Llyn Idwal is a marvellous lake which feels primeval and isolated. Walk up to Devil’s Kitchen and the feeling continues. It’s very atmospheric. When you reach the plateau you have wonderful views. You see here Pen Yr Ole Wen on the left, Llyn Ogwen below, Tryfan, the Glyders, and Snowdon on the right.

This is one of my favourite parts of Snowdonia. It’s where I undertook my first mountain walk as a schoolboy. That’s not why I like it, but I do have memories both vague and strong. Sensory memories, the feeling of wet craggy slate underfoot and the sound of streams. Sweating underneath a cheap red waterproof smock and heavy plastic trousers. One size for everyone, too big for me. One of the teachers was called Miss Walters. She was Welsh.

We climbed Snowdon along the Pyg Track, had a climbing day at the Idwal Slabs, quite a challenge for schoolboys, another day orienteering. I quite enjoyed the climbing but not the orienteering. In the evening we studied geological facts and Snowdonia history followed by dormitory fun. The girls rooms were separate. I crept over to one of them, not daring to go in, because that would get me into very big trouble.

I remember driving along the Ogwen valley, astounded that such a place existed. I don’t remember any sunshine. It was grey, surreal, uncanny. I currently feel very attracted to Wales. I’m not really thinking about the Lake District. Beautiful as the Lakes are, they’re also touristy and don’t have the same atmosphere.


Snowdonia Photography: Y Garn Slopes to Glyderau

Monday June 15, 2015