Filming on the Carneddau
Filming on the Carneddau was an experience that none of the crew will ever forget. I can’t say that it was a wildlife cameraman trip: there was precious little wildlife to be seen. Nonetheless the whole day was memorable.
We were on to phase two of the winter programme for ‘Iolo’s Snowdonia’. This link is about phase one when we had the memorable encounter with a woodcock
It’s so easy to think that most of the landscapes of the UK are benign compared to the mountainous areas of other countries. Not so. There are many upland areas across the UK where you can get into trouble. Ask any of the mountain rescue teams. Preparation is key. Having the correct equipment is as vital here as it is in the Himalayas, the Andes or Antarctica. The temperature, with wind chill, was -18 degrees when we went filming on the Carneddau.
The trek to the top started at 5.00 a.m. The first few hours of walking were in the dark. To undertake the filming safely we needed help and guidance, and what excellent help and guidance it was. For anyone wanting mountain and hills skills courses in Snowdonia, look no further than Stephen Jones’ company Aim Higher.
Stephen, formerly a Royal Marine and military ski instructor, is known as ‘Joey’ and took charge of our filming trip on the Carneddau expedition. This is his account of the day.
One advantage of setting off in the dark is not being able to see how far you have to go! It was only when the light lifted later that I realised how much of an advantage that was. Filming equipment is heavy – at least, professional filming equipment is. Stephen had brought along 2 colleagues, and Dewi, Iolo’s lad was also there. Fair play, he’d played rugby the day before and must have been shattered. I for one found the trudge pretty demanding, but oh was it worth it.
Part of the joy of being a wildlife cameraman is working in places that hardly anyone else gets to enjoy. The Carneddau were magnificent that day. Wind blown snow was gusting across the top, stinging eyes and faces, killing exposed fingers, slapping the sides of faces. The clouds cleared little by little revealing the most stunning scenery. We’ll be talking about it for years. I can’t wait to see the finished sequence.