingly benign looking valley which branches off from the A470 road near Dinas Mawddwy. The classic route here is a grade IV which winds its way up the huge icefall in six wonderful pitches. When it comes into condition word soon spreads; consequently getting the icefall all to yourself is unlikely. This does make for a sociable ascent but the down side is that bombardment from falling ice is probable, especially if there are any inexperienced members in the team above you. So, position your belays carefully (out of the firing line if possible) and keep your eyes peeled for any tumbling chunks. And if you get there first, be careful what you knock down on those below.

Several variations on the guidebook line are possible, all at a similar grade to the original. That being said, sketchy ice may be encountered if you stray to far off to the side from the main icefall.

Conditions:

The base of the fall is relatively low so a proper sustained freeze is required before the route comes fully into condition. As with any icefall, an ascent in thin conditions is not recommended.

Approach:

The walk into the crag from the lay by on the A470 is not too arduous. There is a designated route though – please check the BMC Regional Access Database for full details prior to your visit.


Safety & Access
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Safety & Access

The publisher of this website accepts no responsibility for the way in which readers use the information contained therein. The descriptions and recommendations are for guidance only and must be subject to discriminating judgement by the reader. Advice and training should be sought before utilising any equipment or techniques mentioned within the text or shown in any of the photographic images. Winter climbing is an activity with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in this activity should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.

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North Wales Winter Climbing


Full definitive coverage of winter climbs in the most popular areas, including: Ysgolion Duon (Black Ladders), Llech Ddu, Cwm Glas Bach, Cwm Lloer, Glyder Fach, Clogwyn Du, Cwm Idwal, Craig y Rhaeadr and Clogwyn y Garnedd. Plus updates for other areas.

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