In response to the WordPress Daily Post challenge Solitude
…in which we discuss how you can find one of the best views in Snowdonia with a minimum of muscle power and far from the usual madding crowd.
I went on a photo trip to Snowdonia yesterday. I’d met a man on top of a welsh hill on sunday and we were chatting about the distant views to the Snowdonia mountains and the amount of snow we could see. The chat wandered, as it does, and he told me about the Moel Siabod cafe, in Capel Curig. That was enough to give me my starting point for the day. From there I wasn’t sure but once out of the cafe my feet wandered into the wild lands behind. This path will take you over to Trefriw and Llanrwst and the Conwy valley if you let it but I didn’t wander far. I started to tramp through the pathless heather and scramble up the many rocky knolls and hills that I knew would have good views up and down the valley. I wasn’t disappointed, these views must rank among the finest in Wales and with a very modest outlay of effort.
This small area is at the confluence of three of the main valleys of Snowdonia, with another minor valley behind you. The Carneddau start to rise behind you to their heights in the north-east. To your right is the Ogwen valley, with the Glyders on it’s far side and Tryfan’s inimitable rocky crest. Directly in front is Llynau Mymbyr and the Snowdon horseshoe. Clouds permitting, Snowdon summit (Yr Wyddfa) is clearly visible and Lliwedd’s distinctive double summit is easily recognisable. Left again is the very dramatic pointed peak of Moel Siabod and then the westward valley to Betws-y-Coed. Flatter lands and distant views can be seen further to your left, then behind you the rugged hills around Llyns Crafnant and Cowlyd.
I can’t think of anywhere else so easily accessible that gives such a panorama. Because you’re still fairly low, the mountains all around still have their scale and grandeur. The terrain close by is full of heather and rocks. Even though the road is just below, with a pub and two cafes, there’s not another soul in sight. Most people who come to this area come for the three-thousanders, the famous summits, the Snowdon horseshoe, Tryfan’s north ridge, and the many other well known spots. I’m here by mid-day and I need to wait for about four o’clock before the light will get really good (assuming the clouds part). I’m totally alone for most of the afternoon. A couple of times I hear voices in the distance but this is a good place for getting away from it all.
It’s also a very promising spot for both sunrise and sunset. Today I was a little disappointed because the clouds stay low for the sunset and I don’t see what it can do but I think I’ll be back next week to try again.
All shots taken with the Pentax K20D – my Olympus is broken!
I also shot a little video on my phone, that talks you through what you can see in each direction. A new thing for me, and the sound quality isn’t great. Tell me if you don’t like it and I won’t do it again – video here