HRP Complete

I feel as if I’ve been in a time warp! Seven weeks of walking on the HRP has gone by in a flash and now I’m home, with life apparently continuing as if nothing has happened.

I just want to register a few thanks to everyone who has taken such an interest in our expedition, and given such great support. It has been inspiring and touching to know that so many friends are there in the background whilst we have been on the trail.

It will take me a while to get together everything that I want to share. I have already started the process of editing and preparing some 2500 images, and I can say already that the photography looks to have been successful, but very different to what I expected. I made fewer images than I thought I might too, mainly through being conservative with battery power.

I have been taken right back to the roots of my photography, documenting an expedition. And I remember what the problems are. Firstly, we were travelling for seven or eight hours every day; the priority activity is to move, not to hang around making pictures. Secondly, we passed many of the best locations in the middle of the day, and all photographers know what that means for light. Conversely, at the beginning and the end of the day when the light is best, we were not always at the best photographic locations, rather camped or shacked up in a bothy at the most convenient staging point for the walk. I’ll elaborate more on some of these thoughts in a later piece.

Meanwhile a few stats:

  • We finished the HRP at 3:45pm on 3rd August, having taken 50 days – 45 days walking and 5 days rest.
  • We walked approximately 500 miles and made 50000m of ascent.
  • We slept in the tent for 41 nights, in wardened refuges (Viados, Restanca and Bouillouses) on 3 nights, and in open cabanes / bothies on 6 nights. Almost all the non camping nights were in poor weather.
  • Rain fell on 13 days and several days in mid-July were cold enough to feel like Snowdonia in November
  • By contrast, the temperature in Béarn reached 40°C on 25th to 27th of June
  • I lost one and a half stones (21 pounds) in weight!
  • I made over 2500 images

We met some fantastic people on the route too: Glenn, Martine and Lut from Belgium, Knut from Norway, Rob and Atlantis from the USA, Lasse and Timo from Germany, Rob and Gerard from the Netherlands, Steve and Tracey from UK, plus numerous others. If you’re out there, let us know how you were going since we last saw you; as we’d love to know. Hopefully you all completed what you wanted to complete.

My plans are to compile several resources from this trip:

  • an online journal with images
  • a literary travel book
  • an image compendium and galleries
  • advice for HRPers – things Ton Joosten doesn’t tell you, or where we and Ton disagree …

It has been an absolute blast, and my last word on this short completion summary is for Wayne, whose company is always valued hugely, and who overcame more than his fair share of difficulties both before and during the trip to complete it with me. Thanks mate; it has been an awesome achievement!!

… K

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