Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A permanent change of hands (posted by James)

Me, James, in double figures below freezing somewhere on Ben Nevis

Hopefully many of you will have read Alex's heartfelt "au revoir" blog post yesterday, so you'll know that he is moving on to pastures new.

That leaves myself, James, as the soul author of this blog. As Alex's brother we do share some similar views about the hills, walking and climbing. But we differ significantly, and even though I've been writing a lot of the blog for the last year anyway, this would seem like a good time to "re-introduce" myself!

Many of you will have realised this already, but I am a photographer before I am a climber, any day. It's great to now be getting published fairly regularly, and most of my energy goes into this side of things rather than concentrating on the climbing itself. As a result nearly all of my climbing is soloing, as I've found roped climbing and serious photography aren't easily compatible!

I don't climb hard. I don't think I've climbed harder than Hard Severe or winter Grade 4 before in my life, so if you are after an actual climbing blog you are possibly looking in the wrong place! I have a simple philosophy that we should enjoy the mountains in the way that we each find most rewarding, and for me that is combining photography with solo winter climbing and summer scrambling and hillwalking.

So I don't use ropes anymore, I don't try to push my grade, I don't care about cragging…in many ways I'm far removed from the usual definition of a "climber".

But I have fun, lots and lots and lots of fun. And a great part of the reward is the overwhelming feedback I get from you guys…it is wonderful to feel you've brought the mountains to someone living in a city, even if just for a couple of minutes.

So that is what I'll continue to try and do! I get out into the hills usually about twice a week, and there is almost always something worth while sharing going on.

I'm sure you will all wish to join me in wishing Alex all the very best of luck in his new life away from Glencoe. The place will certainly be different without him!

Anyway folks, I'm usually around somewhere in the Clachaig…so if you are in Glencoe please pop in and say hello, it is always nice to meet you guys who share my passion!

So the summer looms, and I will continue to do my best in bringing you news, photos and inspiration from Scotland's most beautiful glen.

Be safe in the hills this year folks, and most of all…just have fun :-)


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