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Early winter in Glen Shiel

So, it's back to the mountains now and my first target was the impressive and majestic Glen Shiel and the imposing south ridge, a feast for peak baggers given that there are seven summits along the twisting ridge. I'd planned as always to head up early and make the 5 hour drive from Edinburgh and reach glen shiel around 9.00 a.m. As I drove up I kept one eye on the summits along the route, all of which had a good dusting of snow. I pulled off the road at Glen Shiel and looked towards the south ridge, there was a very distinct lack of snow? This time I'd be doing an overnight on the summit of Druim Shionnach (peak of the fox) and not requiring full winter gear or the extra weight, this would make things a bit more comfortable on the way up. Although there wasn't too much snow the temperatures told a more winter like story. I'd got onto the summit about an hour before sunset and set up the camp. The weather was looking grim as heavy cloud had started to fill in the fantastic clear skies which had accompanied me earlier. I could only hope that something might clear before sunset. Luckily it did and I managed to get the shots below, for the most part i'm happy with them; but kinda wished there had been more snow. I got back to the tent just before 5pm and slept easily, waking up thinking it might be around 4.00 a.m and being slightly disappointed to realise it was only 7.30pm? There is a lot of dark in winter! The tent was at least warm despite the minus 14 temp outside; and having something to read helped too. As did working out how quickly and easily it would be to get from the south ridge to the more ragged north ridge before sunrise I reasoned that although I could do it, I'd be cutting it too fine for sunrise, so left it for another more snow covered day. The drive back was perhaps the most beautiful winter drive i'd ever done. The early morning light had back lit the frosted trees all the way from Glen Shiel to Perth, it was like driving through a christmas card. These are the days that photographers live for and the only happen once in a while; when they do nothing feels better.


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