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Of winter climbs, photography and icy drives

At last decent winter conditions turn up across the West Highlands and like a migrating bird I blazed north once again to take on the western summits of Glencoe. My plan was to shoot from Sgor nam Fiannaidh and Sgur na Ciche. The conditions a few days earlier had been too rough to capture anything from the summits so I opted for something a little less challenging and manged a few decent images from a lower vantage point.

This time though, conditions were perfect and I'd elected to stay over in the Loch Leven hotel, so there was no need to rush back to Edinburgh. I'd managed to get the images I wanted and the route up was tough going; but no less enjoyable than I'd figured it might be while planning it weeks before. There was deep snow...very deep in places and although this can be energy sapping and slowing, it was the summit of Sgur Donhuill that kept me glancing back over my shoulder and slowing me down more than the snow was. Almost four hours after I left the car park, I made the summit. the summits in every direction were now showing their true winter brilliance; and this was I reasoned why I love the winter mountains so much. I was shooting this time with two cameras (not at the same time!) one had a fairly standard landscape set up and 24 70mm lens; and the other a 70 200mm setup for shooting a more compressed composition and thereby creating a layered look.

The day was as perfect a winter highland day as you could have ever asked for. The following day though, the weather had gone a little south bringing with it heavy snow; and the drive back was going to be a little more eventful. By the time I'd hit Rannoch Moor the snow was falling hard, the other drivers were falling back. And I'd found myself at the front of a convoy of cars admittedly I was pulling away from the group. Their big SUVs didn't seem to be up for the overtake today, I wonder why? I'd been thinking to myself as I drove along that I hadn't seen another car going the other way? Then I seen one. On it's roof, at the side of the road! This probably made the nervous drivers behind me slightly more twitchy. By the time I'd got to Strathyre the snow and ice was fading and it was easy driving and loud music all the way back. I've added some of the images to latest work gallery.

Enjoy xx B

Winter over the Eastern Mamores and Nevis


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