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50 on Macdui

50 on Macdui


by Alastair S » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:01 am

Route description: Ben Macdui and Derry Cairngorm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui, Carn a'Mhaim, Derry Cairngorm

Date walked: 26/02/2011

Time taken: 9.3 hours

Distance: 33.5 km

Ascent: 1545m

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Re: 50 on Macdui

Postby Alastair S » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:04 pm

yokehead wrote:I got to the same recently, now also on 51, but it'll take me longer to get further compared to you, you're in the Promised Land

I've got off to a decent start because I've got the Cairngorms within an hour's drive. But I'm rapidly running out of local mountains and the West coast is 4 hours drive for me. So my progress is going to start slowing down from now. Not that I'm too bothered as I'm in no great hurry. Still lots to do locally - & with petrol prices the way they are its just a well :D

yokehead wrote: did you have a filter or use software to get such vibrancy and colour?

I don't use filters when I'm out walking. However I do always tweak my photos in Photoshop Elements (the baby brother to the full-on Photoshop CS). My basic technique is to create layers for the sky & foreground, boost the sharpness for the foreground and adjust the levels for the sky to increase the dynamic range. The latter also results in richer blues in the sky. I probably spend between 5 to 15 minutes per photo - which is why I never get a report out till several days after the event.
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Re: 50 on Macdui

Postby Astronick » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:42 pm

Excellent report and photos Alistair. I've been admiring the photos as they've appeared on Flickr. In particular the shot of Etchachan with the blue hue to the ice and the contrast with the dark skies is brilliant. You certainly do get some great colour and details out of your sky. I might have to try the two layer approach and see how it works out - thanks for sharing! That is a good round for a winter day and as I've said on Flickr, I was getting the remnants of those big showers further south on the hills above Glen Callater. I did this round in late Spring a couple of years ago - I suspect the ascent of Macdui is maybe marginally more enjoyable at this time of year as all I remember was that it was a big boulder fest to get up to the plateau from the bealach!
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Re: 50 on Macdui

Postby houdi » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:57 pm

Excellent report and stunning pics. Tell me something though, why aren't your pics reduced to low res like everyone else's and why doesn't it display the KiB of your photos like everyone else's? Own up Alistair, what's your secret?
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Re: 50 on Macdui

Postby Alastair S » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:04 pm

houdi wrote:Excellent report and stunning pics. Tell me something though, why aren't your pics reduced to low res like everyone else's and why doesn't it display the KiB of your photos like everyone else's? Own up Alistair, what's your secret?

No secret houdi - you can either upload your photos directly to this site (in which case you get the photo file name, KiB & number of views displayed) or you can upload to other hosting sites (flickr, photobucket, picasa/google, etc...) and then add a link to the photo using the "Img" button above. I'd say the split is about 50/50 as to which method people use. This site doesn't do anything to the photos apart from re-size them so they are 640 pixels wide. I've got into my photography over the past couple of years as a result of my hill walking and now spend a lot of time (& not a little money) on this hobby. I'd also like to credit maddjock for inspiring me - his Cansip report blew me away with the quality of the photos. I've still a way to go to reach his standard but I feel I'm getting there - and I'm happy that you and others enjoy the results. Thanks.
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Re: 50 on Macdui

Postby potace » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:06 pm

Nice report & pics, especially the Loch Etchachan one - lovely contrast of the blue against the white.
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Re: 50 on Macdui

Postby Alastair S » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:27 pm

Astronick wrote:I suspect the ascent of Macdui is maybe marginally more enjoyable at this time of year as all I remember was that it was a big boulder fest to get up to the plateau from the bealach!

You're probably right there. From the bealach it was probably 50/50 snow & rock. It wasn't till I was over 1,000m that it was all snow. I just had rocks rather than boulders to deal with.

Its also interesting which photos people like here and over on Flickr. As usual I picked out a few of what I thought we the best to post on Flickr first, with the Loch Etchachan being one of them. Not a single comment on Flickr whereas several peeps have mentioned this one. And some that I have included just to show the conditions (e.g. the Luibeg ford one) have been marked as favourites on Flickr. You never can tell...
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Re: 50 on Macdui

Postby malky_c » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:00 pm

Beautifully illustrated report :D

This is one of my favourite routes in the Cairngorms, and I was lucky enough to have a similar day of it. This side of the 'gorms is definitely the best, although I tend to use the northern approaches more now for convenience.

Cheers for posting 8)
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Re: 50 on Macdui

Postby Merry-walker » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:41 pm

Beautiful Alastair, great reporting and stunning pictures from a favorite place of mine :D

Doing one of these hills in the near future, thank you for the lovely pictures. Congrats on your 50 :)

Are you knackered after all this? ha ha :lol:
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Re: 50 on Macdui

Postby skuk007 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:07 am

Excellent report, enjoyed reading and looking at the pics.
I intend to do the exact same route in June if poss so this has wetted my appetite even more now. :)
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Re: 50 on Macdui

Postby kevsbald » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:05 pm

Fab - the hue of the Loch with the storm over it is peculiar.
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