The Proclaimers sang ‘I would walk 500 miles’, not sure why, probably for a girl I imagine, well I didn’t walk 500 miles but I drove 500 miles to see some snow. Turns out if I’d stopped at home the snow would have come to me, then again, there’s no mountains in Leicestershire, so my trip to the Lake District was still worthwhile.
As usual, my meticulous planning and attention to detail was non-existent. I did a sterling job of not paying any attention to the news or looking to see what roads and bridges were closed (due to heavy rain and major flooding); seems quite a lot. This wasn’t the daftest thing I did; but more of that later.
This year was the 1st time I’d visited a snowy Cumbria in a 4×4. My smugness of ascending slippery hills with ease soon wore off when I realised I’d have to go back down said hills, 4 wheel drive being of no use in such situations and the only way you have to slow down or stop is by using a tree. That said, I came back dint free and the bum clenching moment I slid straight out of a car park onto a main road was done with such panache, it looked intentional.
With so many of my normal routes closed I was struggling to find somewhere to take a shot. But one diversion led me to Grassmere where I took the below reflection images. These are probably my favourite, I love their abstract nature. And although the figures in them are only tiny, the eye picks them out really quickly and they wouldn’t work nearly as well without them.
The road to Latrigg hill (panoramic shot above), one of my favourite views across Keswick and Derwent water, was closed, but I drove up the narrow lanes as far as I could before leaving the car and heading off on foot. With a fresh covering of snow that had obscured the paths, and approaching the hill from an unfamiliar direction, I was lucky enough to find someone else’s footprints, bingo I thought. Following the footprints for about 10 minutes or so, it wasn’t until they turned sharply up a bank so steep that you would need four legs to walk up it, that I realised I’d been following a deer’s tracks. In my defence, they weren’t fresh and were half filled with snow. Luckily the deer had led me in the right direction and another 30 mins saw me at the top. I’ve taken lots of shots from this spot, but as the light and conditions are different every time you go it’s always worth going back. I love how the sun clips the ridges and is highlighted against a dramatic sky. I always like to take a long lens too and shoot some detailed shots of Keswick itself.
This was the first time in ages I’ve taken a trip solely to photograph landscapes and I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it. Hopefully I’ll go back soon, I can’t get enough of the white stuff!