Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Oh the Glamour....

Being asked to take part in a photoshoot in the Lake District sounds rather glamourous doesn't it? Right up until you hear that the plan is to meet in a carpark at 5:30am (for some dawn shots) and you know that it'll take you 1.5-2 hours to get there!! It's a difficult decision whether to go down late the night before and try to sleep in the car, or just get up at silly o'clock and go on the day.

Myself, Charlie and Steve setting off

The decision was actually taken out of my hands, as I got a text rather late on the Saturday evening to say that the meeting time was being pushed back to 11am due to the terrible weather forecast. When I left Dumfries, it wasn't so much wet as very windy , but I soon met the rain. There was a lot of standing water on the roads and my wipers were working doubletime, which didn't bode well. I always thought that it got warmer as you drove south, but my car thermometer continued to drop, so that by the time I got to Ullswater, I was driving through sleet and could see snow just above me.

It wasn't much better by the time we all met up so we decamped to a nearby cafe to plot over coffee. It did look as if the afternoon was going to be better, so we finally headed out at about 13:15. At least the waterproofs got a good test - and did feature in the early photos (for which we just ran a few steps along the start of the path in Glenridding itself).
Angie and I rocking the bobble hats
The shoot was for Berghaus (with Stuart as photographer) who are providing us (myself, Charlie Sharpe and Steve Birkenshaw) with some kit to run the Dragon's Back Race in Wales in June, so it was great to also have Angie along with us (she is both a runner and works for Berghaus). We also had (another) Stuart with us to provide the safety cover so it was a nice little group and made for some interesting chat as, although I didn't know any of the others very well prior to the day, we all had friends in common.
The his natural habitat

Charlie (looking frozen)
receiving instructions

We climbed up higher on the path towards Hellvellyn, stopping at certain points for Stuart to take pictures of the three of us running a few steps up and down the paths and hillside, both singly and as a group. The weather started to clear but there was still a lot of clag (and I learnt that CLAG stand for Cloud Low Aircraft Grounded!) higher up so we stayed relatively low intially. I naively thought that a photoshoot with runners would mean that I also got a bit of a run in, but it was more about walking, standing and chatting - though we did run for 10-20m stretches on paths, rocks, grass, mud and snow (I even lost a shoe in the snow as the ones I was weraing were slightly large - even with a couple of pairs of socks!). In fact - when I got back and studied the map, I figured that we covered less than a mile/hour!!!

Looking back down to Glenridding

It was rather cold up on "them there hills", but full credit to the Berghaus gear - it got a proper test and we stayed warm and dry. Unfortunately, it was getting rather late in the afternoon so I had to bid farewell to the others and turn for home. Such a shame for me as the weather cleared further and they got some great views from the summit as dusk approached, but unfortunately it had already been a long day, I had a decent drive ahead of me, and an early start for work in the morning.

Still, it was a good day out - I had fun, met some new and interesting people, and I admit that otherwise I certainly wouldn't have ventured out to the Lakes when I saw the weather that morning!

Here's to better weather for the Dragon's Back (though at least I know I'll have good gear if it is wet!!)!

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