Over the last decade, Winter in Scotland has commonly arrived very late and left too early. More recently, the first snows have arrived at the end of October and it's been cold enough for the white stuff to stay on past March. Always confident, I'm sure this trend will continue and it will be another great winter season for me to photograph hiking, backpacking, biking and ski-ing (and hopefully some winter surfing too).
To start the season off, a group of us headed out for some fun winter hiking on Creise and Meall a'Bhuiridh, two Munros in the Blackmount region near Glen Coe in the West Highlands of Scotland. We started at the Glen Coe ski centre and headed towards Buachaille Etive Mor before cutting over the shoulder of Creag Dubh to enter the Cam Ghleann. There are a number of ways up Creise, the hardest scramble being Sron na Creise, a Grade 3 summer scramble or Grade 2 winter climb. We had no ropes this early in the season so sought out a winter scramble on the north-east ridge of Stob a'Ghlais Choire. On the way, the group split into two and we met up at the summit to the sounds of a Sea King helicopter operating nearby in the cloud (we thought it was over the area of Curved Ridge on the Buachaille and we hope everyone was okay).
From the summit of Stob a'Ghlais Choire, a snowy walk took us round to the Munro summit of Creise and beyond, where we located the steep descent to the bealach between Creise and Meall a'Bhuiridh. This proved to be the most difficult part of the day, with the steepness caused by the depth of snow forcing us to face in for a bit, cautious of the many sharp rocks down below. Once past this tricky bit, it was an easy ascent to the summit of Meall a'Bhuiridh, which we reached in the dark around 5pm. From there, a long descent underneath the ski tows (c.800m), often in deep snow, took us back to the car. All in all, it was a great start to the winter season.