I am so glad I always took photos on the hills! What was your favourite old camera?

It is not hard to take photos nowadays the simple camera phone /digital revolution makes it so easy to take photos on the hill. I have always carried a camera and broken so many over the years but that is me.

The photo below is of my Dad and me in Galloway in the late  60’s its poor quality but I treasure it. It was taken with a wee simple Kodak camera.

1970 Dad and me Galloway

There are so many photos and so many on slides that I still have to scan or copy from before the digital age and what great joy it is to see the old photos of past adventures. It was not so easy back then films costs money to get developed and cameras were not cheap and got hammered in the outdoors especially in winter.  Cameras froze as did fingers but it was worth the effort at times for that shot.

This photo below is on Ben Attow  near Kintail in 1972 a simple shot a bit out of focus but my early days with the Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team. I am the wee lad with the rope.

It was great with the team as we had the odd photographer in the team but we did not often get action shots on the hills it was mainly the Base camp, Annual team photos, briefings etc were the norm. On big call – outs the Press may give a briefing photo as below on the Viscount Crash on Ben More (Crianlarich ) in 1973 taken at Lochernhead Village Hall before the start of the search!

To get action shots took a while to get the hang of it and I was told to just snap often and keep the camera handy and go for it. It is so easy nowadays ! So many old pals say to me I wish had some photos of the past days and often I can produce something from another era.

This one was taken by a Royal Navy photographer out with us in Skye in August 1972 great days on the hills.


1980 the Lakes Helvellyn see my Olympus camera.

On the Big walks  across Scotland I carried a camera but Terry Moore and Paul Burns took plenty of photos this was in the mid 70’s and that gave me the kick I needed and from then on I really enjoyed taking photos whenever I could. Thanks Terry Moore and Paul,life time memories

Olympus Trip a old pal.

When I moved to North Wales  with the RAF Valley Team I really started taking photos and rock climbing and winter climbing, the Climbing magazines at that time had incredible photos of climbers that gave us so much enjoyment and showed what could be done.

Before a display in the hangar for someone “that important “I have forgotten who?

1983-Canada-Mount-Kidd-falls- Marky and Cheeky. Not easy taking photos in -20 !

In winter it was harder and Canada in the early 80’s was a shock but we got some great photos for the time that will be with me forever. Taking photos in very low temperatures and using Camera Cases that protected your camera when they came out and were a great help. As was an attachment cord/ sling to your camera, how many in winter were dropped and went smashing down the gullies and hills?

The Olympus and camera case – Photo Scouse Atkins.

Its easy now but I am so glad that we sorted out the old photos at RAF Kinloss thanks to Ray Sefton and we have so much historic photos of the past from 1944 – to the present day. Ray digitilised them all  and what a record they are.  They tell some story and I doubt if anyone has such a record they are incredible.

One of my early call – outs in the 70’s on Braeraich .

25-27/12/78 Braeriach 2 missing walkers. Avalanche- sadly both fatal. Wild weather.

So we have it easy nowadays but what joy the photos bring to you, so get that scanner out and lets see some of the old photos please?

My top tip keep the camera handy and take plenty of photos you will never regret it. If out stop and grab that moment the light the changing weather and the stunning beauty of these wild places.

1973 Desert Rescue Hill day I chose to pose!


About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Equipment, Family, Friends, Gear, History, Ice climbing Canada, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Scottish winter climbing., Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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