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Footprints over Ingleborough: field notes

Alex Roddie
Alex Roddie
3 min read

In the April 2017 issue of The Great Outdoors, available now, you’ll find my feature on backpacking a classic circuit over Ingleborough and Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales. Here are a few photos that didn’t make it into the article.

I walked this route in January, but the weather felt more like late March or early April: glorious sunshine, light winds, and mild temperatures (except at night, when it become very cold). I get variable luck with conditions in the Yorkshire Dales, so I think I was fortunate this time.

Strolling down from Ingleborough’s summit. The value of a full-height tripod is clear when planning photos like this
Frosty

Although these are big hills by Dales standards, this was a very chilled and relaxed outing. Navigation was easy, the terrain straightforward underfoot, and I had little to think about but enjoying the outdoors.

Whernside surprised me. I know Ingleborough well, but had never set foot on its neighbour. I’d always assumed it to be a rather dull and inspiring hill, but actually Whernside’s views more than compensated for its rather pedestrian profile. I enjoyed a splendid wild camp on a flat patch of grass beneath the summit1.

The wind-battered trees at Twistleton Scar lend themselves to strong, wide-angle compositions. The double-page spread for my article was taken from the other side of this tree
On Whernside’s ridge

After summiting Whernside the next morning, I descended to the Station Inn at Ribblehead, passing beneath the famous viaduct. Pro tip: the Station Inn serves excellent pork pies. The ale was well kept, too.

The Ribblehead Viaduct

Photographic notes

I decided to take two cameras and the full-height tripod with me on this trip. Here’s the gear I carried:

  1. Fujifilm X-T1
  2. Fujifilm X-E1
  3. Fujinon XF 35mm f/2
  4. Samyang 12mm f/2

The X-T1 was attached to the superwide; the X-E1 was in charge of the 35mm. I ended up using both cameras equally, although I still find it very hard to compose with the superwide – I always end up cropping in Lightroom. Its perspective is a bit crazy too. I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer my 18mm prime2, and have decided not to keep the Samyang 12mm.

As expected, I was very pleased with the 35mm. I can easily visualise 35mm (52mm full-frame equivalent) framelines over the scene, so composition is fast and easy. I certainly can’t do that with the 12mm!

The full-height tripod was absolutely essential. It makes easy work of environmental self-portraits – crucial images for magazine commissions. I am looking at ways of getting the weight down, but I have no doubt that I’ll be carrying a full-height tripod solution on all future trips. Unfortunately, relying on an ankle-height Ultrapod is just not good enough for my needs.

I left both cameras in the tent porch overnight. Despite the fact that temperatures dropped below -7˚C, the cameras were responsive the next morning and the batteries were fine.

Dawn glow over Ingleborough

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  1. I have some great photos from that wild camp, but they aren’t for public eyes just yet – I’m keeping them back for a tent review!
  2. The Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 is smaller, lighter and easier to use than the Samyang, and image quality is at least as good – even for astrophotography. This makes the Samyang somewhat redundant for my requirements.
NotesOutdoorsbackpackingField Notes

Alex Roddie

Happiest on a mountain. Writer, story-wrangler, digital and film photographer. Editor of Sidetracked magazine (I make the words come out good).

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