Monday, 8 February 2021

Beneath the blaze of Orion

In one of the best winters for XC skiing in many years, it often hasn't been possible for me to get out during the day due to work commitments.  Once work was done though, evening skiing was certainly an option!

Setting off as the sun is setting might seem counter-intuitive, but really isn't. Embracing the hours of darkness in a Scottish winter opens lots of options, and offers some fantastic experiences.  The following pictures are a compilation from several different evening ski tours through the forest and onto the hills very close to home, either done solo or with one other person.  

Lorna skiing deep powder snow onto the Correen Hills as the sun sets, with crepuscular rays striking up from behind a cloudbank, prelude to a great show of  evening light

A blood red sunset seen through a narrow band of clear air below snow-laden clouds


On another evening, chillingly cold clear air, fortunately with no wind, and a lovely quality of light.

Alone on the ridge - just a set of tracks in the dusk, and realising what a very special experience this was

A winter sunset like a Turner painting, smouldering into the dusk.

Allan and I skiing into the darkness of a winter night in a chalky dusk, with a band of the palest colour imaginable in the air above us - perhaps linked to the hard frost that evening.

 And skiing on into the night until it was fully dark - but in no way black.  Above us, Orion's blaze, dominating the winter sky.  Later on during this evening we switched our head torches off on the way back through the forest and just stood, absorbing the stars, a swathe of the milky way and the silence of a deep frost in the snow-stilled forest - it was an intense and wonderful experience, and reason enough to be out.

This short video clip is a panoramic view just as our route out of the forest arrives on the Correen ridge. 


  1. Great memories Ian. You have captured it all beautifully.

  2. Great memories Ian. You have captured it all beautifully.

  3. I admire your commitment to go out up hills after work. Not a concept I ever indulged in, even in my youth.

    1. Haha! It doesn't really feel like a commitment Bob....or maybe I'm not working hard enough?!


  4. Magnificent pictures ! Great to now have some company in the comments section !