Author Topic: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.  (Read 1310 times)

dgpno2

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The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« on: January 23, 2022, 19:17:11 »

In the early- and mid-1990s I invented a hiking route which ran 205 miles (330km)  from Fort William in the Scottish West Highlands to Cape Wrath, the north western tip of the Scottish mainland. I published a book about my walk but otherwise failed to profit from my pioneering efforts. This didn't matter - I wasn't doing it for the sake of money. The Trail became very popular with hikers from all over the world; various websites appeared and flourished for a time; for me, the Trail faded away into the backound of my personal history. Then, last year, out of the blue, I was offered an opportunity to make some money, 30 or more years after the event. I thought "Why not?", and set about doing some work.
     The project failed to prosper. But it got me thinking - about the marvellous experience it had been - walking the length of the Highlands, alone in the wilderness, stopping only to eat or sleep, non-stop, for 17 days. And of course I took a lot of photographs; on film, medium-format (Pentax 67). Here are just a few of those photos. 1) Main ridge of Ben Eighe, Torridon  2) Loch Lurgainn and Ben More Coigach  3) Quinag (pron. KoonYag), Assynt  4) Lighhouse at Rhue, on Outer Loch Boom.

Hugh_3170

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2022, 23:54:22 »
Some wonderful images and no doubt memories here David. At nearly 20km a day plus pack weight and camera gear it must have been a fairly energetic walk.
Hugh Gunn

Akira

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2022, 00:12:47 »
Amazing story and results, Dave!  Hope to see more.

By the way, are you aware of this YouTube channel by the landscape/nature photographers based around the Isle of Skye?  I believe they would be interested to do something together with you.

https://www.youtube.com/c/PhotographyOnline
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

dgpno2

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2022, 18:59:53 »
Thanks, Hugh and Akira.  Hugh - you are right - my backpack was very heavy. I set off on 1st May, in spite of which snow was forecast for the middle of the month - and arrived right on time! So I carried wet weather gear, and cold weather gear; a couple of changes of underwear and socks; minimal toiletries; towel, maps covering my intended route; bivi bag, sleeping-bag and closed-cell sleeping-pad; Pentax 67 body and 4 lenses - 45mm, 75, 105 and 165 - which occupy the same slots as lenses we are familiar with today - 24mm, 35, 50, and 85. There were times when I would have liked a longer lens, but there was no way I could add the Pentax67/300mm/f4 (1.5kg) to my burden. I didn't carry a tripod, but did carry quite a lot of rolls of film - not a lightweight item - and my pack, all up, weighed 38lbs or just over 17kg.
     I also carried food for 4-5 days and had marked on my maps any place I passed close enough to a village, country hotel or isolated general store. I used them to stock up my larder. I also managed, on a couple of occasions, to sleep indoors, in a bed, which made a nice change.
    It was an adventure, and I loved every moment of it.

John Geerts

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2022, 19:37:33 »
Great story and pictures. What an adventure,  David. !

Bent Hjarbo

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2022, 19:59:40 »
Great story and pictures. What an adventure,  David. !
Indeed  :)

dgpno2

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2022, 14:16:24 »
Thank you, Bent, John, Akira and Hugh - it's always a great pleasure when my photos are liked.

 I'm attaching a few more images from that pioneering walk - 1) The Coigach hills   2) BealachBhan -the White Pass; 
3) Frosted conifers in Glen Garry   4) The Beinn Eighe path   5) Sunset over distant Cape Wrath   6) Ruined croft at Cluanie

dgpno2

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2022, 14:20:16 »
Here are the photos -

Akira

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2022, 18:09:21 »
Bealach Bhan looks awesome and formidable.  To me, the sunset image of Cape Wrath in this second batch delivers more of your sense of satisfaction and achievement than the one with the lighthouse in the first batch.  Really impressive.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

dgpno2

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2022, 10:12:01 »
Akira - thanks for your thoughts on this second batch of images. And thanks also about the Skye photo-group - i knew nothing of this until you told me, and I'm planning to contact them within the next few days.

Akira

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2022, 11:32:07 »
Akira - thanks for your thoughts on this second batch of images. And thanks also about the Skye photo-group - i knew nothing of this until you told me, and I'm planning to contact them within the next few days.

Dave, I'm glad your are interested in the YouTube channel.  I cannot think of any reason that they are not interested.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Erik Lund

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2022, 12:28:18 »
As always, very very nice pictures and a wonderful story as well! Very cool Dave!  8) BTW
Are you sure you don't want these posts coupled to your 'real Dave account' here on NikonGear?
 
Erik Lund

Bruno Schroder

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2022, 14:17:03 »
Beautiful lights and colors, Dave. Beautiful adventure too.
Bruno Schröder

dgpno2

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2022, 17:48:40 »
Thanks, Akira - I'll let you know how things go with the Skye people.

And thank-you to Erik also. It would be nice to be able to post as my original self. I think what happened was - one of my absences from NG was so long that my membership lapsed, so it was all my own fault.

One more image -  the summit-cone of Sgurr Bhan. The name means White Peak and I guess that when the sun shines brightly on the pale silvery grey of the summit rocks, they could look like snow at any time of year.

rosko

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Re: The Cape Wrath Trail, 30 years on.
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2022, 16:10:24 »
Nice pictures, here, which reminds me an unforgettable tour to Torridon during our last get together (2019) near Shiel river in Kintail  with our ''guide'' Dave Paterson.
Francis.
Francis Devrainne