My Perfect Night Out – Cairngorm Solstice

A certain euphoria came over me as I dashed back and forth. This was living. My heart was bursting with the joy of the mountain. My lungs breathed the clarity of the air. My blood flowed with the purity of the water that flowed and pooled in the rocks. My eyes sparkled with richness of the morning light. My body felt the coldness of the wind and stone, but met it with its own life and warmth. A part of everything. Not apart from it.

Coire Mhic Fhearchair – A Perfect Torridon Night

For many years I’ve wanted to spend a night camped at the spectacular Coire Mhic Fhearchair in Torridon. This magnificent coire is one of the finest in Scotland, owing to its remote location and its incredible geology. The coire lies on the north side of Beinn Eighe, among some of the wildest terrain to beContinue reading “Coire Mhic Fhearchair – A Perfect Torridon Night”

A Walk Among Elementals

“this journey (…) is not to be undertaken lightly. One walks among elementals, and elementals are not governable. There are awakened also in oneself by the contact elementals that are as unpredictable as wind or snow” Nan Shepherd, The living Mountain I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about this place. TheseContinue reading “A Walk Among Elementals”

Meditative Photography

Very often landscape photography feels like a chase; trying to read the signals of weather, light and landscape to put yourself in the right place and time to see something remarkable. Guessing, hoping, searching, trying, often failing. But it’s not always like that. Sometimes photography happens much more gently. Like sleep, it comes when youContinue reading “Meditative Photography”

My First Wild Camp of the Year

The recent spell of fine weather here in the Highlands was a great opportunity to enjoy a relatively easy night out in a tent. After several good hill days on Cairngorm and Creag Meagaidh, I was very keen and eager to spend some more time among the mountains with my camera. I chose a fairlyContinue reading “My First Wild Camp of the Year”

Sunset on Cairngorm

I needed a moment to pause as I took in the ridge that I was about to climb. ‘Oh boy. Here we go.’ Sometimes I think it would be nice if these mountains would just stay the same size for once. But they seem to grow and they shrink. Tonight the ridge seems long. ‘NoContinue reading “Sunset on Cairngorm”

Walking at the Forest’s Edge

Despite having spent over a decade exploring the Caledonian Forests of the Rothiemurchus estate, there are some areas of these woods where I have very rarely set foot. The higher reaches of the forest, where it fades and blends into the mountainsides of the northern Cairngorms, is an area of huge photographic and emotional potentialContinue reading “Walking at the Forest’s Edge”

Today Was a Gift

A few days ago the first snows of winter arrived on the mountains. There was a hard edged clarity of light in the forest that I only know from winter – white edges and black shadows running along every branch. The remains of autumn colours clung to the tips of wind stripped birch trees, likeContinue reading “Today Was a Gift”

The Oaks of Sunart

As soon as the man on the phone stopped shouting at me and hung up, I made up my mind about going away. A few minutes later I had a self catering cottage booked in the village of Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. I reasoned that besides being a place I’d wanted to spend timeContinue reading “The Oaks of Sunart”

Glen Torridon and the Awe of Time

On a cloudy October morning in 2008, I quietly opened the door of Ling Hut, where we had arrived in darkness the night before, stepped out into the damp air and looked on the mountains of Torridon for the first time in my life. Since I was such a cartophile I was already familiar withContinue reading “Glen Torridon and the Awe of Time”