The Watkins Path

Another day out in Snowdonia, this time on the Watkin Path, considered to be the most brutal of the paths to the summit of Snowdon. But I wouldn’t be going that far.

The path starts with a  wander through the woods and for photographers there are some good photo opportunities. Moss is growing on everything here, rocks, trees, small stones.

I suggest to really appreciate the photographs you click on them to see a larger size version.

Moss Bank
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 1/6s at f11 ISO 200

Once again the weather wasn’t that fantastic, low-lying cloud, grey skies and just before I pulled into the car-park it was raining quite heavily. You might ask, “why go out if the weather is that bad,” but where I live on the coast, it was nice blue skies, with lovely wispy cloud…and the weather report for Snowdonia was for similar conditions.

Woodland Path
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 1/15s at f11 ISO 200

Anyway the grey skies didn’t seem to be muting the colours and I was having a pleasant walk through the woods.

Wooden Bridge
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 1/10s at f11 ISO 200

There are two wooden bridges across small rivers tumbling down from the hills above. With the rain, the rivers were flowing quite well but I know from past experience that there are better waterfalls further up the path.

Wooden Bridge
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 1/13s at f11 ISO 200

Just after this bridge the climb starts in earnest so I was glad to linger and take some more photographs before heading on.

In preparation for this walk I had really lightened the load, equipment wise. My camera, one wide-angle lens, food, water, hot drink and waterproofs.

That's The Way
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 3 Exposure HDR 1/320s at f8 ISO 200

Once on the path proper, it’s pretty open and exposed. I nearly always carry my waterproofs, the weather in Snowdonia can change quickly, so it’s best to be prepared. I’m heading up the path to get into the valley. However I decided to take a slight detour to photograph an abandoned building and those falls you can see on the right hand side.

Abandoned Building
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 1/15s at f11 ISO 200

It was hard to photograph these falls as a fair amount of spray was gathering on the lens every time I turned to compose the shot. In the end I focused with my back to the falls, turned round and fired the shutter quickly.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 1/125s at f11 ISO 400

The problem with taking a detour is you go off the marked path and down by the falls and that building the ground was quite boggy. The climb out back to the main path was steep, wet and slippery, but eventually I got back onto the main track.

Stone Path
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 3 Exposure HDR 1/200s at f8 ISO 200

Did I mention how hard it can be on your feet. This is boots country and yet I have seen people up here with trainers and ordinary day shoes.

Anyway, onwards and upwards until I finally reached the area of the valley where some of the ruined buildings are.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 1/25s at f11 ISO 400

Now I’m walking along the side of the river as it comes tumbling down over the rocks giving me so many photo opportunities.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 1/60s at f11 ISO 400

Well I’ve finally reached a level area in the valley and it seems a good spit to have lunch. I’m at an altitude of 260m, not that high really, but occasionally clouds swirls past coating everything in a fine mist. But it’s so peaceful up here, Yes there are some walkers about but the loudest sound is the river as it passes by the building I’m sitting by to eat lunch

Riverside Ruins
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 3 Exposure HDR 1/250s at f8 ISO 200

Some hot coffee, a sandwich and an energy bar and I’m ready to start photographing again. This is as far as I’ll be following the path as I’ve left myself two hours to get back to where my car is parked. Who needs a parking fine and they are keen here.

But I’ve spotted another waterfall I want to photograph before going back.

Green Pool
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 3 Exposure HDR 1/320s at f8 ISO 200

Right, time to start heading down, so over the bridge and onto the track.

Bridge Over River
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 3 Exposure HDR 1/200s at f8 ISO 200

But before I do I should show you an example of a typical Welsh Slate Fence, at one time very common in this area. After all, there was plenty of it in abundance, with slate mines and quarries all over Snowdonia

Slate Fence
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 3 Exposure HDR 1/1250s at f8 ISO 200

That’s where I’m going. Right down the path to that area of green you can see away in the distance.

Watkins Path
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 3 Exposure HDR 1/300s at f8 ISO 200

On the way down I spotted this lone tree, silhouetted against the grey sky. I really did want to stop and get closer, do it betetr justice but time was getting on and I was getting tired anywy. Maybe another time.

Lone Tree
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 3 Exposure HDR 1/800s at f8 ISO 200

OK! This is my last photograph. Instead of taking the path through the woods I decided to take another route which looked like it could get me back to the car quicker. On the way down I had stopped, probably more than I should to take more photographs, and time was getting tight.

I’m glad I did take what I thought was a shortcut (it was) because I found this amazing wall on the way.

Mossy Wall
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 3 Exposure HDR 1/160s at f8 ISO 200

Well that’s it. I hope you enjoyed the walk with me up some of the Watkins path – Mike



9 thoughts on “The Watkins Path

    1. Have to say I’m starting to find it hard going on these steep trails now. Hence the lightened load. But the E-M1 has very good IBIS so I wasn’t really worried about not having the tripod. 1/6s and 1/10s at f11 for some of the photographs

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