On December 30th I finally managed to get to go to one of my favourite spots once more.
Once upon a time this was literally a 20 minute drive away, and I never realised just how much of a fantastic thing it was to have the Snowdonia National Park on my doorstep.
Now I'm a grown up living 50+ miles away and have every excuse under the sun to prevent me from getting up at an ungodly hour to revisit.
Well I managed to get out in the period between Xmas and New Year. There had been a real cold spell in the UK and the draw of snow on the hilltops was enough to get me up and out of bed at 05.00am to travel and attempt to capture a sunrise over Llyn Mymbyr with hopefully some still water.
Unfortunately I didn't really get either. The sunrise didn't really happen, and there was enough of a breeze to cause ripples on the water. All was not lost, I had done some research the night before and knew that the weather was going to remain dry, and cold. And there were a few other favourite spots that would hopefully deliver.
Following the A5 towards Bangor took me past the stunning Tryfan, the jagged peaks all covered in snow, and ice, stunning, it is obvious to say that this was well beyond the risk that I was going to take to get a good picture but even driving becomes risky with views like that on either side.
I had figured out that there was a promising area that could be reached quite easily just off the main road, it was about a 15-20 minute walk up a well used path, to reach Llyn Idwal. On the way up there were a few nice viewpoints, and the numerous people walking up with Crampons and Ice Picks made the scene even more impressive.
Details of the route, and trail can be found on the following site, or by searching for Cwm Idwal
Finally, onto one of the most beautiful of locations. Stopping just outside the Ogwen Bank Holiday Park and Country Club a short walk across the Afon Ogwen takes you onto a National Biking/Walking route that snakes up through the valley alongside the massive deposits of slate. After about 10 minutes of walking you are rewarded with one of the most amazing views. Dwarfed by the mountains either side, the valley floor stretches out before you. I really could have spent all day sitting here watching the weather changing, each shift in the clouds giving the valley a completely different look and feel.