Chasing Spectres – Great Outdoors – January 2016
Chasing Spectres, published The Great Outdoors

Chasing Spectres – The Great Outdoors – January, 2016

Darkness fades as dawn approaches. The air around me speaks of a sunrise hidden behind the thick clouds that clog up the valley. Shadowed by dawn’s early light, enveloped in cold, damp mist, I climb up Nab Scar – part of the Fairfield Horseshoe – convincing myself that I am here for an amazing walk, for great photographs and to recapture what was lost yesterday . . . but it doesn’t look promising. On the path, cold, steel-blue stones mellow into warm, sulphur-yellow rocks. The sun is rising . . .

Scout Scar Surprise
Scout Scar Surprise - a walk around Kendal

It seemed a little incongruous, ethereal even, to be walking out of Kendal early in the morning, my path illuminated only by the dim light from a head torch. Dreamily, I wandered back some years, to the times when I used to set out on alpine climbs at ungodly hours, slightly groggy from the early morning rise and shivering in negative temperatures. The sounds of rasping coughs and squeaking, frozen snow underneath cold, steel crampon blades breaking into the chilled morning air . . .

Snooker under a Towel
Ronnie O'Sullivan sits under a towel during his UK snooker match against Mark King

UK Snooker, York, 2005 — Mark had no idea what was happening  as he lined up for the black and Ronnie snoozed underneath a towel behind him.

A Pint for the Fells
Team members from Fix the Fells working on the path to Crinkle Crags

“Fancy a pint?” The landlord, without waiting for an answer fills the glass. It helps you know – someone shouts, above the cackle of wet and weary walkers that now fill the pub – to repair the paths on the fells. I didn’t know, but I did notice a sign on the pump in front of me, ‘Fix the Fells, 10p donation from every pint of Old Man’.

Eclipsed over Langdale

Lake District, Cumbria. — For a year I photographed the sun travelling along the horizon from the same viewpoint. I watched it set at different places on the Lake District mountains. Its zenith, at the height of summer, is the Langdale Pikes. These mountains are the focus of my article.

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RECENT POSTS

A Pint for the Fells

“Fancy a pint?” The landlord, without waiting for an answer fills the glass. It helps you know – someone shouts, above the cackle of wet and weary walkers that now fill the pub – to repair the paths on the fells. I didn’t know, but I did notice a sign on the pump in front of me, ‘Fix the Fells, 10p donation from every pint of Old Man’.

read more

Climbing Honister

On stage 2 of the ‘Tour of Britain’ riders battled gale force winds, torrential rain, and hailstones. The conditions brought down many of the Tour’s top riders, on the 116 mile race from Carlisle to Kendal. Sir Bradley Wiggins was lucky to emerge unscathed...

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Eclipsed over Langdale

Lake District, Cumbria. — For a year I photographed the sun travelling along the horizon from the same viewpoint. I watched it set at different places on the Lake District mountains. Its zenith, at the height of summer, is the Langdale Pikes. These mountains are the focus of my article.

read more