These are a few more aerial photos that I have taken recently whilst flying to various destinations. I am never certain why people request an aisle seat when the best entertainment is often looking out of the window. What I have noticed though is that more and more you are requested to lower the window blinds when in flight. At least on British Airways you are told to have them open on take off and landing.
I booked a window seat on a flight towards the end of last year. I settled into my seat and prepared for some great views, camera at the ready. To my amazement a passenger in the row behind reached over my seat and closed the window blind next to where I was sitting. I expressed my disquiet, opened the window blind and thankfully enjoyed some great views. Sadly accompanied by some grumbling from behind. Below are a few more aerial photos taken, mainly during in the last 12 months.
Here is another selection of old pictures, illustrating some of the places that we have been paddling over the years. It feels like it is time to pay a visit to some of these places again, its been nearly 40 years since I paddled some of these trips.
My Salewa adjustable crampons, which had seen service since 1976, were finally replaced today as I purchased a lovely pair of yellow crampons from the Cotswold Store in Betws Y Coed, North Wales. It was clear that there was snow on the mountains but the weather forecast was just abysmal. It was one of those days when an afternoon with a good book by the fire was preferable to struggling up a wind blasted Welsh mountain side.
Amazingly though the torrential rain, which had been a pouring down for the last couple of hours, stopped as I walked out of the shop and so the reasons for not going on the hill were rapidly disappearing.
I decided to follow the path into Cwm Tryfan, hoping that I would get some shelter from the wind and if at any time the conditions deteriorated too much it would be relatively easy to retrace my steps. As it turned out I had an interesting few hours and didn’t see anybody else all the time I was walking.
Sadly though I didn’t get to use the new crampons.
Leaving the A5, conditions were really wet under foot but it was clear that there was snow higher up.
The east face of Tryfan, disappearing into the cloud.
Looking up towards Glyder Fach
I headed up this slope to Bwlch Tryfan. On the way up I has considered crossing the col and heading back to the car by Cwm Bochlwyd but the gusts of wind were so strong I preferred the shelter of my ascent route.
Just starting the descent, back into the relative quiet of Cwm Tryfan, trying to seek some shelter from the strongest gusts of wind.
It almost appeared as if there was some sunshine in the Ogwen Valley but it had certainly disappeared by the time I got there. Replaced by heavy rain and a howling wind. It was just past this point that I was blown off my feet by a particularly strong gust. Time for coffee and cake in Capel Curig.
Last week we managed to spend a few days wandering around the mountains of Snowdonia, making a really pleasant change from being out on the sea, off Jersey. I lived in North Wales for a few years towards the end of the 1970’s, working in a number of outdoor centres and spending every available day meandering around the hills, from Cader Idris in the south to the Carneddau in the north.
We passed a relaxing day heading up Cnicht from the Gwynant Valley, with views stretching from the coast off Porthmadog to the crags on the south side of the Glyders.
Our second day involved a rising traverse from Cwm Idwal to the summit of Foel Goch, a mountain I have largely ignored in the past, followed by a reasonably steep climb to the snowy summit of Y Garn. In retrospect snowy is too generous a term, it was more like closely compacted ice pellets. Lunch sheltering in the lee of the summit cairn was as cold a meal break I can remember for years. It wasn’t a place to sit and savour the gastronomic delights purchased in Capel Curig. As we headed down via the Devil’s Kitchen I couldn’t help but remember a bitterly cold January day in 1979 when all of the streams were frozen and we had a really memorable day ice climbing.
For the final day, there was only one real option, Tryfan by Heather Terrace. I have lost count the number of times I have reached the summit of Tryfan, it must be in excess of 50 times, but each time it just re-inforces my belief that Tryfan is the finest mountain to be found almost anywhere.
Reading the walking magazines one gains an impression that British mountains are so crowded that it is almost impossible to find space for your feet. In these 3 days we saw 4 people and only one was close enough to speak to. So the moral of the story is if you want the hills to yourself then midweek in December is a good starting point.