After the last trip here Dean and I had been monitoring the weather to check for the possibility of high-pressure weather fronts moving in and creating the right conditions for cloud free summits!
The 29th March looked ideal, even though the weather reports were erring on the pessimistic side.
We arrived at Ogwen Lodge around 2.30pm which is good time, but the curse of photographers is the fact they keep stopping to take photographs, so by the time we were reaching the wall at Llyn Caseg Fraith we were chasing the sunset.
Oddly at Llyn y Cwm there were two young men and a lady taking photographs whilst holding her upside down, stood in the lake – whatever floats your boat, the shots may have been great!
Dean and I took some shots around Llyn y Cwm and then started the accent to Glyder Fach, however, probably not even a 1/4 of the way up it because abundantly apparent we would not make the summit whilst sunset was ongoing. We decided to descend and pitch our tents for the evening.
After a nice meal cooked on the trusty Trangias, we had a crack at some star photography and the obligatory ‘lit-tent’ shot! I’ve never really tried astro-photography seriously and it is much harder than it looks, I had far more failures than successes.
The weather was good, with no real wind, but it’s never going to be warm at 750m so we retired to our tents and set an alarm for 4.30am.
The alarm at that time is never the greatest moment! A quick change, boots on, headlamp, waterproofs (just in case) and grab the camera and we’re off. Firstly we decide on the stranger decision of scrambling for the Glyder Fach peak by heading straight up from our camping position, rather than returning to the “paths” that lead up from Llyn Caseg Fraith, the climb was not easy, the rocks are loose, as they are on the other routes, but bigger and more precarious. At one point we thought it may have been a mistake and we should turn back, but that risked missing the sunrise – so we carried on and eventually made the summit around 6am, only to find two adventurous young men camping out near to the Glyder Fach summit! Fair play to them and it’s a thought for the future and it saves a climb in the morning and possibly a lie-in!
The weather was tremendous, the clouds were low and the sky clear – the sun broken the horizon and we were treated to a glorious sunrise with clouds reflecting the bright rays, if I had a complaint, and it’s a pernickety one, it was hard to try and get some dynamic range with the sun being so bright!
We manoeuvred around the summit snapping, lapping up the scenery, taking as many shots as we could. Once the sun was well above the horizon we decided it was time to descend.
It was only as we started the descent you realise the toll such treks have on aging knees and the route to Glyder Fach is particularly unforgiving, after a couple of portraits as a reminder of such great weather, we made the less steep portion of the path, passing the climbers at the base of the slopes of Glyder Fach, we eventually made it back to the car. Exhausted, it was an absolute pleasure to put on some more relaxed shoes and get some lovely pastries from the shop at Ogwen Lodge.