Bwlch Tryfan, 19th January 2016

This was Joy’s last hurrah before going back to full time work so we made the effort to get to the mountains and find some snow.

We did a simple route that I thought we could do quickly and then extend if we had time to spare, though I over-estimated our speed. We did a round of Tryfan, going up to Bwlch Tryfan from the Cwm Bochlwyd side and back again down Cwm Tryfan.

From the road the path is almost immediately rough scrambling and very wet but with glorious weather. Dazzling snows on the summits, plenty of colour low down, very little wind. It started to cloud over as we approached the pass but still good weather.

Snow conditions up to the pass were easy but the snow was much deeper on the south side with some exciting traverses across steep slopes. No footpaths were visible under the snow so we relied on map and compass, backed up by footprints. These only mean someone else went this way, not that they got where they were going. This proved true as we dropped further down into the valley. We followed the map and compass and used our mountain sense to find a sensible way but it was very slow going along rough boggy ground, still under snow.

Eventually I reckoned I could predict where the proper path was so I took a look and hey presto! there it was. This speeded us up a little but it was still a five hour round trip back to the car.

Ambleside to Troutbeck, 17th January 2016

Joy and I made the journey to Ambleside in hopes of catching the snow at its best and we weren’t disappointed. We did the very popular walk to Troutbeck via Wansfell Pike and return via Skelghyll Wood.

There was a heavy overcast but otherwise good weather to start, it made good subdued light for photography.

We were soon glad we had taken our very useful mini-spikes and walking poles. The popular track was steep and iced up. Plenty of people were spending a lot of time falling over.

Views from the ascent and the summit were beautiful and I took plenty of shots. Glad I did as when we arrived at Troutbeck it started sleeting and didn’t really stop until we got back to Ambleside. We’d been very slow on the way over so the sleet encouraged a much quicker return. Views were much curtailed, with the cloud now down quite thickly.

All in all we took five hours for a route that should have taken about three and a half.

Llyn Idwal and surprise snow

The first time I’ve been in the mountains for a few months and this time it’s Snowdonia, which is now nearer to me than the Lake District. Llyn Ogwen is very easy to get to and you can walk from there up to Llyn Idwal, in it’s spectacular cirque, in about fifteen minutes.

The forecast was not good but it was sunny when I arrived so I hurried on up while the light lasted. I’d had a surprise during the drive down, as from quite some distance away I’d seen the tops of very snowy mountains. I’d assumed, with all the mild weather, there’d be no snow. Quite the opposite, a seriously heavy amount from about 500 metres upwards.

The weather closed in quickly, which you can see in the increasingly dark skies as the pictures progress. Some wonderful colours though. I’d been talking about how my local neighbourhood has been inspiring black and white photography but Snowdonia is definitely a colour destination.

All pictures taken with my now favourite camera the Olympus OMD-EM10.

Cheshire Grey

Since I started photography I’ve been used to colourful winters. I’ve spent all of them in the pennines, either in the Yorkshire Dales or Calderdale. Even when the trees are bare there’s a lot of colour around, in the heather, the bracken, the gritstone, the fallen leaves. Now I’ve moved to Cheshire and it’s all shades of grey. Hence why all my recent shots have been in black and white. I think I’ve never shot so much black and white. I’m enjoying it, though I’d love to get out into the mountains for a sunset again (any day now, I keep promising). Here’s a couple more moody monochromes.

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WordPress Daily Photo Challenge – Circle

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Circle.”

Walking home on Christmas Eve we saw the moon in the centre of what seemed like a perfectly round hole in the clouds. It turned out to be one of these. I’ve never seen one before but it seemed fairly obvious that it must be something like a rainbow type of effect. Very atmospheric. As I didn’t have a tripod or any way of guessing good exposure I just pointed and shot with my trusty Olympus OMD-EM10 and it did a pretty good job of getting enough details, though not surprisingly the very bright moon is totally without detail.