4am alarm to photograph Stac Pollaidh, Assynt, ep01


Stac Pollaidh is a very well known location to walkers and landscape photographers. It is a relatively quick climb, taking only an hour to get from the car to the bottom of the summit (it’s incredibly difficult and dangerous to summit this hill, you really need to be a pro at scrambling and the last part requires rope) . Walking in the dark had it’s advantages, you don’t really see what’s far in front of you meaning, you don’t know now much longer it’s going to take OR how hard it’s going to be. I also feel, that time comes by quicker.

The walk was hard, wet and the gradient just felt like it was up but after 1 hour and a few rests, we made it. From the top, you could see the gentle colours of the sunrise starting to flair up and with every minute, the foreground was turning from black to slight silhouettes of the near hills.

We still had 90 minutes before the sun hits the horizon but there was a thick bank of low cloud which, if it stays, will hold back the light for a while longer. This gave us time to find the best composition. I found myself on the middle ground, just next to the cairn.

Steve ventured slightly below me and Joe being the “Adventurist” decided to scramble as high as he could. With the open landscape & Sullivan to my left and loch Lurgainn to my right, I was beginning to like the small summit that was in front of me, breaking up to the two sides.

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My Gear: Nikon D810 Nikon 20-35mm f.2.8 Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 Nikon 70-200mm f.2.8 Nikon 50mm f1.8 Nikon 85mm f1.4 Nikon 105mm macro Gitzo GT2541 Tripod Lee Filter