Naked Munros
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Carn Aosda

(Written by Karla)

As far as we could tell Braemar in Aberdeenshire had the best chance of the weather, but the wind was horrendous. Probably made worse by the round, barren and empty slopes. We'd drive up, sit in the car and feel it shake with every gust. The week was drawing to an end and we'd had enough. We were going up anyway, after all, it was the easiest munro of all because of the high level start. We had to do something. We now wish that we hadn't.

A quick jaunt up to the top and we were faced with grey rocks, grey sky, grey everything really. And wind. I had the idea that we could use a lightweight tripod as a mono-pod rather than use a pistol grip for the Hasselblad. The idea being that the camera could still be worn using a neck strap, but a light weight tripod would help stabilise the camera when taking photos. After all, the Hasselblad has a waist level finder that you look down into, it's not like you have to lift it up to your face as with an SLR. This would be far less risky than relying on a heavy tripod that was difficult to set up horizontally and could still get blown over in the high wind.

Because it's such an easy munro to climb we were worried about other people coming up so everything was rather rushed. Besides which, the wind was very cold. I stripped off and carefully stepped across the stones and Stuart started taking photos.

After checking the damage we took some more pictures, this time with the SLR. I quickly got dressed and it was Stuart's turn. Even though the front lens was chipped and the filter thread was buckled I knew that we could probably still use the Hasselblad to take more photos. I fired the camera and it jammed. Things were going from bad to worse. So I made a few half-hearted snap shots with the SLR and Stuart got dressed.

The holiday was turning into a complete disaster, neither of us were enjoying it. When we got back home again we then had to deal with the mass media descending like a swarm of locusts upon our website. All that effort to keep the site fresh and to maintain variety and develop a message, the cost of the film, transport and bandwidth; all eaten up as a gimmick for profits by others. We reached a point where we had to carefully consider whether we could continue and we decided that we could not. We felt like we had lost something really precious to us that had given us so much joy.


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