Since 2018 has ended I thought I would tell the story of my year in a dozen photos.
I started the year waiting on knee surgery to fix my damaged cruciate and medial ligaments, etc. after falling down a mountain. Doctor said absolutely no climbing. Got bored so I went climbing.
My knee was a wee bit sore, so I decided to go climbing and wild camping. The overnight rest would mean that I was not over-exerting my knee. It snowed, it was minus 10.
Went climbing again.
Went climbing again
Fell on the way down Stob Coire Raineach on Buachaille Etive Beag but protected my camera kit. Always look on the bright side. Cracked a couple of ribs. No climbing until my knee is fixed. What to do? Started my website - www.johnmcsporran.com - but I guess you know that since you're reading this.
Got my knee operation. Doc said (you've probably guessed), I'm warning you - don't go bloody climbing for 6 weeks until its healed Mr McSporran. One week later........ Ben A'an for the 97th time.
Summer - I hate summer. I particularly hated this summer. It was the best weather the UK has seen for decades, temperatures sometimes above 30 degrees. Clear blue skies, warmth, happy smiling people. I hate summer - it's rotten for photography.
Autumn - thank goodness it's here. Weather back to normal in Scotland. Summer in Scotland normally lasts 2 weeks not 3 months. And, it's never the same 2 weeks as the 14 days are spread out over the 3 months - go figure?
Climbed Ben A'an for the 100th time in 3 years. Is this some kind of record (for stupidity)? Need to victimise some other hill now, so I've picked Buachaille Etive Beag in Glencoe. I've already climbed it about 40 times, so I've got a head start (I'm not so stupid after all - this point may be debatable).
Back to Skye and the West Highlands, my favourite locations for photography. I wanted something different at the Storr on the Isle of Skye so I climbed to the cliffs behind the Old Man of Storr. Everyone takes photos from the viewpoint (out of shot to the left), not me.
I wild camped on top of Sgurr an Fhidhleir in Coigach. It was a rough night with high winds battering the tent all night. Had to weigh the tent down with big rocks to stop it going on its own separate hiking adventure. Was it worth it - you decide.
After a spectacular Aurora the night before I went to sleep a happy man, thinking things can't get much better. In the pre-dawn light I took my normal 'man on a mountain' shot. Do I need to change my 'classic' pose?
Sunrise over the mountains of Assynt was simply superb.
Reached the finals of UK Mountain Photo of the Year for the 2nd year running (fingers crossed for the results in January 2019 - don't bother looking for the shot, it's not here). So as the year has ended, I'll leave you with a final shot. If you've been counting, you'll realise there are 13 photos. I know I said a 'dozen' photos. It's a 'Baker's Dozen' (13 not 12). Have a good 2019.