A couple of weekends ago saw me on commission for Blacks with the main aim being to capture panoramics around the Wasdale and Wast Water area, so I decided a trip up Lingmell for sunset on the Saturday would be a good choice.
Usually, for a mountain of this size I would choose to wild camp rather than walk back down the same evening but as getting as many different photos as possible from sunset and sunrise was needed I didn’t stay up there.
For anyone that doesn’t know Lingmell, it’s one of the mountains included in the famous view from Wast Water and adjoins the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike. I was tipped off about the location having great views down to Wasdale Head and the best view of Great Gable. I have to admit, my thoughts were a little reserved after researching and not seeing many great photos of the location and also seeing from TPE that the setting sun near Pillar could prove difficult.
On arrival, the weather was quite nice with a lot of broken clouds and it actually feeling quite warm so I felt really optimistic. I set off up the tourist track from Wasdale Head in plenty of time to ensure I got on location and had time to scout around.
About half way up though, the weather took a really quick change for the worst and the clouds rolled in down to about 400m. At one point, I couldn’t see anything above or below me. I was very disheartened. It looked like it would be set to stay this way. I decided to have a sit down and grab some food and a rest and make a decision as to what I was going to do.
Sitting around, it didn’t seem to be shifting. The cloud was swilling around plenty quick enough but there didn’t feel to be any wind. However, in true photographers style (I really hate this phrase by the way) the next thing I knew, within seconds the clouds parted to reveal the sun. It was only momentary but it was almost as if god took his two hands to move the clouds.
The exposure would have been too hard to hold, but as they started to close up again I managed to grab this pano which I actually really light to say it isn’t in golden hour. Just some really nice textues, colours and the rays of light make it. I had decided if I was to get a shot that evening then this would be my best chance (as always with panos, click to make larger and see full size for best viewing experience):
The one thing with pano’s though, is you can never be sure what you’ve captured until you get on the computer and merge them together, so I was still pretty nervous at this point (I shouldn’t have been!).
Anyway, shortly after this the cloud came in again and I was proper stuck what to do. I really wasn’t sure. I sat around and waited, with Scafell behind every now and again coming into view but I was still unable to see the top of Lingmell being capped in cloud. I set off back down the track…got down about 10 minutes and then had a change of heart. I thought if I’m going to get good images I’ve got to risk this and if it can clear up like before the chances are it can clear up again.
I made my slow ascent back up after wasting about a hour in total, so much for giving myself plenty of time. I got to Lingmell Col and by this point I’m happy to report everything had started to clear up. I was in good spirits now. I looked at the path to Scafell Pike and it’s summit wishing I could pay a cheeky visit but there wouldn’t be time.
I got to the summit of Lingmell but quickly moved on to the viewpoint, the Wainwright with the cairn with the imposing view to Great Gable. At first the sun still hadn’t cleared below the cloud in the distance, but when it did, my god it was a great display. I haven’t seen light like it in a long time and there was such clarity as the cloud had helped clear any haze. Recently, the skies have either been full of cloud or completely clear so I was so pleased, anyway here are my selection of images:
And my personal favourite from the evening:
I am very pleased with the images in the end. Sometimes it just shows you’ve got to take a risk and stick it out. I would have been absolutely gutted and devastated if I had returned to ground level to shoot from Wast Water and saw this develop.
I walked down pretty pleased, knowing that I’d soon have to be up again for sunrise. However, it made me feel better walking down feeling pretty fresh as National Three Peakers were slowly making their way up looking worse for wear.
Keep an eye out for the images being used a large displays in a Blacks store near you!