Doug McDonald’s top photos from 2019.

A photographer takes thousands of images in a year… and we’ve asked a few of our regular photographers to pick their top photos from 2019.

Doug McDonald is BasqueMTB‘s top dog and has been running trips in the Basque Country for over a decade. He’s also a pretty handy photographer.

Here’s Doug McDonald‘s top photos of 2019:

The Basque Coast. This photo is actually from last year, however this year I printed it out BIG and it sits beside the workbench in the new basqueMTB workshop so I´ve included it as one of my favourite photos of the year. This just brings back so many happy memories of summer riding on the Basque Coast.

Riding high in the Pyrenees on our High Pyrenees trip. This is one of my favourite days, two massive descents with an equally massive lunch in between.

Mucking about in the Zona Zero badlands with our guide Igor. Late summer and the guides heading out for a ride when the guests had already had enough and were drinking beer in the old square of Ainsa.

Spring in the Backcountry Pyrenees. Riding high in the mountains as the flowers come out and the trails are perfect.

High above the Basque Coast. This was a ride my guide Igor and I did on a day between guiding. We have done this with several guests but it is definitely a tough one, with a carry up and then a super steep descent all the way down to the valley floor.

Another Backcountry Pyrenees trail, this is an old trail linking villages which have long since been abandoned. Lots of corners.

The Pyrenees in April is a special time to ride with the summer sun just picking up and the flowers all flowering. This picture just captures it for me, the careless manual, short sleeves and happy face.

Chasing mates down mountains. That´s what we do pretty much every day and it´s what never gets boring.

Not actually biking but this is a cool day on our Backcountry Pyrnees trip. Riding a great, remote trail we come across a group of hippies who are rebuilding an abandoned village. They make us a meal with what they raise from the land and it´s a fantastic experience. Like stepping back in time.

Basque Coast, riding into San Sebastian for a swim on the beach and a beer in my favourite bar. This is a trail I´ve been guiding for 11 years and it never gets boring.

Ordessa valley, Europe´s answer to the Grand Canyon. Lerm, a fantastic guest all the way from Thailand who has visited us a few times but really upped her fitness and technical game to get an entry on this trip. What a brilliant day, I´ll remember it for ever. Thanks Lerm.

What more to say. A classic trail, one of our favourites. I love how high you feel but the following day we look back from the mountains in the distance and it´s hard to pick out this ridge amongst all the other massive mountains.

This picture has a story. On our Ultimate Pyrenees trip we had a big, big day planned. One of our guests, a regular, was pretty seriously ill the night before and we thought he might miss the day. The next morning he got up, ready to leave at 5:30am, packed a big bag of MTFU, zipped his man-suit up tight and got out the door. This photo was taken at sunrise after carrying our bikes for almost 2 hours. He had an amazing day… with a few shit breaks along the way. It sums it up for me; get out of the house and have a ride, you´ll never regret it.

Massive landscapes. It´s part of the reason we love getting high in the mountains I think; there is something inside us which wants to feel insignificant if the face of massive geology.

High above the Basque Coast. These mountains stand above my house and it´s always a favourite. This year I discovered a new descent from here which just goes to show that you can never stop exploring. You never know what is lurking just out of sight.

If you fancy riding some of the gold in these fifteen photos, then check out BasqueMTB’s trips over on their website here.

Read Doug McDonald’s Wise Words interview here.

Check out our long form interview with Doug here.


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