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Extreme Scotland

Extreme Scotland

Alex Jeffers
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At the launch of his new book Extreme Scotland, adventure photographer Nadir Khan tells Legend about the role played in its creation by Jöttnar Pro Team member Mike Pescod, and gives us a taste of the visual delights within.



My experience of adventure sports photography, more than in any other area of photography, is that it's all about teamwork. In contrast to landscape photography where the photographer is working essentially alone, adventure sports photography involves at least two people; the photographer and the athlete. The need of a ‘team’ approach increases. 

Over the past 6 years I’ve been working on a book called ’Extreme Scotland.' It’s a photographic journey through Scottish adventure sports and roughly follows the seasons in terms of the subjects and in the colour tones of the different sections. It was in 2012 that it struck me that Scotland has some of the best opportunities in the world for virtually any adventure sport and that this should be celebrated.

The first person I spoke to about the idea for the book was Mike Pescod, Jöttnar athlete and mountain guide. We discussed various ideas and how to make it happen and Mike was super-helpful in connecting me with some key people in and around Fort William to get the project rolling.

Heading up into the corries of Ben Nevis, extreme scotland, nadir khan

I’ve been lucky to work on a number of commerical and editorial shoots in Scotland and over the years the images have slowly built up.

This is where the team approach to mountaineering photography is invaluable as I am able to focus entirely on getting the images while Mike focuses on getting me into the positions I need to be in. We are lucky to have the mighty north walls of Ben Nevis on the doorstep of Fort William and no one knows the complex ridges, buttresses and gullies better than Mike. The solidness and knowledge he brings to a shoot is invaluable, the guy is like a belay on legs, and I don’t know of anyone that exudes more positivity than Mike. It can be pissing down in Fort William and Mike rocks up in his van, beaming from ear to ear.

Mike Pescod, extreme scotland, ben nevis, nadir khan
the alt a Mhullin Ben Nevis, extreme scotland, nadir khan
Sally Hudson getting a headful of spindrift, ben nevis, extreme scotland, nadir khan

The images here show a fraction of what we shot over the past two years on the Ben. We weren’t blessed with the best of weather but we did the best with what we had, and you can't ask for more than that from a team. 

I’ll be speaking at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival on the making of the book, and I hope to see some of you there.

Mike Pescod on the first pitch of Compression Cracks V

Extreme Scotland is published by Vertebrate Publishing and is available from their website here

Nadir Khan is an adventure photographer and film maker based in Edinburgh. You can see more of his work at

Mike Pescod is a member of the Jöttnar Pro Team and runs Abacus Mountain Guides based in Fort William, Scotland


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