Very snowy Meirionnydd recce

Text from Bill Williamson late Thurs eve: Lots of snow here Rob, may need a rethink on distance. Well a bit late to cancel and anyway he was there already. Luckily David Waide managed to get hold of the latest spec Range Rover from work...Sat a.m. met up with David, Andy Davies, Carwyn Phillips and Bill. Original plan was to do Sec 4b (S from the minor road), over Dduallt - Rhobell Fawr to check on previous pruning efforts. But said minor road was 4x4 territory and we only had one of those and didn't fancy the long road run back to retrieve it, so settled for Sec 5 (Arans) and 6 (Dyfi Forest). Not great reccying weather with snow knee-deep on the high Arans and 10m vis, but good fun and (once out of the cloud) very scenic. Wondered afterwards about descending NW off Gwaun y Llwyni to pick up the main path, rather than the more direct slower line W - something for the next recce.With time in hand we did the longer version of Sec 6, straight up via the 509m top to Maen Du / Maesglase, the steep climb made more brutal than usual by slippery fresh snow (and my lack of serviceable studs). Nothing much to report except for the briefly brutal Waun-Oer ascent where we hit on the cunning wheeze of hauling ourselves up using the fence (not a new idea, going by the shape of the fence). Off Mynydd Ceiswyn we took a fairly direct beeline for the final descent gully - quite fast although not sure I'd want to take that tussocky line in anger, in the dark. We were roughly on schedule time, the slow snowy running being balanced by the fact that we hadn't been running for 20 hours.Sun a.m. there was more fresh snow. Bill not wanting to push his luck headed for home and Carwyn was away to Paddy Buckley land. The Mercia contingent tackled the central Rhinog, taking the minor road into Graigddu-isaf (again 4x4 territory; unsurprisingly we had the car park to ourselves). We picked our way up Rhinog Fach, again in poor vis and thick snow, then followed the Meiri route thru to Craig Wion. The Rh Fach descent is quite a bit easier in snow. The Rh Fawr ascent was pretty slow, with a bit of backtracking to "nail" the route - quite useful. The Rh Fawr descent was excellent fun, with steep rock and heather barely distinguishable under the snow.
Some pics (the snowy ones at the end of the set): http://www.flickr.com/photos/8589216...7614316201747/