This photo shows two climbing pals of mine on Central Trinity gully on Snowdon on 2nd Feb 2012. Jealous? I was when I saw it. While I was stuck at my desk, no doubt writing some dull report, they were out there in lovely Wales, going up this gully in some great looking conditions. They tell me it wasn’t as steep as it looks, but it still looks pretty exhilirating to me. They were buzzing so much when then finished it, over a bottle of single malt they started talking about the North Face of the Eiger! A little optimistic perhaps but it was that type of day.
So if you fancy some winter walking, what technical gear would be useful?
Here are a few ideas if you’re planning to head for the hills while it’s all white. Some of this kit is used by me, some by friends, some has been recommended by others;
Grivel G12 Newmatic Crampons – A classic 12-point crampon that can be adjusted by hand, thus eliminating the need to carry tools which add weight and are often lost. Designed for moderate to mid-grade snow & ice and mixed routes, the front points can also successfully tackle the occasional pitch of steep or vertical ice.
Grivel Munro ice axe – From November to May in Scotland (and all year-round in the Alps) mountain walkers trekking above the snowline appreciate the security afforded by a solidly built ice axe. From cutting steps to arresting a slip, the Munro is a trusty friend.
Mountain Equipment G2 Ultimate Mountain Pants - A great all round mountain pant – ideal for climbing, walking, skiing or any outdoor activity. Designed to be worn all day. The GORE Windstopper softshell fabric offers enough protection for all but the wettest of weather and they are the perfect choice for long days in the mountains.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should only head out once you have all the proper gear, have suitable experience and skills, and the proper provisions and relevant emergency equipment.
The mountains in Winter are no time for mucking around, so always make sure you know what you are doing and that you have told someone exactly what you are planning and where you are going. Start your education here.