Thursday 2 February 2012: Elemental forms
Started early, took my dog, and, with leggings under trousers and hiking pole in hand, headed for the snow zone. But to my disappointment Carningli was not white, it seemed just to have a light dusting, like sugar on a muffin.
When we reached ridge though, what was underfoot was more like the brittle crust of a salt-baked fish. Frost-rimed grass and ice-glazed stones crunched and sparkled as we climbed towards the summit. Every clump of vegetation held a glittering inflorescence of crystals. Pools along the path were ice rinks. Boulders were coated to their windward with a transparent glaze, that in the sunshine had lifted off like a fragile pane of glass. In the shadow of the hill, every rock surface was armour-plated with a corrugated crust, trickles of water beneath the ice flickering like a snake's tongue.
In the end tears were running down my face, not from the cold, because it was a scintillating day with no wind, but from the beauty and perfection everywhere I looked: the frosted ground beneath my feet, the icy stone-scape of the summit around me and the vista of the snowy Preseli range in the far distance.
It was impossible to decide what to blip. I have chosen the Alp-like clarity of sky and stone, touched up by the artistry of ice. I dedicate this image to the memory of my father who was with me very much today. I often feel I am looking through his eyes, or he is looking through mine. He was an alpinist in his youth and all his life he loved mountains, especially in winter. He would have delighted in this day. This year is the 110th anniversary of his birth.
I have put a set of pictures from today in my Blipfolio which will provide a far better impression of the Carningli frostfield than my words can convey.