Fresh Perspectives of Winter
Winter walking has its own attractions. The valley floors can be covered in fog, as can be partially seen in the photo on the right, bringing a sense of liberty gained from rising above it,’ It also adds a charming mystery to the view.
The Scottish hills are quiet at the best of times, except for a handful of popular climbs. But winter brings its own sense of solitude and remoteness. This helps enormously when seeking to get away from things and to then return psychologically re-energised, with fresh perspective. The big panoramas, and the reminders of human fraility, reduce our stresses to the petty concerns that most of these are. We return from the hills with fresh vision and a renewed spirit that has connected with the Creator.
Scottish seasons are unpredictable. Autumn of 2018 carried on well into November and the weather continued to remain mild all the way into the second half of January 2019. This has meant some great hill days with a dusting of snow on the upper ridges and summits. Although the daylight hours are short, with careful planning and driving in the dark, I’ve been able to get a minimum of 8 hours of light - long enough for the majority of hikes in the hills.
The quality of light is mellow as the sun never gets that far above the horizon in this northern latitude. The sun can light up the winter browns and make them look ochre, and even with a hint of green again, especially where there are mosses. Ridge lines are etched with distinct shadow too, adding to the contrast and making the landscapes more dramatic..