Richard Gaston’s photography has been a favourite for a long time.
A little ironic, but in a world that is increasingly urgent and lived through small digital screens, Richard’s Instagram feed provides escapism.
Beautifully epic mountain scenes frequently distract and prod away at a wish to be out exploring and high up. For me, mountains are calming places that provide space and perspective. A quick flick through Richard’s Instagram is a therapeutic reminder that mountains and wild landscapes are relatively accessible, close to home, and crying out to be explored.
With this in mind, and as we embrace the first few days of spring, we asked Richard to contribute to our series ‘Simple Days’.
Camban Bothy and the Bealach na Sgairne circuit.
A complete 18 mile base walk around the mountain, Beinn Fhada staying in Camban Bothy mid way through - a hut miles from anywhere.
A simple day in the Highlands of Scotland beginning late in the afternoon of Spring hiking through the Kintail Mountains, Glen Affric way. The sun perched on the horizon peering over the snow capped mountains, laminating the golden ground. Occasionally in the shadow of the mountains, and at times energised with the sun on our back, we plodded along the stony track. The new borns of Spring surrounded us as we ascended to a higher vantage point, scattering as we neared. A clearer view of what we have just left could be seen in the distance as we ventured over the bealach. The light was falling, yet to reach our destination, a little worried we wouldn’t make it before sunset. As we were left in the drags of the light we meandered through the hillside and finally in view was our destination, Camban Bothy - a welcomed site sitting isolated in the cold shadows.
Cold and dark we set up our sleeping bags and were asleep within the hour of arrival.
Awaking early on a bitter crisp morning, my nose the only exposed bit of flesh from my sleeping bag - it was cold to the touch. Quickly escaping my sleeping situation and into some warmer layers. We made our way outside of the cold bothy and into the warmth of the morning sun. After a quick scrub - if you could call it that: brush teeth, splash of water to the face - we continued on our circuit hike.
Later reaching to what could be regarded as an ideal dipping spot, we went for a bathe in the cold river. Basically the winter remnants of the thawing snow from the peaks above to the valley bed, unimaginably cold and refreshing - a more signifiant scrub perhaps…
We pushed on past the still mirroring loch, taking in a moment and eventually lead over the mountain pass completing our looping circuit, Bealach na Sgairne by late in the afternoon. Exhausted but enriched with a simple and rewarding experience...
A simple hike with simple pleasures all in a day.
Instagram | @richardgaston