Winter Hill Walking Skills and Tips Rundown

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Winter’s upon us and walking the hills at this time of year is a totally different proposition to the summer. Here’s a run down of our Mud and Routes Winter Skill Posts to get you started.

You’ll need to start by knowing exactly what to take with you, so here’s our Winter Gear kit list to get you started. If you already walk in all weathers, then chances are you’ll have most of the kit bar a few winter essentials. There’s a bit of an essay here about winter kit, as well as a few more hints and tips on keeping safe in winter.

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You’ve got the gear, it’s important to know how to use is. We all know how to put our jackets and stuff on, but are all hill-goers savvy when it comes to Layering their clothing effectively? One look at the sweating masses in Pen-y-pass suggests not! Set off cool, as you’ll soon warm up.

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Now there’s the matter of the technical kit. Confronted with the straps on a pair of crampons, it’s not always obvious how you get them to stay on your boots so it’s essential to know how to attach crampons to your boots. A rather important nugget of information if you want to remain upright. Another is how to walk properly in crampons once you’ve got them attached.

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If you do happen to slip, then knowing how to properly perform an ice axe arrest is an essential skill. To make sure it’s there when you need it, make sure you manage to attach your ice axe properly to your pack!

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Finally, for those of you who want to extend the camping season into the winter months, you can still wild camp. It’s a lot of fun, if a bit on the chilly side! Here’s our guide to Winter Wild Camping part one and part two. You’ll need to be comfortable camping in all weathers, with a tent and sleeping bag that’s up to the job. Try camping out on a camp site first, and be highly suspicious of ‘extreme usage’ temperatures. Those extreme ratings are often the temperature at which you’d survive, and to be taken with a pinch of salt.

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The really adventurous will spurn the tent however, and chose to take a shovel to dig themselves a snow hole. It’s hard work, but worth it. You’ll just be hard pressed to construct one in Snowdonia, as there’s never enough snow. This was our attempt a few years back, which was far too small to do much more than pose in. Lets hope for ideal conditions this year.

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Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader.
Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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