18 September 2014

Snowdonia with snow

22 March 2014 - Ogwen Valley, Snowdonia
Since we first tackled the Crinkle Crags in November 2005, my good friend Big Rich and I have enjoyed a couple of hikes per year in the mountains and hills of the Lake District, Peak District and Snowdonia. I look forward immensely to them and despite the years several things have remained constant. In addition to the pleasure of each others company (hmmm!), I still wear the same hiking boots and carry the same rucksack (yes I'm too tight to buy new ones), Rich will always wear shorts (even in artic temperatures) and we will always have sh!t weather.
Another constant is that I've always carried a camera, a 4mp compact Canon A80 back in 2005 to more recently, as my interest in photography has grown, a DSLR and lenses. As a non-photographer Big Rich has always shown patience by waiting while I click away (any excuse for a breather), finding me a waterfall or two (I love them!) and of course being the subject of some of my pictures. (As my photography has improved I've come to learn that some of the best landscape / mountain shots contain people to give a sense of scale).
In September 2013 we had a good walk up the Carneddau range - Carnedd Dafydd (1044 m) and Carnedd Llewelyn (1064 m). However, this particular walk in March 2014 was our first attempt to tackle the nearby Glyderau group of mountains in Snowdonia, North Wales. We have faced adverse weather before; from almighty hail, rain, snow and ice to wind so strong it stopped the big man in his tracks! However only once before have we abandoned a walk. This was to be our 2nd time.
The wind was strong from the get go but at the base of Y Garn we found it was more sheltered and started our ascent. However about 2/3 of the way up it started to snow, the clouds were closing in and it was getting icy. Soon the tops were all covered in snow and any hope of a view was gone. The wind also became fierce. In days gone by we would have shrugged it off and carried on, neither wanting to be the one to admit defeat! However, we are now both fathers and while only slightly more sensible than 10 years ago, common sense prevailed.
It proved a wise choice as back at Llyn Y Cwn the heavens opened bringing rain, hail and snow. The camera got put away and we got a good soaking at the hands of mother nature. We might as well have been swimming in the tarn! Instead we decided to walk around it hoping for it to clear before calling it a day and starting our long journey home!
Below: The snowy peaks of Y Garn, Glyder Fawr, Glyder Fach and out of picture to the left/behind is Tryfan. At their base, just over the rise, is Llyn Y Cwn, a nice tarn. At this point all we faced was a bitter and powerful wind...  
Below: Llyn Y Cwn
Below: Looking back towards the Ogwen Valley. Tryfan on the right.
Below: Llyn Y Cwn and the Glyders.
Below: The mountain direct centre is Tryfan (3010 feet). The lake on the left is Llyn Idwal and the one on the right is Llyn Y Cwn. The Glyders are to the right of Tryfan.
Below: Shortly before our descent