Weekly Image #13 – An afternoon in the Cairngorms

An afternoon in the Cairngorms, Scotland.

Last year in late October I had my first trip into the Scottish highlands with my university’s outdoor club. I was a total newbie to hill walking and as everyone broke into groups in the car park in Cairngorms north of Newtonmore, I just joined two more experienced members. We had a great day strolling through some glens and walking up some smaller mountains, but as it got dark and we walked back we started to realise we were lost. Going on my first trip with a purely theoretical knowledge of navigation, I had just assumed the other two knew what they were doing – turned out they didn’t. We wandered around for hours, always assuring the club committee that yes, we totally knew where we were and would be at the bus in no time at all, my left leg started to hurt like mad and both sleet and the morale started to fall. At some point the people at the bus realised we didn’t actually have any clue where we were and put Scottish Mountain Rescue on alert (god, how embarrassing …) and about three hours after the agreed meet-up time we finally managed to find the little bridge to safety. As we celebrated I looked up to the sky and suddenly realised we had been walking under a beautiful display of the milky way all along. Half an hour later we were back at the bus, being greeted with sighs of relief, mountain rescue never had to actually come out, and at the end-of-year dinner we shared the club’s Worst Navigator Award.

However, I managed to take a couple of pictures along the way, and particularly liked the one shown above. A bothy in the late afternoon light. Taken with the Pentax K3 and DA L 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 WR kit lens at f/8, 1/1000th sec. and ISO 250 at 55 mm.

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