Ski touring trip reports from Hamish Frost often feel like a throwback to despatches from the frontline of exploration. His camera knows how to capture every moment of desperate exposure and harrowing beauty in those unique Scottish conditions. This photo story from Creag Meagaidh is no exception.
It was early February and for several days the Highlands had been enjoying almost continuous snowfall down to sea level. Deciding to brave a typically Scottish forecast of snow showers and high winds, myself and Finlay Wild ventured out for a ski tour on Creag Meagaidh with vague intentions of completing the horseshoe route that circles around Coire Ardair.
It’s very easy to only choose to head out into the mountains when the weather is looking good, however from a photography point of view I’ve learnt that it pays to get out when conditions are looking a bit wilder. The dramatic and fast changing light you’re often rewarded with on days like this results in much more interesting photos than you’ll get on any good weather day.
Clipping into our skis in the car park, we were able to skin all the way to the summit of Carn Liath, before traversing west towards Creag Meagaidh into an energy-sapping headwind. Reaching the head of The Window, a bealach which leads down into the magnificent Coire Ardair, we found good snow conditions so decided to descend down to the lochan below the formidable eastern buttresses of Meagaidh. From there we skinned half way up Sron a Ghoire before enjoying a final descent all the way back to the car.
I’ve only skied on Meagaidh before during the late season when the only remaining snow has been in the gullies. In the heart of winter this place takes on a totally different feel - wild, isolated and imposing.
To find out more about Hamish Frost and his incredible photography, visit hamishfrost.com