BEN VORLICH, SCOTLAND - 28 DECEMBER 2013: James Hathway battling strong winds during an ascent of Ben Vorlich, a Munro in the South-East Highlands of Scotland

After planning to take a break in December and not take any photos, I had a last-minute change of heart and joined two mountaineers who are preparing for their Winter Mountain Leader Award on an ascent of Ben Vorlich, a Munro located in the South East Highlands of Scotland. 

The weather forecast wasn't promising (along the lines of constant 35-50mph winds, gusts up to 70mph and terrible visibility) but if there's one thing I've learned about mountain photography, it's that good weather does not always make for great photographs. 

Up to 600m, it wasn't even worth getting the camera out. The snow was falling as rain and the visibility was, very accurately, terrible. Once we got higher up, the rain turned to snow and the wind really began to blow. What followed was a battle for us to stay on our feet and a challenge for me to make some worthwhile images as we made our way up and down from the summit. (It must be the first time I've front-pointed on a c.20 degree slope to save being blown away by the weather).

All in all, I had a great time capturing these shots and it was an excellent 'goggles-on' Scottish winter day out. I'm glad I went.