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Mountains in Motion!

Snowmotion title image

Since the launch and subsequent success of my first map Tubular Fells, people's suggestions for future map titles has kept on growing.  Apart from my own ideas, it has been others' suggestions that have kept me engaged.  I never anticipated a second map, until many people started calling for me to produce a topological map encompassing the Munros.  Of course, 'MunrOverground' did follow and despite my personal aims being set across the globe, it again turned to the UK as people kept on suggesting places I could map next.  Geographically, I suppose Wales was an obvious ambition for my mapping, but in all honesty I had wanted to map either the Rocky Mountains or Himalaya for my own entertainment, as much as anything else.  I used Facebook to create a poll online and despite wanting to map the USA, people encouraged me to create a Welsh map.  I guess more maps will follow.  What will be next?

A sample area of SnowmotionOnce people started asking for a Welsh version, I knew I couldn't ignore their enthusiastic requests and with it a new Snowdonia map materialised.  Entitled SNOWMOTION* (see below), I had originally focussed on mapping the whole country, until I realised that this was going to be a difficult task in terms of giving the map unity.  As a result, about two weeks investigation saw me readjust my sights to focus on the Snowdonia National Park.  

Snowmotion has been great fun to create!  Out-with the mountains, it has been the inclusion of the 'Little Railways' that has interested me in equal share as well as including locations suggested to me via e-mail and social media.  One such example is east of Bala.  A follower suggested the huge and beautiful waterfall that is Pistyll Rhaeadr in the Berwyns.  Also, having an interest in steam railways, resulted in the inclusion of eight narrow gauge railways on the map and just including those has been great fun.  Of course, the focus was always the mountains and over many months I've learnt much more about Snowdonia than I ever knew before.  As with MunrOverground, my knowledge of Snowdonia was limited to those holiday visits and once with school pupils on a field trip, which for me centred on the northern aspects of the National Park.  I've had many visits to the northern area of the park and with multiple ascents of Tryfan and Snowdon to name two, but there is so much more to the area and like the Lake District I know you can get off the beaten track, even on peak days.

I've now completed the map and through its creation I hope you too will learn far more about Snowdonia.  Apart from the hill bagging, there is of course the trips on the 8 'little' railways to enjoy and if you're anything like me, a whole myriad of mountains and landscape to enjoy.  Constructing this map has given me a broader knowledge of an area that includes many more fine hills away from the highest summit in England and Wales.  Like the other two national peaks, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, the highest summits become a natural draw for visitors and of course the related crowds.  I think many of us have enjoyed peaks such as the well-known Tryfan,Carnedd Llewellyn and Snowdon, but a minority venture onto the Arenigs or Berwyns.  I hope you enjoy Snowmotion as much as my other two creations and it opens up a whole new landscape of exploration.  If unlike me, you know the area well, then I hope it rekindles past expeditions and walks in familiar territory.  I hope it reminds you of those halcyon mountain days on Snowdonia's magnificent peaks .  Either way, enjoy your trip on Snowmotion.  All aboard!snowmotion end stop

Snowmotion Engine*Naming the Map
When it came to the new map, I thought that I would at last name it for myself. 'Tubular Fells' was the brainchild of outdoors' writer Mark Richards and my friend James Hoye came up with 'MunrOverground' over a conversation about the map one eve. With the Snowdonia map I was well aware of the implications for a name that would either be lost in translation or at worst cause offence. I thought long and hard about a name and it seemed clear that a simple title which could be translated from English would be the simplest bringing to an end the reign of quirky titles. However, this was not to be, as discussions via Twitter, Facebook and e-mails quickly made me realise. People definitely like the peculiar and humorous titles and so it was, I found social-media guiding the creation of the title. I am indebted to Iestyn Roberts for his expert knowledge concerning the Welsh language and so it is that the sub-title for the map, "Snowdonia by Tube' has been translated by him (with a little help from his family). I was happy to keep with this until Steven Thompson suggested 'Waleways'. I liked the name, with its play on 'railways', but it was broadcaster and writer Eric Robson who suggested Snowmotion. I immediately saw the design potential on those 'O's to make loco wheels, thereby maintaining some design continuity with the Scottish map and so I've stayed with it. I am still indebted to Steven Thompson as I've adopted his name to be the series title in case I ever do more maps in Wales and to all the other people who've guided me via social-media.