On the first day of a new year the Mourne Mountains are generally lit by the light from head torches as people venture out to climb Slieve Donard, the largest mountain in Northern Ireland.

I haven’t joined the group in a few years and the 4.30am start wasn’t easy especially given the weather during the last few days of December. Getting up this early reminded me of the epic adventure in The Lake District as part of ‘Freedom Through Photography‘.

Climbing Donard

It was was challenge as we got up through the forest and realised the mountains were obscured by the low, rain fill clouds. I faded at the Mourne wall and let the others climb the steep ascent to the tip of Donard.

The Mourne Wall, County Down, mist

I packed the Fujifilm X100s with the WCL-X100. I was particularly anxious taking it out in the rain and reverted to shooting without the WCL-X100 and keeping the camera in the leather case in my waterproof pocket.

Mourne Mist

As a result there were only a few images captured during the fast paced climb and these were mostly of the team who ventured out. This post features the remains, just a few images snapped through the agressive wind and rain.

The Mourne Wall

I shot all the photos RAW and converted to mono in post production. I think the black and white conversion reinforces the experience, cold and void of colour. It was only when we reached the forest at the bottom of mountains that the colour began to bleed back into the landscape and we began to warm.

Mourne Forest

Despite not seeing the top of Slieve Donard this year it was a refreshing challenge. Like others I was happy to reach the top of the Mourne wall and the experience offers up a new year’s resolution to get to the top of Donard before the summer.

Links

Photos of the Mournes
Fujifilm X100s Review
Northern Ireland Landscapes