21st February 2014Filming the Scafells: A labour of love

Terry Abraham is someone who has most definitely fallen in love with the Western Lake District - and one area of it in particular. Since April 2013 Terry has been spending days and nights camping out high on the fellsides around Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain at the head of Wasdale, as he gathers footage for his latest film Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike. I caught up with Terry recently to ask him why Scafell Pike and the mountains neighbouring it had such a pull on him.

 Scafell Pike

Dawn light on Langdale Pikes, photo by Terry Abraham

"Of all the places I have been, the Scafells (by which I mean the whole area including Great End, Lingmell, Broad Crag and all the other fells in the massif) have something that resonates with me very deeply on an emotional level, especially the southern side of the Scafells, where you have got true mountain scenery that really changes throughout the seasons. It is really alpine in the winter and so beautiful in the autumn colours. In the summer season, when you are on the Wasdale side but high up somewhere like Yewbarrow, it can look absolutely stunning. As you come into November the sun sets in line with Wasdale and that lights up The Screes and it looks absolutely amazing. Later in January and February the sun sets further south in Eskdale and the colour of the sun hitting the sides of those mountains in winter, there is no doubt that is the best view in all of England.

 Scafell Pike

Great End at dawn, photo by Terry Abraham

"On that side of the mountain in particular you get a real sense of wilderness, it contrasts with the side that most people see from Wasdale where they just look like large grass humps.

"I enjoy backpacking and I am willing to backpack in all seasons and in all conditions and I can get to places that other film crews would never dream of going. I will happily spend three or four days in a place to get that special shot. I want people to be able to share the beauty of the area that I see.

"How long I stay out in the mountains depends on how much food I can take. I generally spend four nights on them before dropping down to somewhere like Wasdale Head. It is not a vast area and so I am never more than a day away from somewhere. Generally all the equipment I carry weighs in excess of 30kg; there are a couple of tripods, the camera, spare batteries and the mics and boom mic and on top of all that there is still my camping gear. I have to admit there are several places where I don't really look forward to the walk in anymore, I have done it so many times weighed down with my gear, but on the other hand there are other areas I always look forward to walking through.

 Scafell Pike 2014

Terry Abraham's snowy camp during filming for 'Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike'

"Winter is the season I look forward to the most, but you have to be careful. You have to have the right equipment and the right attitude and use your commonsense. The area is prone to avalanches and the boulder fields get covered in snow, you can be walking along one minute quite happily and then be up to your waist.

"Most people live in the urban world and they are so used to noise around them. I can come back from one of my trips and I suddenly realise how much I can hear around me; people talking in their homes nearby and planes and trains. If people come from an urban environment they will find the silence in the Scafells unnerving at first. People forget that this quiet world is the world we lived in, that's the world we came from. You get used to it and it is addictive."

 Scafell Pike

Esk Pike at dawn from Great End, photo by Terry Abraham

Find out more...

Terry's film 'Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike’ is due to premiere at the Rheged Centre on May 10, 2014, at 7.30pm. For more information and tickets go to: www.rheged.com

Terry Abraham's Blog… http://terrybnd.blogspot.co.uk/

Some trailer film clips from Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike...

Whitehaven - the perfect day out
Millom & Black Combe

Brian Sherwen Photography

Many images on this website have been supplied to us by Brian Sherwen.