Scafell Pike and Scafell at dawn in winter. Photo: Terry Abraham

Scafell Pike and Scafell at dawn in winter. Photo: Terry Abraham

A film chronicling a year in the life of England’s highest mountain will be shown on national television.

Outdoor enthusiast Terry Abraham’s Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike will be screened on BBC Four next week.

The film is the Newark, Nottinghamshire-based cinematographer’s second feature length work since he was made redundant four years ago.

The documentary contains interviews with local authors and broadcasters such as David Powell-Thompson, Eric Robson and Mark Richards along with mountaineer Alan Hinkes, fellrunner Joss Naylor, outdoor writer and photographer Chris Townsend and Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team. The programme was filmed over a 12-month period and follows the seasons on the mountain from spring lambs through to winter snows.

Through contributions of the British Mountaineering Council’s Carey Davies and the National Trust the importance of maintaining the landscape quality of England’s highest mountain plays a central role in the film which is introduced by the shepherdess Alison O’Neill.

Terry Abraham is a self-taught filmmaker and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors. After being made redundant from an IT role, he took the opportunity to develop his video skills and carve out a career inspiring the public to the scenic countryside on offer in the United Kingdom.

His first feature length video was the critically acclaimed The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend.

Thanks to crowd-sourced funding from the general public and support from a number of outdoor manufacturers, in December 2012 Mr Abraham set about producing Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike.

The project involved camping out alone in all seasons, capturing all angles and perspectives of England’s highest peak, an area very close to his heart.

Terry Abraham. Photo: Terry Abraham

Terry Abraham. Photo: Terry Abraham

“I’ll be the first to admit that after just a few weeks I wondered if I’d ever complete the project.

“Technically producing the film was a steep learning curve to say the least, but more than anything having to camp out for days on end chasing those special scenes on video proved to be extremely difficult. In retrospect, I think I was absolutely nuts to set out and produce the feature, especially on my own.

“All said and done, the experience has proved life-changing for me on so many levels. Be it the close friends I’ve made in the Wasdale area or filmmaking in general.

“Would I do it again? Yes and no. It took over my life, and proved hard for my wife and family to deal with at times, never mind me. Emotionally it was very difficult.

“My dream arguably became an obsession but thankfully it all paid off in the end.

“For the past few weeks in between trips out amongst the fells of the Lake District, I’ve been busy working with the BBC endeavouring to drum up a 60-minute abridged edit of the film for TV.

“I’ve learnt a great deal from them even though it’s been heart-wrenching at times, deleting countless scenes, trimming others, all the while aiming to produce an edit that does the full film a modicum of justice for TV.

“The film has been shown every day on an Imax screen at the Rheged Centre, Penrith since its premiere. Observing the positively overwhelming responses from audiences to that alone, never mind folks elsewhere after viewing the DVD et al has been truly humbling.

“It has given me tremendous joy seeing the smiles, the tears and inspiration. Which all drives me on to produce something bigger and better in the future.

“I’d like to give special thanks to all of the film’s sponsors who had the faith and trust in me to produce the documentary. I can imagine it was something rather scary for them given my rookie status and the length of time involved to complete but I do hope I’ve made them all very proud.”

The 60-minute abridged version of the film will be screened at 9pm on BBC Four next Wednesday, 14 January. It will also be available on the BBC iPlayer after its broadcast.

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