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All things hiking News Winter

Guest blog by John McSporran: Glencoe Munros in winter

We’ve scheduled a new trip for winter 2024. We’re going to be based in Glencoe for a week in March bagging some tasty Munros. It’s a new venture for us so we’ve looked for some spectacular images to illustrate the trip. On a search of Flickr, we found John McSporran. John has kindly agreed not only to lend us some of his spectacular Glencoe images, but he’s also written a brief summary of why he personally finds Glencoe such a fascinating area to explore.

GUEST BLOG: Photography in Glencoe by John McSporran

I first began photographing Glencoe about 20 years ago. It is one of those places where the weather is always changing, the light can be fantastic one minute and terrible the next. It can be mean and moody, mystical and magical, but always interesting and frequently awe inspiring. Even on horrible days, that fleeting moment when a beam of light strikes the mountains makes it all worth while.

About 10 years ago I realized that if I wanted the best photos of Glencoe I needed to get high.  That’s when I began climbing its mountains. Then I realized that I needed to be ‘up top’ for sunrise and sunset (the golden hours). That’s when I climbed in the dark using a head torch. Then I began to camp out up top. Then I went ‘full on’ and climbed in the dark in mid winter using an ice axe and crampons – just for that one great photograph. Carrying 25 kilos / 55 lbs of camping and photography gear to the top of a mountain can be hard (particularly when in your late 50’s), but the experience of stunning sunrises and sunsets in Glencoe makes it all worth while.

Why go out in the mountains?

I have met hundreds of people on the Scottish mountains, some I meet many times, some only once, but there is a community spirit amongst those who climb mountains, especially photographers – solitary committed people whose hard shell cracks as soon as we begin to swap stories.

Glencoe Munros

Winter in the Glencoe Munros – the Aonach Eagach

Which are your favourite mountains in Glencoe?

My favourite Glencoe mountains are Beinn a’Chrulaiste and Buachaille Etive Beag. They are not the hardest or the tallest, but they provide the best viewpoints and give sweeping panoramas of the others.

Glencoe Munros

Glencoe Munros by John McSporran
Making good use of light in the Glencoe mountains

What other locations are among your favourite spots in Glencoe?

Other favourite locations are:

Glencoe walking

Glencoe by John MacSporran
The joys of walking in the Glencoe hills

There are so many great locations, you are spoiled for choice.

We have a saying in Scotland – if you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes, it will change. I hope you enjoy your visit to Glencoe.


For more choices of walking holidays in Scotland, head over to our main holiday page

For more information on walking in the Highlands


New itinerary for Glencoe Winter Munros 2024

We’re busy pulling together the final details for all our winter Munro walking trips, including  a planned return to the Glencoe area. Despite not having written the prose to promote this itinerary we do already have bookings so best to express your interest as soon as possible.

We are delighted to announce our new, revised itinerary for our Winter Munros trip in Glencoe. We will again be based at River Mill Cottage and will be following the itinerary below as closely as the weather allows:

Here’s the outline itinerary:
Day 1: Glas Bheinn Mhor (997m), 14.6km, 1116m of ascent and 6hrs 25 min of walking excluding breaks, winter conditions, photo stops, etc.
Day 2: Beinn nan Aighenan (957m), 15.5km, 1254m of ascent and 6hrs 55 min of walking excluding breaks, winter conditions, photo stops, etc.
Day 3: Stob Coir an Albannaich (1044m) and Meall nan Eun (928m) circuit: 17.7km, 1285m of ascent and 7hrs 40 min of walking excluding breaks, winter conditions, photo stops, etc.
Day 4: Day off.
Day 5: Beinn Mhanach (952m), 20.3km, 860m of ascent and 7hrs 32 min of walking excluding breaks, winter conditions, photo stops, etc.
Day 6: Stob Ghabhar (1087m), 15.9km, 1014m of ascent and 6hrs 35 min of walking excluding breaks, winter conditions, photo stops, etc.
Day of Departure: We will all hopefully have a final breakfast together before departing for onward travel home. If we can drop anyone off for their onward transport we will be happy to do this in either Fort William or Aviemore.
To get an idea of the kind of conditions, views etc which you could expect do feel free to check out our unfiltered album from our trip in 2018

Possible private itineraries in the Glencoe area

We have been in the Glencoe area before and have designed other itineraries for previous groups. Please do feel free to check these out in the private groups section, but bear in mind that in order to run one of these other itineraries for you we will need plenty of notice in order to arrange accommodation for your group and make sure that there is availbility for your proposed dates. Ideally we would plan a private group tour at least 6 months in advance.

Please bear in mind that since the Covid pandemic it has become increasingly difficult to book accommodation in remote areas with limited options.

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