Snowdon under a blanket

Working at the computer for any length of time is currently giving me muscular problems, hence why I haven’t been posting much. Here’s a shot from yesterday that I like. I did a round of Snowdon, up the Rhyd Ddu path and down the Snowdon Ranger path. As usual, Snowdon itself was under a thick blanket of cloud. This isn’t just bad luck, as Snowdon usually makes its own clouds even if everywhere else is clear.

Anyway, this is a shot looking north-west from the ridge of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu towards Moel Cynghorion and Y Garn. This also marks the return of my lovely little Olympus OMD-EM10, for which I’ve finally managed to save up and buy a replacement lens. I’m now convinced that the picture quality from the Olympus is better than from my Pentax so I’m really happy to have it back.

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Penllech Beach wild camp – part 1

The northern coast of the Lleyn peninsula in North Wales is a wild and (relatively) quiet place. It’s well away from the tourist hot-spots and difficult to find down winding single track roads without any signposts to help. The coastal scenery is very beautiful, with rocky headlands and sandy beaches and narrow coves. It bears comparison with much of the north Cornish coast.

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I’ve done wild camping trips to this area before, staying on the headland above Porth Or, or Whistling Sands as it’s known. I already knew that beach but this time wanted to find somewhere new. I arrived early to explore up and down the coast, trying to find the most promising photogenically-interesting beach. I specifically wanted a combination of sand with interesting rock textures.

The beach was practically deserted when I got there and by about six o’clock it was completely empty. I would have liked bigger waves and some more interesting clouds to add more interest to the shots but nature doesn’t always provide.

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As the sun went down colour started to arrive and I saw more and more textures in the rocks and ripples in the sand. It’s always worth staying around for fifteen minutes or so after the sun has gone below the horizon because you can get some really interesting colours then.

I found a lovely spot in the grass above the beach to spread my bivvy bag. It was an unusual treat to be warm and still enough to sleep with my head out of the bag. Alarm set for 4:10 am, shots of the sunrise will appear in part 2.

Nantlle Ridge overnight – part 1

Drive from Caernarfon towards Beddgelert on the A4085, past Llyn Cwellyn, and you arrive at Rhyd Ddu. It’s a hamlet with pub and cafe and is the starting point for one of the paths up to Snowdon from the south-west flank.

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The path along the Nantlle Ridge. The path sticks to the ridge crest with vertical drops on the right to the sharp summit of Mynydd Drws-y-coed and continues towards the right edge of the shot. In the distance on the left is Moel Hebog.

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Ullswater Overnight part 1

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Glenridding from Silver Crag. The Helvellyn range is the far sky line.

A few weeks ago, my first (successful) overnight wild camp of the year had me in Ullswater on one of the hottest days so far. I parked in the free car park near Brotherswater intending to get to the summit of Place Fell for my camp site. I’d miscalculated twice. First, it’s quite a trek from Brotherswater to Place Fell with a heavy bag. And second, did I mention it was the hottest day of the year? I couldn’t walk any faster than a languid stroll. Continue reading