Llyn y Gadair, Cadair Idris
Cadair Idris in southern Snowdonia has been a personal favourite since University, and as a result I have sooo many photos of the mountain and its various faces. That makes it an ideal candidate for post #2. The most popular routes use the stunning Cwm Cau (more on this later), which leaves this hidden gem on the north face peaceful and serene. I did some work for my Masters up here, so spent a lot of time working alone, and was often the last one on the mountain, which meant I got this beautiful moment all to myself.
To do my geography bit, it’s a lake in a glacial corrie, left behind by a cirque-type glacier at the end of the last ice age. Cirque-type glaciers have only limited extent as accumulation (of snow) is relatively low, and as a result they don’t slide so much as ooze -it’s called internal deformation, and is very slow. The result is a steep-sided amphitheatre-like feature, generally with cliffs on three sides and, if something stops water escaping, a lake in the bottom (called a tarn), which is enclosed by mounds of rock and mud called moraines. Those moraines are formed from anything that the glacier was carrying, which it had either picked up from its base, or had dropped onto its surface. This material is carried along as the ice deforms, until eventually (inevitably) the ice melts, leaving only the remnants of the rock in great banks of rubble.
Anyway, that’s enough for now, don’t want to overdo the geography and turn you all off.
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All images ©Stephen Tyrrell, Mountains, Wild Places & Water, 2013. All rights reserved.