Saturday 2 February 2019

In the Winter Forest

With a promise of sunshine and clear views I headed out intending to climb to the Cairngorm Plateau and revel in the snowy mountains. But driving to Aviemore and then down Glen More I was distracted by trees, trees shimmering and glistening with fresh snow, magical in the clearing mist and first shafts of sunlight. The idea of walking in the winter forest was enticing. The trees were calling.

By the time I reached Loch Morlich my plans had changed. The forest had won. I would wander through the trees to Ryvoan Pass and then head up Meall a'Bhuachaille, combining forest and hill.

Sun and snow and trees, a magical combination. Scots pines heavy with great slabs of snow, birches delicate and fragile, dressed in thin silvery shards. There was no wind, no sound. My boots were noisy on the crisp snow. Stopping often I absorbed the silence, the quiet adding to the feel of another world, the familiar landscape transformed by snow.

Lochan Uaine was frozen, the ice covered with snow, a white lochan now. Tracks showed where people had been out on the ice. Frosted trees stood silently round the shore, waiting maybe, but for what?

As the trees began to thin it was the last birches that stood out, entrancing jewels shining in the sunshine.

An icy path led out of the trees. I looked back, down through the forest and out to distant hills. Now it was time for the hills. But that's for my next post.


  1. Wonderful. Nothing like a forest in snow.

  2. Cracking photos Chris. And one of my favourite walks. Looking forward to seeing your pics from the summit 😊

  3. Lovely photos. That's something that always surprises me - how different the landscapes sound under snow.