On 23rd September, George Robertson visited the club to give us our first face to face talk for more than 18 months. Two thirds of club members came to the Fisherrow Centre to see George’s talk, with another third joining remotely by Zoom. George is a member of Milngavie and Bearsden Camera Club and runs a guided mountain walking company called “MountainTreks” (see below).
He guides clients through mountaineering adventures, and his photography began from a need to give clients a visual record of their journey. George’s photographs have won him awards, the most recent being the ‘Urban Life’ category of ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year’ 2017 and 2020 awards. George’s work can be followed on his photography site:
The title of George’s talk comes from a book by Galen Rowell, containing a photographic record of his attempt to climb K2 in 1975. The book inspired George to travel to the Baltoro Glacier in the Karakoram mountains of Northern Pakistan. We had the privilege of leafing through the book and seeing the fantastic photographs contained within it.
George described to us the awe-inspiring journey he had made around this glacier a few years ago while escorting clients to the basecamp of K2. The group had to carry everything they needed for the trip, so there was little room for photographic equipment. George was limited to just a camera body, a single 18-200mm lens and 6 camera batteries. There was no point in attempting to fit a filter or change the lens because the environment was very hostile and dusty. The main purpose of the trip was to look after the clients, so there were only limited windows of opportunity for photography.
Despite the limited time and rigours of the trek, George still came away with a fantastic photographic record. We were treated us to a feast of staggeringly beautiful mountain images: bright snow; stark mountain peaks contrasting against a bright sky; threatening clouds wrapping around the peaks; the striated curves of flowing glaciers; and “mushroom” rocks balanced on stumps of ice. George’s photographs also described the story of the trip: the local towns and run-down buildings; the rough and broken roads; the river crossings; and the tiny tents clinging to a huge mountain landscape. There were also some great portraits of George’s group and of the local people he encountered on the way.
We ended the evening utterly gobsmacked by the quality and beauty of the mountain photographs. Very few people get to travel to these remote and inhospitable places. Thank you George for bringing us a flavour of this amazing scenery.