Monday, 23 March 2009
Welcoming the Spring
The dark days of winter are passing and the light of spring is now upon us, an event that always leaves me feeling light-hearted and restless to be in the wilds. Winter in the Scottish Highlands can be marvellous and it has been especially wonderful these last few months but even so the long nights and short days can feel confining and limiting. To welcome the spring and the lengthening of the days I went into the mountains and walked the ridge of hills from Beinn Eibhinn to Carn Dearg that lies between Loch Ericht and Loch Laggan. The morning of the equinox I was camped beside a stream below the ridge. I woke before dawn to a frost covered landscape and watched as the spring sun rose over the mountains, bringing warmth and colour. The sun shone all day and I needed no jacket, warm hat or gloves for the first time since last autumn. The hills though were still mostly snow covered and I needed my ice axe in places as I edged down narrow ridges close to sagging cornices. The gently swelling dome of the highest hill, Geal-Charn, was completely white with not a rock in sight. The snow at the summit was two feet deep. That evening I camped on the lip of a high corrie near a still frozen loch. The first day of spring had been a shining welcome to the months to come, to the increasing hours of daylight and the opportunities for long days, wild camps and light loads.
Photo info: Sun rise on the Equinox. Canon EOS 450D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS@21mm, 1/1600@F5.6, ISO 200, raw file converted to JPEG in Lightroom 2.