Sunday, January 17, 2010

A thaw comes to north Wales

Most of the snow and ice has now dissapeared from Manchester but my apetite for fun in the snow is still as healthy as ever. My brother Chris and I have been for a spot of wintry walking in the Carneddau hills of northern Snowdonia.

The quick ascent of Pen yr Ole Wen brought us stunning views across the Ogwen Valley. The strange morning light refracted through the low cloud to colour snow patches from pinks and oranges to different shades of blue. The rest of the ascent was a chore as my hill fitness is in great need of improvement right now.

From the summit of Pen yr Ole Wen we stumbled into a cold icy cloud in search of Carnedd Dafydd. After an uphill slog over icy stones and through deep snow drifts we arrived at the summit and checked in at the shelter. It was a good opportunity to check the map but we also made time for a well earned snack.

We took the gentler slopes that lead back to the Ogwen Valley via Cwm Lloer. The snow conditions allowed us to simply sit back, relax and enjoy the view whilst descending at a fair rate of knots.

All too soon we were leaving the melting snows behind and heading back into the valley and mentally preparing for the journey home.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

At home on the piste

During this last couple of snowy weeks it has been like living in a different country. The recent cold snap has delivered more snow than I can remember. The journey to work has taken longer and much more effort so when the weekend arrived with blue skies and sunny weather it was time to make the best of the conditions.

Plenty of deep powdery snow meant that Kirstine and I could ski nordic style right from the garden into the wide open spaces of the Mersey Valley.

Unfortunately, our afternoon of fun was cut short when Kirsine's boots started to come apart like comedy clown shoes. We headed home to study shoe repair manuals over steaming mugs of hot chocolate.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Don't eat yellow snow

Huge and characterful snowmen and imaginative snow sculptures have sprung up everywhere in the lest few days.

This snow toilet certainly made me flushed with excitement. There is even a mini chocolate bar floating in the pan waiting to be dispatched!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

...on a cold an frosty morning!

The main roads in Manchester have provided plenty of challenges for people trying to get  to work. Snow and ice have closed most schools and left the emergency services heavily stretched. At times bus services have been suspended. Driving is difficult, walking any distance is tricky and this is no weather for cycling to work. So just how do you get to work on a day like this like this?

I have been making good use of the current conditions and remembering the old nursery rhyme: "This is the way we go to work on a cold and frosty morning!"

Gath'ring winter fu-u-el

Its official! This is the most prolonged cold snap in the las 30 years. It seems a long time since the first snow affected transport in Manchester back in late December.

Christmas and New Year came and went with many people having to make difficult choices to change their plans for the festive season. A few of us managed to gather up a few logs and huddle round a fire in the back garden. We donned warm hats and big coats for a festive barbeque in the snow with mulled wine and German sausages.

And still the snow comes...