Wild camp at Llyn Glas Snowdonia

Llyn Glas in Snowdonia is a place that's been on my radar for a while now. It's situated in a plateau below the northern face of Crib Goch and Clogwyn Y Person, 650m above sea level. I'd seen many pictures on Google and just had to plan a wild camp there. 

So with having the Tues 17th/Weds 18th Jan off work I'd been checking forecasts and prepping gear the week before. To me this is all apart of the fun, some people say that it takes the spontaneity out of it. But It gets me excited and psyched, and also you can never be too prepared when venturing out into the British mountains over night, especially solo. In the few days before it had been wild weather in Snowdonia, with 60 - 70 mph winds and temps down to -12 in wind chill. Hoping as well for clear night skies the Monday night looked great, a little gutted I couldn't go out then. But it looked like I might get some breaks in the cloud early am on Wednesday morning. The wind forecast had died down slightly by Tuesday but still gusting at 50 - 60 on the tops. With the location of Llyn Glas I knew I would be somewhat sheltered from the southeasterly wind, the temps had risen too.

Gear packed I set off at from Liverpool about 1pm on the Tuesday and arrived at Blean y Nant on the Llanberis pass at 3. The walk in from here is only 1.7km but a 550m ascent, so it's a little steep in places. You can come in from Pen y Pass up the Pyg Track then a pathless route around the northern ridge of Crib Goch. But I'd chosen the quicker but steeper route due to time.

It was a fairly tough 1 and a half hour hike with about 16kg of winter gear on my back, including crampons and axe, as there had been a lot of snow the days before but it was thawing out lower down (but you never know, be prepared. I wasn't even in the scouts!) The last stretch up a steep rocky crag was exhausting. Llyn Glas is just behind the crag on the left in the pic below and it's a steep climb with a big pack on.

Cwm Glass Mawr

Once up to the rocky plateau you're struck with a sense of beauty and awe. The setting with llyn Glas is stunning with an undulating rocky terrain with a small mountain lake and a tiny island in the middle. but to the south you're faced with the north face of the mighty Crib Goch looming above you. Also the brute that is Clogwyn Y Person, a favorite for rock climbers and ice climbers. They had been climbing that day in the morning, a facebook friend posted pictures of him and friends ice climbing person gully in full winter ice climbing conditions. Just shows how quickly it changes as it was thawing out by the time I got there.

Llyn Glas. This was taken the morning after so as you can see most of the ice has gone

I had seen pictures of people on the island and sure enough there's stepping stones (slightly submerged wobbly rocks) across to the island. Obviously this was where I was going to pitch the tent. With slightly wet boots but that's what Goretex is for hey, I pitched up at around half 4. Unfortunately the clag had set in just as the forecasts had said, so I tucked into my tent and had some grub and a nice hot whiskey coffee of course. Within an hour it was completely dark and shrouded in mist. So I tried a few misty shots light painting on rocks and foreground with my head torch.    

With the forecast saying the skies should clear around 1am I chilled back in the tent with some tunes and a bit of reading, and a few more sips of bourbon out the hip flask. The temperature wasn't bad at all once in my bag. With my sheltered spot due to the southeasterly wind it was about 1 degree outside. I kept hearing big crashes every now and again, at first I thought it must be rock fall but when it kept happening I realised it must have been the ice thawing and crashing down the gully's around Clogwyn y Person. (top tip don't camp below steep cliffs in winter) Really I wanted the earlier hours to be clear because I knew the moon was rising from about 9pm and would wash out the stars somewhat. But shrouded in clag I set my alarm for 1 and dozed off hoping the forecast was right. I woke at 1 and popped my head out, still murky and lots of cloud still shrouding over Crib Goch and Clogwyn y Person, which was the direction I wanted to be shooting. But it looked like it could be clearing slightly so I waited up. Sure enough later than forecast at 2am I spotted a star out of the door of my tent. Bingo, a quick panic gathering camera bits together just in case I miss it and I'm out, look south and my eyes lit up after adjusting to light. The skies had cleared but not fully with some fluffy clouds still clinging to Clogwyn y Person and the moon low in the sky behind the cloud, made it the perfect shot for night photography. The foreground is illuminated by the moon although not much to the eye but nice enough in a long exposure photograph to capture foreground details. The stars were clear as well with the moon pretty low in the sky.     

Moonlight Bliss

After taking a few shots and deciding on composition I set the camera into time-lapse mode put it's jacket on and strapped a hand warmer to the lens to stop it fogging. I'd set up for 400 x 25 second shots with a 5 second interval, so a 3.5 hour time lapse. I got my self tucked up again and dropped off to sleep. I woke up at half 6 and looked out, the sky was grey again so I grabbed the camera and tucked into a dehydrated expedition breakfast. I got up and took a few shots around camp.

I made a short de-camp time lapse and stitched it together with the night lapse, which you can view on my time lapse page above. Then made my way down as the weather started to come in from the south. I got back to the car in just over an hour and made my way to Pete's Eats in Llanberis for a full English. Then I had to stop off at Llyn Padarn for a quick shot of the tree.  

The Tree. Llyn Padarn

Hope you enjoyed and keep an eye out for my future adventures :)