Thursday 7 August 2008

Filming Echo Wall

A sublime morning on Tower Ridge (Video still)

Many many thanks for all the comments you guys sent Claire and I over the past week about Echo Wall, and thanks for coming with me on the path, through my blog. It’s been a strange week since doing the route, with many thoughts running through our heads and interesting discussions.

The only time I’ve ever done this type of thing before (really dedicate myself to one thing for a spell) was with Rhapsody in 2006. So I was expecting to feel a highly strange sense of ‘nothingness’ after completing it, where this enormous part of your life suddenly evaporates. Whilst I am deeply happy with climbing the route and about every part of the process, it’s kind of sad in a way when it’s over.

It might sound funny or even objectionable to some people but I’m most in my element in the thick of grappling with these projects. Right now I feel kind of like a crashed car lying in the middle of the road on it’s roof with the engine still roaring and wheels spinning. It’s hard to wind down, suddenly at least.

No worries, because life always serves up so many brilliant things to fill the day while you wonder what to do next. Some days off are planned with Claire. But the main immediate activity that has replaced climbing Echo Wall has been filming Echo Wall!!

Claire decided to film the whole process of me trying this climb back last year. We blew all our savings (and then some) on the necessary equipment, and Claire began slogging it up the hill with me to capture the blood sweat and tears of trying to do a new route on the Ben. The idea of a film remained just a hypothesis until last Monday. Even though I realised last month that the climb was possible for me, we were at the mercy of the weather and it could easily have been next year or beyond unless I had been blessed with a perfect day of conditions and form last week. Now that the route is done, we turned around the next day and said to each other “we’ll be making a film then!”


The implications of this are somewhat scary. And scarier still after we worked out some ‘to do’ lists. But we are going to have a go at getting it ready for October. We reckon that the Ben is such a special place and it really deserves someone to go for it and try to capture it’s character, inspiration, intimidation and of course it’s beauty on film.

I’ll talk more about how this is coming along soon, but for now here are some photos from my filming the other day. Echo Wall, being on a big north face, doesn’t see much sun, But Echo Wall catches an hour or so just after dawn in mid summer. So my first stint behind the camera was to sleep out on Tower Ridge and capture a time lapse of the sun hitting Echo Wall.

All I can say is that it was a sublime night of visual delights – the milky way, amazing shooting stars, and a beautiful sunrise. I could get into this film making lark…

The morning sun hits the topout of Echo Wall

Tell me that doesn’t make you want to climb?!

The mountains of Knoydart bathe in the cold morning mist

Pre Dawn over Carn Mor Dearg


  1. Its not a bad office you work in Dave, really looking forward to the film. I like the complete nature of you writing on here and you managed to convey all the aspects of your work, so expecting the film to be similar. Its soon to be grit season... any plans to waste days on end in thh greasy spoon like previous? (it doesnt always rain, at least it didnt when I lived closer)


  2. Some really great shots there Dave - looking forward lots to seeing the finished film!

    Congrats again for bagging the route. Like many others I suspect, I thought it would be a while yet before you got the tick, so it was a great surprise to read the news when you did.

    Happy editing!