Tuesday 16 April 2013

Big Thaw, Filming Finished, Cairngorms In Winter

The Lairig Ghru, April 15

After weeks of freezing temperatures and easterly winds the weather changed a few days ago with rain and warm winds arriving from the south-west. Strong winds too, shaking the trees and scattering twigs and a few branches. With this sudden arrival of spring weather the thaw has been rapid with the lower hills quickly stripped of snow. The melt and the rain have brought flooding too, with streams bursting their banks and riverside meadows turning into shallow lakes. Higher up the deep snow is still there though brown patches of hillside are starting to appear even on the summits.

Meall a'Bhuachaille, April 15

Appropriately, as winter fades Terry Abraham and I had our last day of filming for the Cairngorms In Winter. The high level camps and the tours on skis and snowshoes were behind us already, what was left were interviews and more relaxed low level filming. We sat in the Glenmore Café while I flipped through some old photos (I found one from the Pennine Way in 1976!) and a few of my books and drank hot chocolate then bemused other customers as I was twice filmed walking in the door.

Then we went to Whitewell in Rothiemurchus Forest with its splendid view across the massed pines to the Northern Cairngorms. Here there is a real feel of the size of the woods and the scale of the mountains. In fact I think it’s one of the best viewpoints for this landscape yet it is relatively unknown and little-visited. I sat on a rock, stared at the view, wrote some notes and reflected on the winter’s filming - an exciting, surprising, sometimes arduous and always fascinating experience.

Cairn Gorm, April 15

Filming over we celebrated with Cairngorm Gold beer in the Cairngorm Hotel in Aviemore. Now Terry has to return home and undertake the work of editing and cutting and assembling all the shots for the final film. My part is over now, other than for some voice overs. Overall though the filming is complete, just as spring comes to the Cairngorms.

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