Even standing more or less still for a couple of hours or more in sub-zero temperatures, somehow you just don’t feel the cold.
The touch of warm colour in the sky as sunset approached probably helped.
In a matter of minutes, the clouds moved, the sky changed, the sun appeared, and the landscape changed from this:
The journey from Glasgow to Skye isn’t all that long as far as drives go, but it could take forever because of the concentration of stunning places to see along the way: a landscape photography paradise.
The odd thing about that part of Scotland – especially on breezy mornings at sunrise – is that it can be colder at any time of year than a Siberian winter: the wind chill factor. A sturdy tripod is obligatory, along with windproof and water-resistant everything.
Lovely to watch the light powdery snow being lifted by the breeze then swish and swirl across the road. Then anxiety flashed into my dreamy thoughts as I warmed up in the van after an afternoon of trudging up and down the slopes, snowshoeless: if I happened to fall back and lose sight of my companions, this lovely drifting powdery snow would soon cover up our fresh, knee-deep tracks, making it impossible to distinguish the path back to the van from the older paths that occasionally crisscrossed the vast expanse of land around us. A sobering thought as the warming cognac was passed around.
This is what some of Altai’s countless unskied slopes looked like a few weeks ago. Something tells me that most of them are too remote to ever become crowded ski resorts, but you never can tell.
One day, investigating photographing possibilities for sunset, we scouted around a cliff that jutted out scarily over the other end of this valley. We trudged up and down through knee-deep snow, perching on the cliff edge, wondering. The backdrop of the magnificent peaks was appealing, and there were infinite possibilities, but in the end I opted for this view – and a shorter and easier sunset walk 😉 – after which I discovered that the clamp knob on my tripod head had become stuck, maybe frozen into place. Best to head off for the van, I decided, and let it warm up again before trying to undo it. A nice chat with Vadim and Natalya followed, with Natalya astounding me with her ability to interpret between Russian and English.