Bruce is considering entering the Snowdon Skyrace in September & contacted me to help him recce some of the more exposed section of the route, in particular, Crib Goch.
An experienced fell runner and having just done the Scafell Skyrace, he appreciates that Crib Goch is a step up in terms of exposure. Knowing what you are up for is immensely helpful in a race. Alleviating anxiety is also important, so having previous experience on uncertain terrain is most beneficial.
The alternative route
The forecast was for persistent rain with wind speeds of 30mph, gusting 40mph. So the knife-edge was a no-go, but there's always a backup plan.
I met up with Bruce near Cromlech Boulders and discussed our options. He was keen for the alternative plan of an ascent up to Garnedd Ugain via Gyrn Las, then an assessment of conditions to see if Crib Y Ddysgl was an option.
We climbed the ridge quickly, where, despite the drizzle, coats were superfluous until we'd negotiated the small scramble section, after which we were running along the exposed slopes leading to the summit. The forecast had perhaps been a little optimistic. Winds on the summit were consistently blowing at around 35-40mph, driving the rain into any space it could get to. It was not dangerously cold, however poor personal awareness would quickly lead to a problem.
Bruce's pace and composure allowed me to present the option of continuing along Crib Y Ddysgl. We quickly trotted along the ridge, enjoying the respite of the lower wind speeds once off the summit. Despite this, we remained vigilant for chances of gusts. Any effect of the wind was their predominant effect to chill, and, while the ridge itself provided protection at intervals, on the first opportunity for shelter, we paused. I instructed Bruce to don hat, gloves and any extra needed warm items even though at the time he felt comfortable. Our pace would be slower over the technical sections that followed. Before long we arrived at Bwlch Coch, ready to make a quick escape down to Llyn Glas and enjoy the technical trails to the valley below.
A rewarding run in Type II conditions.