Scotland sauvage

Last March, three continental crows migrated beyond 57 degrees north to join a community of British skiers. Invited into the heart of Scotland by distributor Mountain Boots CO to celebrate the coming together of the winds, skiing and distilleries, here they encountered nature as beautiful as it was wild and a passion for skiing from a different dimension.

A huge thank you to Paul Prentice and all the team. Cheers!

Put some whisky in your water. Put a smile on your dial. These guys get skiing better than pretty much anybody.

The wind meter was reading gusts up to 140mph before it stopped, frozen over with ice, atop the Cairngorm mountain range. Locals who had been out were reporting a wind chill factor of -35 degrees Celsius. It was the storm of the season, on the season of seasons in the (somewhat) great white north of the United Kingdom.

Brodie Hood www.brodiehood.com

 

Inside Glenmore Lodge the environment was more a more moderate 24 degrees, with winds around 0mph and a welcome that was even warmer.

The old bastard crow camille Jaccoux, his better half Mai Ikuzawa, and myself were in Scotland for the black crows wild weekend, a convivial gathering of the most ardent Scottish skiers to tour the spurs and gulleys of the Gairngorm national park, located in the north of Scotland, but a stone’s throw from Inverness.

A word on those ardent Scottish skiers. You might have to go a long way before you find skiers more passionate than those who ski the Scottish highlands. These bearded, semi-bearded, and non-bearded disciples of Scottish skiing were not shy to share with us their enthusiasm for the Scottish skiing experience. It’s not about snow depth, but coverage, they told us. If everything is covered with snow, it’s a big year. The storm that was upon us would be the icing on the cake. To us, the mountains looked bare, ravaged about the tops leaving only the greyish hues of rocks and frozen grass. But to ski fresh snow in Scotland it’s about following the wind, they told us. Indeed, the good snow does not settle on the peaks, but in the gulleys.

Brodie Hood www.brodiehood.com

Together, we would brave the icy winds and explore these many wonderous gulleys. Together, we would link turns on the compressed, long-transported slithers of snow. Together, we would navigate the heather fields on our passage to and from the slopes. And together, we would charge our glasses with the many divine local whisky varieties and toast to the magnificence of this unlikely and improbable passion, in this unlikely and improbable place.

For Camille, Mai, and myself, the lesson would be simple. It’s not about what you have, but rather your appraisal of it, that matters.

Long live Scottish skiing.

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