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Rare Brocken spectre spotted

A walker has captured images of a rare weather phenomenon called Brocken spectre on New Year's Day. Rhys Pleming was climbing Snowdon, Gwynedd, with his friend and they made it to the summit at about 08:15 GMT for the sunrise. Mr Pleming said the clouds began to cover the summit and another walker spotted the rare weather effect. The Met Office says the Brocken spectre appears when a large shadow of an observer is cast on to cloud or mist. The 30-year-old said it was originally his friend Dale Spraggs' idea to walk up on Wednesday. "I was hesitant on going as I was out drinking for new years," he said. "Dale goes up every year for new year but I was 50/50 about going. But I'll be forever in his debt."

Despite only having three hours sleep, they started their journey at 06:00 and glimpsed the rare sight some hours later. Mr Pleming, who lives in Llanrug, said the spectre appeared between the summit cafe and the peak at about 09:25. "We were facing Llanberis and all of sudden this guy said 'did you see that' and we said 'yeah it's like a circular rainbow'. "I just gazed at it. Some people walked past it without even knowing what it was. "I'm just a point and shoot photographer, it's just a hobby. I just wanted to get up to get some pictures of the sunrise." The term Brocken spectre was coined in 1780 in Germany, named after the mountain it was first spotted on. The Brocken is the highest peak in the Harz Mountains and is often shrouded in cloud or mist.

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