10 Snowy Mountainscapes to Inspire You This Winter

Words: Scott Norris (@radventuresofficial) | Banner image: Andrew Whitham // winter 2019

Frost grips Glen Sligachan on the Isle of Skye

I am heading to Scotland this winter and recently I've found my mind wandering through snow-laden peaks and frost-gripped glens. It's easy to disregard a landscape this cold as beyond your abilities or simply too much trouble. I hope this collection of images inspires you to push your limits this winter and enter a realm unlike no other.

The photographers in this collection range from pro to hobbyist. That fact alone is a testament to the possibility of producing a stand-out photo simply by being in the right place at the right time. In this case, the right place is frequently a teeth-shuddering, knee-trembling perch with a stunning view!

#1 Robin Heath - Forcan Ridge, Scotland

A hiker crosses a perilous ridge, banked with snow

"Amazing condition for October." Photograph by @heath.robin, featured in the image is @samsimpson48.

This adrenaline-inducing image follows the Forcan ridge on a route up to The Saddle in Glen Shiel. Exposed even in summer, snowy conditions give this approach a wild edge!

#2 Sam Marshall - Cwm Idwal

A local to Snowdonia, Sam's instagram is gaining some attention these days (for good reason!). This oldie looking across Llyn Idwal to Pen Yr Ole Wen certainly rivals Scotland in winter spirit.

This image enchants me as it captures the muted palette of winter perfectly: black, white and the darkest of blues.

#3 Alex Nail - Liathach, Torridon

The curving, Liathach of Torridon, draped with snow, lays under a starry sky

"A moonlit view of Liathach from just below Spidean Coire Leith. In the distance on the left are Beinn Damph and Beinn Bhan." - Can you spot the tent?

Alex's photography is never uninspiring and this image from his new book, NORTHWEST, is no exception. Though a digital copy doesn't quite do it justice, this rendition of the moonlit Torridian giant, Liathach, is a mesmerising take on a mountain usually portrayed as a formidable leviathan.

#4 Simon - Aonach Mòr

"The view from Aonach Mor looking over the snow capped mountains with the prominent peak of Schiehallion standing out between them."

Snow's ability to briefly return rock to liquid waves is, for me, one of it's most endearing features. Imagining the forces at work when stone boiled, writhed and was spewed to the surface is always humbling. @thegacke's image captures this history. A moment frozen in time in so many ways and in one glorious frame.

#5 Andrew Whitham - Beinn a'Chrulaiste

A man hunches, surveying the world of white below, as twilight descends

Hunkered down, high above the Glencoe valley, Andrew shows us a darker side of Scotland. When you consider that at its height, the Scottish winter is blessed with only 7 hours of daylight, it's clear this is a world shaped by night.

The panorama at the top of this page - Glen Sligachan on the Isle of Skye, at dawn - is also one of Andrew's photographs.

#6 Michael Eyton - Stob Bàn

Silhouetted, a group of climbers descends the north ridge of Stob Bàn. These fellow mountain-folk really make the image. It's often hard to find a sense of scale in shots like these - @michaeleyton's capture is a reminder that there is beauty to be found on almost any hillock in the highlands.

#7 Scott Kirkhope - Glencoe

A lone walker ascends an untrodden blanket of snow towards a gleaming peak

Scott runs his mountain guiding company from Fort William. He is no stranger to the lure, challenges and treasures of the winter landscape.

I was immediately caught by the way the cloud-addled light plays across this image of a lone hiker, approaching Stob Coire nan Lochan.

#8 K M Johns - Buchaille Etive Beag

The symmetry and horizontal layering here combine to create a superbly composed shot.

In @mountaineeringlife's words, it was "too cold" for anything other than a phone snap. This image certainly proves the adage that the best camera is the one you have on you.

#9 Hamish Frost - Glen Shiel

Two figures march over a blanket of white, picked off by the rising sun in the distance

@hamishfrost went out against the odds at 3am, hoping that the sun would rise and dispell the veil of falling snow and bitter cold. His faith was not misplaced it seems.

Sometimes you have to go out on a limb, but rarely does hard work pay off like this. What a day for ski touring!

#10 James Lamont - Coire an Lochain

The light grazing the tops are in stark contrast to the chill I can feel from this corrie. @mountainjames86 captures the moment brilliantly. To me, it's like the climber is part of the sediment in the rock.

#11 Liam Campbell - Binnean Mor, Mamores

A helmeted mountaineer sits, looking out on a cloud inversion above the Mamores of Scotland

I couldn't resist squeezing in an extra photograph. This cloud inversion in the Mamores of Scotland is a true beauty. The feeling of bumbling up through thick cloud only to burst through onto a bed of white above cannot be adequately described, only experienced. Liam Campbell's photograph does a pretty good job though.

This phenomenon is actually stronger and more common in winter. That dense pack of grey looming over you could be a welcome invitation! All the more reason to get out there and crunch some snow under your soles.

What will you remember this winter?

How will you remember the winter of 2018/19? That inversion around Binnean Mor, the stars twinkling over Liathach or that perfect day scrambling the Forcan Ridge? I hope you're inspired to get out there and explore the winter. I know I am.

If you've connected with any of the images above, please show the photographers some love. And/or, if you're wishing you had the expertise to venture out into the Scottish winter, why not check out our winter skills course?

All photographers above have consented to their work being featured. If you have something you would like to share on the site, please get in touch: [email protected]

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