I’ve created a photo advent calendar for Twitter and thought it might be nice to have a record of it on my blog. I’ll try and update this page with the daily photo.
Myself and partner saw the forecast around 6 years ago in the big freeze and took the day off work to have the most beautiful winters walk. The temps at times were around -10, bitterly cold, utterly beautiful. Still one of my stand out winter walks.
Descending down a ridge off Scafell. We took quite some time ascending Scafell from Eskdale and were descending this ridge as the sun was setting. Navigating back to the car was a bit of an epic and the ‘nice easy track’ at the end of the walk was a farm track interspersed with thick patches of solid ice waiting to slip us up, hard to see even with head torches. A memorable walk though and felt good to finally walk Scafell having walked it’s neighbour many years ago.
The day we walked up Schiehallion on Easter Sunday with our good friend Tim Taphouse. We had an unexpected dumping of snow on the way up the mountain & ended our walk in a cafe panning for gold! Snow ball tennis in photo!
An eerie photo of a mountain hare on the Bleaklow Plateau in the Peak District. Near white out conditions at times and a scary place to be. Very disorientating.
Daughter spending her 9th Birthday on the Berwyns, it was so cold our hair froze and I fell in a snow covered bog..birthday cake candles wouldn’t stay lit in the wind!
A very damp long weekend in Snowdonia culminating in my first traverse of the Carneddau. We bumped into a stranger who’d had a creepy experience in Dulyn bothy the night before. My brother has experienced similar there.
In 1944 an American Dakota aircraft crashed into the cliffs above the lake killing all four crew.
As a family we love ‘map case sledging’ in the mountains. We’ve often visited the Lakes/Scotland for Feb Half Term & Easter holidays which has given us lots of opportunities for snowy fun. This was my daughter descending Raise in the Lakes.
Cairngorms in April,we ascended on to the Plateau in a white out then dropped 400m down to the remote Loch Avon.We passed a Ptarmigan, These birds like the arctic like terrain of the Scottish mountains and their coats turn white in winter. Here is a video by Benviroment which gives you an idea of the location.
Visiting the sculpture trail in our local woodland in the dark. I love snow and will take any opportunity to get out in it, even if it’s not daylight, just in case it’s melted in the morning!
Returning to my local patch -5 minutes from our doorstep in inner city Bristol we have Stoke Park Estate.When my daughter was small her school was closed and we had an epic snow day where we had to wear our mountain snow goggles!
Each year our caving club meet for a festive caving trip. This photo was taken in Swildons Hole on the Mendips, a number of passing cavers were pleased to be offered a mince pie as they passed our group!
A photo from ‘carols in the woods’, sometimes an idea comes into my head&I have to follow it through.We had free food, soup, a candlelit procession through the woods, marshmallows, folk music and carols all for the community.
Another one from my local patch,20 min walk from our house. Looking like a winter wonderland in a dusting of snow. This is the spot to see kingfishers and dippers, despite being located in urban Bristol there is lots of wildlife to see.
My daughter’s first encounter with snow 13 years ago, she was a bit unsure! We now love snow as a family and she is just as obsessive about checking if it has snowed or not when it’s cold. I describe our love of snow in a previous blog.
Eastville Park in Bristol, when our local lake froze solid. I often walk down to this lake as part of a circular walk, a hard frost always changes a familiar place to a magical unknown.
16th December 2018
Kinder Downfall in the #PeakDistrict we’d half swum through soft snow/climbed an icy Red Brook and were met with this stunning view from the Plateau. We had to dig the car out of the car park on this walk…
Sheep are often companions to many an adventure, often teetering on seemingly impossibly steep slopes and sometimes the only companion in grim conditions. This was on Stanage Edge where we were lucky enough to catch it in it’s winter jacket.
The first time I walked up Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons I cried on the top because I was so scared of heights and was too scared to carry on. A number of years later I was able to climb 2 winter gullies on the North Face.
On Easter Sunday our family traditionally climbs a mountain & we hide Easter eggs for my daughter to find on the way up. It was so warm on this hike that we had to strip to our thermals! This is on Sgorr nam Fiannaidh Munro. The Munro is at the end of a rocky ridge called the Aonach Eagach which my partner had been over previously, it was nice to be able to show my daughter when he’d been. After the Munro we went on to summit the Pap of Glencoe which we’d looked at many times from the valley.
One Christmas holiday we decided to stay in Castleton @YHAOfficial My daughter was very excited to wake up to a blanket of snow & to stay in the Harry Potter type Losehill Hall. This was taken on the classic ‘Great Ridge’ walk.
21st December 2018
Ice formations always intrigue me and catch my eye. Here is a photo from a beautiful winters walk in Westonbirt Arboretum where we’ve had many adventures this year. I’ve written more here.
22nd December 2018
Back when we first started walking in the Brecon Beacons we started a walk at Blaen Y Glyn and this was the first time I had ever seen a frozen waterfall. The icicles were as tall as buildings and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Todays days photo is from one of the rare blue sky snow days I’ve had in Snowdonia, taken on Foel Fras this photo was selected to be used in the Ogwen Valley mountain rescue Christmas cards last year. Mountain rescue do so much and it was an honour to be chosen.
24th December 2018
We’d had a torrential downpour in the Black Mountains and nearly abandoned our last peak of the day. We continued and instead were rewarded with rainbows, a brocken spectre and beautiful clear skies. For more information on what a broken spectre is click here.
Happy Christmas! A suitably festive photo taken in the Brecon Beacons on one of my first snowy walks there. Although advent is over I’ll continue my photo memories each day for the rest of December, so stay tuned for more!
26th December 2018
This was taken when we did a walk to view the North Face of Ben Nevis, those ascending the tourist route don’t get to see the huge cliffs they are walking above. I’ve not been to the top of Ben Nevis, but I’ve seen it many times from afar. The mountain will wait for me…
For me reaching the Lost Valley was real mental challenge, it’s high valley which requires you to follow a path above a ravine. I had huge anxiety about the drop and taking my daughter and it felt like a huge achievement to get there.
You can read more about the walking route here
28th December 2018
This is Lower Woods Nature reserve It’s a vast area of woodland which is often very quiet. It has the deepest muddy puddles I’ve ever seen and a stunning display of orchids.There was dense mist on this day until the sun shone through the gloom.
29th December 2018
This photo was taken on our way to Charterhouse Cave. Some caves for conservation reasons require you to only visit if you have a leader. We were thankfully able to get through the snow to meet our leader for this trip.
30th December 2018
Often in Scotland you have to walk through forestry plantations which can be confusing where tracks have changed due to felling. They are magical places, reminding me of Narnia and animal tracks a snapshot of their world. Quite often passing through forestry takes place at the start or end of a walk which can be frustrating when trying to get on to mountain slopes or tired at the end of a long day. One memory was getting my foot so wet in a boggy one in the snow I had to wear a carrier bag over my sock!
31st December 2018
On New Years day we had snowfall in Snowdonia overnight, we stayed up barely past midnight as we could see from the weather that it would be a perfect day. It was one of those we can’t believe we are here moments.