The Scottish Highlands form one of the world's exceptional climbing areas. The summer rock climbing is unique, but during the winter season these mountains are transformed by the elements into a ferocious arena in which only the skilled and determined will prevail. In the second part of this special LEGEND photo essay, photographer Ian Parnell offers a personal glimpse of the magic of Scottish winter climbing




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Doing battle with the modern mixed testpiece The Secret (VIII,9) on Ben Nevis, Lochaber



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The awesome buttresses of Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glencoe, looming through cloud in full winter condition
 
 
 
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Mega Route X (VI,6) on Ben Nevis, one of the most classic and sought-after pure ice climbs in Britain; a large majority of Scotland's famous winter climbs are mixed climbs, and Mega Route X stands out as one of the pre-eminent pure ice lines       
 
 

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Top German alpinist Ines Papert climbing the impending dihedral of Stirling Bridge (VI,7) on Aonach Mor



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Exiting Number III Gully (I) on Ben Nevis; the mountain is home to a series of classic winter gully climbs, of which Point Five Gully is arguably the most famous





Read me a lesson, Muse, and speak it loud
Upon the top of Nevis, blind in mist!
I look into the chasms, and a shroud
Vapourous doth hide them, - just so much I wist
Mankind do know of hell
 
- John Keats, Sonnet. Written On The Top Of Ben Nevis



 

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The intimidating wall of Babylon (VII,8) on Ben Nevis


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Sunrise on Beinn Eighe, Torridon


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Hoar frost high on Ben Nevis, a unique feature of Scottish winter climbing


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The modern testpiece Eggaschpili (IX,9) at Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glen Coe


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Two international teams experiencing full Scottish winter conditions on Central Grooves (VII,7) at Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glen Coe


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A thick layer of hoar frost on the door of the CIC Hut, Ben Nevis; a sign of good conditions on the hill


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Climbers walking off the summit plateau of Ben Nevis at the end of a perfect winter day on Britain's highest mountain 



 

Click here to view the first part of this feature

 


 

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