Where to start…

I should probably be more spontaneous with my blogging, but to be honest after a jaunt up into the mountains the processing of photos takes over my time immediately, sometimes for a good week or so if I’ve been treated to good conditions.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve had two wild camps, one on St Sunday Crag and one on Helvellyn;  one very pleasant evening watching the sun go down from the summit of Scafell Pike before pelting down to Wasdale Head in the dark (fantastic fun); one run up Scafell Pike and down to Great Langdale, and one ascent of Great Gable from Seathwaite and back.

So that’s where I’ve been blog readers.

I shan’t bore you with details from them all, but I think will settle for a short story and a couple of photos from each (except the last two – hazy murk, not really camera jaunts) and the details behind the shot. There you go, I didn’t even know what this post was going to be about when I started typing, now it has a structure and everything – spontaneity rocks :)

So a week last thursday the forecast was looking good for a few days, if maybe darn chilly at night, and I headed straight for the hills after work. The aim was to get somewhere pretty high pretty quickly as I wouldn’t have  a great deal of time before sundown. I settled for St Sunday Crag, as I’d been after some new shots of Helvellyn at dawn for a while and the sun would be coming up in the right place for first light to play over the crags and ridges of the mountain and its neighbours Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike.

By getting off the bus at the top of Dunmail Raise above Grasmere I could ascend via Grisedale Tarn and save a good bit of climbing with the heavy pack.  There was some nice light on the flanks of Fairfield above Grisedale Tarn on the way up, so I hastily composed some shots and managed one stitched panorama which you can find in the new stuff gallery on the website.

It was fairly wild and windy around here and I pressed on thinking I might have to backtrack if it was too hairy on the exposed summit ridge of St Sunday Crag. The path gently weaves up the flank of St Sunday Crag, before taking an abrupt steep right turn for the last bit of the ascent to Deepdale Hause. Happily when I got there the wind had either dropped, or at my chosen site between the Hause and the summit of St Sunday I was slightly sheltered. Either way I could pitch easily enough on the soft grass just off the footpath with the tail of the tent to the prevailing wind. Already the light was going and it was getting cold so I grabbed a quick snack, cosied up and set the alarm ready for the dawn shoot.

Happily the skies dawned clear. Unhappily this meant it was bloody freezing. I’m not sure it should be below freezing in August, even early in the morning on top of a mountain in the Lake District, but this landscape photography lark is never easy. A quick jog up the last 100m or so to the summit of St Sunday Crag warmed me slightly.

As I said the main reason I was up here was to get some shots of the Helvellyn range at dawn. I managed a range of stitched panoramas and still can’t decide which I like the best, here’s just one – more in the shop.

Dollywagon and Nethermost Pikes and Helvellyn from St Sunday Crag

Oh and I managed one looking back over where I camped to Fairfield too:

Fairfield from St Sunday Crag

Okay so this isn’t turning out to be particularly brief is it! I’ll do the next day’s jaunt up Striding Edge as the next post. Soon, I promise…

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