The very first* of many walks with a camera - June 1984
Snowdon Sunrise Snowdon Sunrise Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
The idea arose from the regular discussions which took place in the Railwayman's Arms after Camera Club meetings  - "We ought to photograph the sunrise from the top of Snowdon....". So, on the Friday (or was it a Saturday?) evening in mid-summer, with a near- full moon and clear skies forecast, we headed westwards along the A5. The weather didn't seem quite as forecast - low cloud, at about 1500', seemed to be the order as we approached Snowdonia. It was nearly dark too, as we left the car at the top of the Llanberis pass. "Is this really a good idea?" "Well, we're here now, so let's go for it". We followed the miners' path to the lakes at the heart of the Snowdon horseshoe - the gradual ascent meant we were now in the mist, and the darkness was such that we needed our torches to seek out the next cairn. We lost the path as we climbed above Glaslyn, and nearly lost all interest in the expedition. We were almost ready to head back to the car - when, pausing for breath, I looked up at the mist above my head - and realised I could see the stars!. Vigour renewed, we scrambled up a further 50' or so - and there we were, mountainside and summit clearly defined above a sea of mist. As we sat there, taking in the spectacle, the moon rose from behind Lliwedd - it seemed like broad daylight! I don't think we took in the remainder of the ascent - we were totally preoccupied by the fantastic scene around us. Like the sea,
the mist swirled, ebbing and flowing - in slow motion. And strangely, the more we studied the scene, the more it seemed that we were truly on an island surrounded by water. We arrived at the summit at about 3am. The mist seemed to go for ever in all directions. Away to the west, it was brightly lit from below - we guessed the lights of Holyhead, like us not sleeping. To the east, a "waterfall" flowed from time to time, when the mist inside the cwm rose to spill over the lowest point of the ridge between Snowdon and Lliwedd. At about 5am, the sun, whose presence had increasingly been obvious away to the north-east, peeped above the mist - at last we could hand-hold the cameras safely. Eventually, reluctantly, we began our descent - once again to pass through that bank of cloud to the ordinary grey-skied day below. Even at that early hour, there were others about making their way up the mountain - we wondered if they could possibly imagine what they were going to find at the top. *It wasn't literally the first - but it was the first expedition for this particular little group - and set a useful precedent for many more "trips away".
The "waterfall" Islands in a sea of mist Silhouettes on a mountaintop 5am - sunrise Descent - misty landscape Reluctant last glimpse Back to Walks with a Camera Contact Geoff