By Rhys Wheldon-Roberts – Assistant Area Warden on Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park Authority
Autumn and winter brings a very different feel to Snowdon. By the time November arrives many of the things that add to the hustle and bustle of Spring and Summer have gone: the train and Hafod Eryri (summit building) have closed, most of the mountain birds are either gone or quiet and the number of hill walkers are now much less. However work continues on Snowdon throughout the year and late autumn gives the Wardens and Estate workers a timely window, between the busyness of summer and the snow of winter, to do some much needed repair work to the paths.
November marks the start of our Ground Condition Reporting which report on the winter conditions on Snowdon throughout the winter. The Wardens head up Snowdon to assess the snow conditions with the aim of compiling a simple report, for the public, of what the conditions are like. In addition the the conditions the Wardens will give some basic advice on what sort of equipment the conditions dictate. These reports are compiled 3 to 4 times a week and are submitted to the Met Office to display on their Mountain Forecasts.
The mountains are very different place in winter, the weather conditions and short days combine to make a hike a much more serious undertaking. Taking a look at the forecasts is essential for an enjoyable day in the mountains, as is the appropriate kit.
For information on the latest mountain weather forecasts you can visit: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/mountain-forecasts/snowdonia#?tab=mountainWeather
Or follow the Ground Condition Reports on Twitter: @snowdonweather, @MountainSafe
For guidance on winter walking see: http://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/page.php?id=4261