Glen Coe in Winter – Ink in a Watercolour Moleskine

This a well known view of the Glen Coe looking westwards with the main road to the Western Isles winding its way into the distance. I should be touring these parts, at the moment, getting lots of photographs but most of the northern half of Scotland is cut off by heavy snow at present. This scene, then, is copied from one of my old photographs. At the extreme left, at the start of this mountain pass, is the Bauchaille Etive Mor – the “Shepherd” which guards the entrance to the glen. The mountains, shown are part of the the “Three Sisters” while the hills, on the right, are of Aonach Eagach whose ridge “walk” is a route most climbers aspire to. As you can imagine, this area is popular with climbers but only experienced sportsmen should tackle some of the many routes in the current sort of weather. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, there is always the unexpected. Six people have lost their lives on the Scottish mountains this year. Two at this very spot last week being killed in almost identical circumstances to three others a year ago. Further along the glen, two skiers survived a 2,000 foot “decent” having triggered an avalanche then miraculously riding down on top of the snow. Lets hope there are no more accidents and injuries this year.

Glen Coe is sometimes known as the “Glen of Weeping” – a reference to the infamous massacre of thirty-eight MacDonalds from the Clan MacDonald of Glen Coe. The MacDonalds had been playing hosts to government troops lead by one Robert Campbell in charge of 120 men. The houses were then set alight condemning a further 40 women and children to death in the freezing conditions. Clans were always fighting in this era but what made this despicable was that hospitality had been offered, received then abused. It was all part of a plan to teach one clan a lesson and it backfired – worth reading about this period in our history.