|Landscape Group trip to Snowdonia||3 - 5 February 2018|
The latest Landscape Group weekend away saw 19 members and partners head for the mountains of Snowdonia, dressed in their winter finery, based at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis. Mountain weather is always fickle, but the group found sufficient sunshine over the weekend to bring some sparkle to the photography, even if we sometimes had to go to Anglesey to find it.
Many choose various detours on the drive up from Wiltshire, some going via the Elan Valley dams, others the Mawddach Estuary near Barmouth, while some of the early arrivals headed for the ‘lonely tree’ on Llyn Padarn near Llanberis. The weather was at this stage dry and cloudy, though with just occasional shafts of sunlight to add some drama to the scene.
Saturday was forecast to rain all day, but true to the saying that mountains make their own weather, it turned out sunny on Anglesey and there was just an occasional shower on the mainland. Those heading for Anglesey visited the Twr Mawr lighthouse on the tidal island of Llanddwyn, or alternatively the South Stack lighthouse near Holyhead. On the mainland, the dull conditions suited the party who walked around the disused slate quarry at Dinorwic, and marvelled at the ‘barracks’ where quarrymen from outside the area were quartered.
Sunday was altogether different. The forecast suggested clear skies, and so a large group walked up Snowdon’s Miner’s Track before daybreak as far as Llyn Llydaw. Clouds initially covering the summits began to clear as the first cold light of day appeared. There was then a magical 10 minutes or so of quite amazing light, as the first rays of sunshine illuminated first the summit of Snowdon, and then Crib Goch, turning the snow into a kaleidoscope of orange and pink, reflecting in Llyn Llydaw.
The rest of the day was good, with visits made to Llyn Llynnau Mymbyr for the classic view to Snowdon, Llyn Ogwen and Llyn Idwal for views of Tryfan and the Glyders, the Idwal Pinnacles, and then onto Anglesey for shots of Telford’s suspension bridge at sunset, with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Some even found time to go to Conwy Castle for a crossover light shot of the castle over the estuary.
Monday morning couldn’t possibly be as good, although a large group made the steep climb to Llyn Cwmffynnon for reflections of Crib Goch and the Glyders in the still water of the lake. It was then time to head back to the hotel for breakfast before driving home.
This being February, we also had a full itinerary for the long evenings.
Friday saw presentations from Robert Harvey and Richard Watson on the local area, and also from Josh Cooper who lives on the southern edge of the National Park.
Then on Saturday, we had another of Robert’s inimitable quizzes, including the feared but hilarious Just-A-Minute round.
All in all, this was another very successful trip which was enjoyed by all. Our thanks go especially to Robert and Richard for organising the whole trip, booking the hotel, managing payments and offering their guiding services for photographic vantage points. DG
Images © Dave Gray Top: Snowdon Group from Llyn Llynnau Mymbyr, Right: Dinorwic Quarry, Bottom: Golden Light on Snowdon and Crib Goch