Pen Y Fan is the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons and in southern Britain. At 886m it is diminuative by continental standard but can still provide spectacular views and unforgiving conditions.

Photographically 2012 did not get off to a good start for me. Of the trip I have been on perhaps 25% have produced any images at all. It's hard to keep going when you keep hitting bad weather! Our hike up to Pen Y Fan was no better. Freezing rain made for quite unpleasant walking conditions and my waterproof shell literally became a shell of ice! Once the tent was up (on the summit of Pen Y Fan because I try not to do things in half measures) we were fine though. It was cold but down jackets and sleeping bags soon warm you up, as does hot chocolate with a spot of whisky! The night went well and I got up every 3 hours to check the weather (it was cloudy but still all night). By 5.30am a gap had appeared on the eastern horizon and with the high clouds overhead an wonderful sunrise became almost certain.

Getting out the tent revealed just how cold it had been overnight with ice covering the tent but photography was the only thing on my mind. Donning my crampons I set off around Pen Y Fan in search of compositions....

5dmkII, 17-40L, ISO100, f11
5 vertical frames at 17mm bracketed with a 3 stop range. Stitched in PTGui and blended in Photoshop CS4

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