Once youíve climbed a few hills in summer you might start to feel withdrawal pangs when winter comes along. Thereíll also be the problem of social media: all those photos on Facebook and Instagram showing glistening white slopes under blue skies Ė it just looks so good.
And it is good. But hillwalking in winter is a whole different ballgame Ė so much so that we give it a different name: we call it mountaineering.
Thereís a lot you have to be aware of, and the first thing is that it isnít always like it is in the postcards. Scottish winter can throw up some amazing scenes, but there are also days on end of low cloud, poor visibility and driving wind and rain. (Yes rain: winter is as often damp and mochy as it is crisp and clear.) It is, of course, worth it, but you have to be ready for the worst Ė and the worst can, quite literally, kill.
First up is you have very limited daylight. As soon as the clocks change in October youíre looking at darkness falling early, and the days will keep getting shorter until about Christmas, only very slowly getting longer again. Thatís going to limit the time available for walking.
Youíre very likely going to be moving slower too. Snow, ice, hard-frosted ground, frozen scree are all harder to keep your footing on and deep snow especially can sap your energy very quickly.
And it might also be surprisingly scary. At home snow is a nuisance on the pavements and a delight for sledging, and at a ski resort itís all very well managed and civilisation is never far away. But out in the mountains, on a narrow ridge with a massive cornice on one or both sides, it can be very frightening and unsettling. Knowledge and experience are your friends here, not just extra kit.
Not at all! For many people winter is THE season for Scotlandís mountains, when they really come into their own.
But to enjoy the mountains safely you have to do it right. And thatís not just a case of buying some extra kit, itís a case of getting your winter head on. And on this website itís a case of moving from the hillwalking section to the mountaineering section and learning how to get started.