Scenic wonders of the Cairngorms

Wild camping on Mullach Clach a Bhlair
A wonderful nights camp on Mullach Clach a Bhlair, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.

Bar the odd post, I’ve not been on here much of late. It’s not that I’m neglecting the blog, it’s just I’ve been away a great deal and all my spare time has been focused on ‘The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend’.

Even so, I thought it was about time I share some pictures with you taken from the last outing during the month of February. I best do this now as I’m heading back again next week!

Once all the filming is completed I’ll talk more about what I’ve been up to. Better still, do check out Chris’ blog HERE as he’s been regularly sharing the journey. At least he lives there and has regular access to a computer.

In a nutshell, last February whizzed by in a blur. I had my ups and my downs. Mostly ups. It was always going to be an important month for filming the project and it didn’t always go to plan (never does!) but we adapted, I tinkered with my plans and routes. Even my gear.

Camera and sound equipment were pushed to their limits in the wintry conditions, my patience was tested to the maximum, and my poor body is still recovering from that month even now. It was a mentally and physically demanding shoot on so many levels. But I’m pleased I stuck at it. The results have been more than worth it – even though there’s still lots to do. Much of what you see in the short videos I’ve posted really are just the tip of an iceberg.

Initially I had intended the film to be no more than an hour long. But having completed an edit featuring Glen Feshie the other day, I now realise it will run for much longer! This sequence alone is 25 mins.

All said and done things should be a little easier now. I have a couple more big locales to film, more shoots with Chris and a week out with Mike from Remote Image Solutions to capture some aerial scenes of the areas that myself and Chris have chosen to focus on for the project.

Even outdoor kit I normally rely on failed, some excelled. I’ll talk more about kit come the end of April.

I did inadvertently drop a proverbial on one camp. Tent pitched I set about melting some snow for cooking. Seeing as it was a dry and sunny evening, I chucked my down sleeping bag over the tent to soak up some of the warm, golden rays. It was looking a bit limp after a few nights out. As time went by, I nipped off for a wonder on Sgor Gaoith filming various scenes as the distant sun began to set.

Being distracted amongst such magnificent scenery, I clean forgot about the possibility of condensation forming on my sleeping bag. Legging it back to the tent I was dismayed to see the Rab Neutrino Endurance 600 caked in frost and moisture! Bugger! Alas, it dried out enough for a warm nights kip and besides, I was only out for one more night anyway. So I figured I’d survive comfortably.

So, on that note I shall bid you farewell for now and leave with a selection of scenes from the trip….

Glen Feshie winter
Glen Feshie. Big and open here, but further up?

tree Glen Feshie
The approach up Glen Feshie becomes more and more wilder….

John Hansford who helped support the project via Kickstarter setting up camp. Part of his reward was a day and night
out with Chris and myself.

Paul Phibben and Philip Barnes who also pledged joined us too for a camp in Glen Feshie. A good time was had by all. For me it was nice to have the company for a change!

Craigellachie, Cairngorms National Park
View from Craigellachie looking towards the Cairngorm plateau. I visited this spot twice in as many days chasing the view and light.

terrybnd filming
Yours truly, all wrapped up from waiting around but finally filming the view I wanted on video.

View south from Ben Macdui
One day involved me filming Chris cross country skiing on the Cairn Gorm plateau. We finished it off with some superb views from the area’s highest summit – Ben Macdui.

Chris Townsend on Ben Macdui
Chris poses for the camera on the slopes of Ben Macdui.

Devil's Point from Ben Macdui
What a superb view eh?

Ben Macdui, Chris Townsend takes a break
Chris takes a break from filming on Ben Macdui.

Carn Toul
Our descent back to the glens took in superb views of the other plateau in the area including this scene of Cairn Toul.

Carin Lochan, Chris Townsend
Chris enjoys the view from Cairn Lochan before our descent into the dark below.

Dawn view over Loch Eanaich from Carn Ban Mor. Me and Chris observed a lone golden eagle majestically gliding around this area. Sadly, I didn’t get the eagle on video.

wild camping, Carn Ban Mor
Chris’ camp on Carn Ban Mor with Braeriach in the background.

Chris Townsend, Salomon
Yes, it was as cold as it looks!

Sunnto watch gps
Chris checks his position via a Sunnto GPS watch.

trees, Glen Feshie
Old masters of Glen Feshie.

Ruigh Aiteachain bothy
One evening back in Glen Feshie, friends Paddy and Masey joined me for a night in Ruigh Aiteachain bothy. The company proved good for my morale. At this point I’d been up in the Gorms for a good fortnight.

Chris Townsend wild camping, Glen Feshie
Chris relaxes at another camp in Glen Feshie, browsing his Nexus tablet.

Terra Nova Ultra Quasar
For this trip, I had the Terra Nova Ultra Quasar with me. 

GoLite, Chris Townsend
We couldn’t have had a more perfect winter’s night in the glen for a camp. Superb!

Wild camping, Terra Nova Ultra Quasar
The Ultra Quasar – one of the toughest tents I’ve had the pleasure of ‘living in’. Tough too!

Wild camping, Glen Feshie, Scotland
Wild camping in the glens are just as rewarding as being on the high tops.

Wild camping, Ultra Quasar, Mullach Clach a Bhlair
And talking of camping up on the tops…..

Wild camping, Moine Mhor
Chris and me chose to camp not on Moine Mhor but Mullach Clach a Bhlair. The views were out of this world!

Terra Nova Ultra Quasar, wild camping, Scotland
This Terra Nova tent is so tough, it’s armed with lasers!

Mullach Clach a Bhlair
The views from Mullach Clach a Bhlair were truly breathtaking. Damn it! Scotland is amazing!

Wild camping, Scotland
Is there a better way to enjoy the great outdoors? I don’t think so.

Sgor Gaoith
View north from Sgor Gaoith. Some serious cornice action up there.

Braeriach cliffs
The view over to Braeriach from Sgor Gaoith is something special indeed.

Wild camping, terrybnd, Sgor Gaoith, Terra Nova Ultra Quasar
The views were so outstanding up Sgor Gaoith, I chose to stay and camp there.

Sgor Gaoith sunset
Below and to the left of the setting sun, you can clearly see the profile of Ben Nevis, the highest hill in the UK.

Finally, you may recognise this scene from one of my photos above….
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