On getting started and more

Posted by on Oct 1, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

Well, since my last blog on March the 5th we have all been living the rollercoaster ride that has been the Caronavirus Pandemic. Personally I resorted to my default, stress busting power walking as a means of quieting my mind although I didn’t particularly enjoy having to share my usually quiet and peaceful local lanes with hundreds of newcomers. Returning to the hills recently I also discovered that walking hundreds of miles on flat tarmac or disused railway lines doesn’t do anything for the muscles required to head steeply uphill with a heavy pack ( more on rucksacks and other newly acquired stuff very soon).

Anyway, the great news is that I have finally made a proper start in working towards what will be my second book. I’m not going to be revealing any images until I’m closer to going to print but I do intend to show more behind the scenes shots and, if my website allows, video footage etc. Relax though, I have no intention of getting into the vlogging scene and even less intention of filling my website or any of the social media platforms I use with ugly mug shots of myself of a hill.

Beinn Lora Summit.

I have been back from my last trip for a fortnight already and having worked solidly through my backlog of images over the Summer I’m in a position where I’ll very soon be able to return from a week or so away and immediately post process, catalogue the images and set aside those I feel may make the grade for my book. My original idea had been to use a fifty fifty mix of older large format images made while I lived in Scotland and brand new work captured in the coming months but I’ve decided that I want the book to be essentially full of images that have never before been published. I will include just a handful of my older images to help support some of the stories.

Beinn Lora was literally the hill behind my house and I climbed it so many times. I climbed it for sunset at the end of my first day this time to sit as I used to do beside the trig point and see the light fade. There was no glorious colour to end the day but I sat and picked out all the peaks visible to the North and East, one of which I planned to camp out on if my legs would carry me there. The reality was of course that I would be fine but having walked without any real resistance for any many months I feared that I wouldn’t yet have the fitness required to summit with 14-15kg of gear on my back.

Loch Creran and Beinn Sgulaird.

Day two saw me explore Sutherland’s Grove for a second time and climb up to one of my regular viewpoints to camp for the first time. I’ve camped on some of the hills around Glencoe in the past but when I lived locally and knew the paths so well it always made sense to me to descend in the dark and get home. Of course that meant that I never really got to experience sunrise from the local mountains which I’m very much looking forward to this time. I’ve just tested the video option and sadly it isn’t going to work here on my site so I will post the video clips from my visits on Instagram (@richardchildsphotographer) and Facebook (RichardChildsPhotography) for now.

My third and highest climb saw me camping on top of my first Munro of this project. An key image for my book is to be made here and while on this visit I captured some lovely soft light across the view I feel it will work better in December and look forward to climbing again with my new Shimoda Action X70 bag. Another item of equipment I bought for this project is the Tarptent Scarp 1 which I didn’t use this time simply because I hadn’t pitched it properly before heading North and didn’t want to find myself on a mountain top in failing light and a brisk wind trying to park a tent I didn’t yet know.

Camp One
Camp Two

The two nights spent in my twenty year old Terra Nova Solar persuaded me that it was time to retire it though so a bit of practice is needed with the new equipment before I head back up in a couple of weeks time.

The gear blog (tents, bivvy bags, rucksacks and filter systems) coming soon. For now a couple more images from the archive…

Ben Starav.
Beinn Lora
North from Sgorr a’Choise

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