Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A long cold winter?

What will this winter be like? A much discussed question during the autumn months. Also one which is very difficult to answer. We seem to have passed this years Northern Hemisphere snow and ice cover minimum. As shown in the first figure, this seems to have happened around the end of August.

If we have a look at yesterdays snow cover we can see that already the winter snows have started to appear in Alaska and North East Siberia. If we compare with the snow cover on the same date in 2010 and 2009, we can see that this year we are already a fair bit ahead. There seems to be some evidence to suggest that early snow cover is more likely to lead to Northern Blocking, and thus a cold winter for Britain. Winter is obviously a long way off, and a lot can change between now and then, but things seem to have got off to good start.

Posted Image
12th September 2011

Posted Image
12th September 2010

Posted Image
12th September 2009

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A few little slate adventures.

Accessing the new slate routes in Twll Mawr through the tunnels.

I have been spending a bit of time in the slate quarries recently, enjoying the atmosphere of the place, and getting back into the unique style of climbing found here. I have done a couple of routes that I have wanted to do for a while such as Waves of Inspiration (a good long and slightly runout E5) and True Clip (F7b+, but somewhat more technical than your average route of that grade).

Nick Bullock wishing he was just a wee bit more flexible for the crux of Supermassive Black Hole (F7a)

Back in July a couple of new multipitch sports routes were added to Twll Mawr (more information and topo). I recently did these and found them fun and unusual routes in an area of the quarries I had not climbed in before. I did have an exciting moment on the harder of the routes (Black Hole Sun F7a+) when I pulled off a hold, and sent a foot long dagger of slate crashing down two pitches to the base of the crag.

Nick still trying to work crux of Supermassive Black Hole.