Archive for December, 2010

Time for Visual Progress

December 10, 2010

Things have been somewhat slow moving with the book of late – it’s not stalling, exactly, it’s just not what you would describe as ‘marching forwards’!  I guess it’s the nature of such things; a labour of love for those involved.  We’re still making progress with the texts – Mr Fyffe has being doing some sterling work here, going through all that we have with a fine tooth comb to try and get a better level of consistency throughout the book.  In terms of the text we really just need the people we know best (you know fine well who you are!!!) to pull the finger out and get some drafts to us as soon as they can.  Hopefully with the great winter conditions at the moment people will be inspired to put pen to paper (?!).

Where we have stumbled a bit to date is with the photographs.  Despite some gentle encouragement, we’ve received very little from any of our friends and allies, and only relatively few from our appeals to the wider climbing community.  I find this quite strange.  Maybe it’s because people want money for their pictures these days.  Or maybe people just think that their pics aren’t good enough.  Whatever, we were expecting a little more feedback – plenty of people are aware of what we’re trying to do. 

But rest assured BSC followers – all is most certainly not lost!  Having been back and reviewed various other large format coffee table / Almanac-type climbing books, it’s clear that in many cases the photography therein has been specifically sourced.  In other words, to try and make sure we have as many as possible of the best quality, original photos, someone  has to willing to make a commitment and dedicate the time necessary to just go out there and get snapping.  Given that we are talking about typically very driven if not utterly obsessive climbers here, this is no small ask!!

However, things are looking up.  We’ve managed to ‘engage’ a number of amateur but highly talented photographers, with a passion for climbing and the Scottish hills, to agree to ‘adopt’ a number of crags and go forth to get some pictures.  In the first instance at least, they’ll focus on the crags.  One of these kind-spirited souls is the immensely talented Skyeman Colin Threlfall.  I didn’t know Colin before we started work on the book, and was directed towards him enthusiastically by a friend who had spotted some of his pictures on the UKClimbing web site.  I was instantly blown away.  For a wee taster of some of Colin’s photography check out his gallery on UKC here –  The great news is that Colin has started going out on a few dedicated ‘Big Stone Country’ photo shoots!  For me this represents a big step forward for the book.  Other photographic missionaries include our very own John Watson of Stone Country Press fame, my brother Pete Robertson (up in Lochinver) and Mr Macpherson (that’s Pete Macpherson’s dad!).  Obviously we don’t won’t to blow our cover by showing pictures we intend to use in the book, but as a consoltation you can keep up to date with Colin’s own personal blog here –

So it’s onwards and upwards in a slow but determined way.  We’ll hopefully be in a position to start speaking to some publishers soon, when we have a few sections completed.  Who knows at that point the whole thing might take off…

Happy climbing, Guy

ps – I’ve chucked in a picture of a recent first ascent on The Brack just to brighten up the page a bit 🙂