Mid Calder Camera Club

2014 Nov 19th – Ron Bell’s Scary Munros by Julia B

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Tonight’s meeting was Ron Bell’s Scary Munros – the steep, rocky and difficult ones. I was amazed that he completed the Munros whilst mostly living in SE England. Doing things like catching the sleeper and then cycling to the base of the mountains THEN spending 2 days doing some of the hardest walking routes in Scotland. The 23 members attending were held by the mountain scenery and our heads were soon spinning with the feats of endurance and the exposure. (On this occasion not the photographic kind!)

The beautiful Lochan a’Chaisteil high on the West ridge of Beinn Chabhair. © Ron Bell

The images were natural and understandingly taken mostly on a compact digital camera. I don’t think there are many of us at the club that might have been tempted to:
a) take a big DSLR
b) take a tripod, or
c) attempt many of these routes in the first place.

We were taken to the most stunning peaks in the Cairngorms, An Teallach, Skye, Nevis Range, Glencoe and Torridon in all weather conditions. Members learnt basics of how to abseil, walk on rope, scramble, route find, (in principle). When it came to the tea break I felt I needed a St Bernard to come in with some Brandy to add to it!

All of this was delivered in Ron’s calm gentle style. His understatement matched the magnificence of the scenery; “the exposure here was fairly pronounced”, and; “Quite hairy”, where I would have used “Sheer drop to instant death”. His style reminded me very much of a lecture I attended when I was young, by Chris Bonnington (as he was then). Quiet, understated but holding us spellbound with the natural beauty of the country where we live. I’m off to dig my crampons out! Good Luck Ron on completing your final 18 Corbetts before next year.

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