Llyn Idwal and the Glyders in their dominant beauty struck a chord today. Mountain streams in torrents bursting from the ridge in their near vertical drop, assured the eyes of that we were in the middle of something powerful. The waterfalls were fresh and white. Rapids moving water at lightning pace tasted so fresh. I couldn’t resist submerging my hand and cupping a mouthful or two.
The wind howled down form the glyder arête picking up speed as it followed the contour of the precipitous back wall. As it passed it picked up the spray of the waterfall and subtly cooled the skin. The scree fields at the base of Devils Kitchen is littered with jagged and angular boulders some the size of a small house, others the size of your fist and everything in between. Passage through
here is hazardous. Grassy extrusions hide gaps and fissures between separate rocks, making progress slow as one employs caution over speed. The rocks are rough, metamorphic basalts from igneous intrusion. Quartz is abundant, the fragile exterior of the rock is brittle to the touch and would easily erode under these intense Welsh conditions.
Born from fire, sculpted by ice, finished by water, these examples in the Welsh mountains are truly magnificent in their grandeur and openness to a geological timescale. They’re like a textbook, everywhere you look there is a classic example of a geographical feature – truncated spurs, hanging valleys, Roche moutonee, frost shattering, glacial striations, moraine of all differing types. I could and probably will spend a significant time there over the coming months. In a word – delicious.
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