When planning outdoor shoots, a key consideration is the weather forecast. Constant checking and re-checking takes place in the run-up up to the day to ensure locations can change if need be and the effort is worthwhile.
Whilst it's great to be able to leave a 'go / no-go' decision to the last minute, it's usually a different story and you have to take what you get. And I'm always reminded that Scotland wouldn't be so green without its high level of rainfall.
With this in mind, I headed up to Glenfinnan last week with two Spanish friends, Manuel Gallego Fernandez and Manuel Díaz González. The Spaniards wanted to spend their first night in a bothy and climb some Munros. I wanted to get to know them better and help them document their adventure.
When we arrived in Glenfinnan, we packed our rucksacks, shared out 20kg of coal on top and started walking the 4km to the bothy. When we got there, it was occupied by 4 friends from Fort William. They welcomed us in to a hot fire and a long game of cards (one of the things I like about bothies is the random folk you get to meet and spend time with).
In the morning, the rain wasn't as bad as expected and we reached our first summit without getting too wet. Separating Sguirr nan Coireachan and Sgurr Thuilm is a high 4km ridge. It's not difficult but there is a lot of rough ground. Typically, once we were committed to the ridge the weather turned for the worse and the prevailing 30mph winds turned into 50-60mph gusts that bullied us mercilessly and stung our faces with hailstones. What followed can only be termed sheer misery as we slowly made our way along the ridge (picture going one step forwards, one steps sideways, one step back, three steps forward. And repeat). The effort as we battled the wind added at least 60mins to our journey and by the time we reached summit of Sgurr Thuilm it was strong enough to drive us to our knees. To add to our misery, we faced straight into the gales on our descent too. And then to finish it off, lower down, the hailstones turned to driving rain (which was heavy enough to short out one of my cameras so it's currently in for repair). Given the weather, it was three happy people who returned to the warm fire in the bothy.