Highlander Sendgame: Scottish skiers release Late, a film about Highlands ski lines

When you think of Scotland, The Loch Ness Monster, Haggis and Braveheart are things that come to mind—not skiing. But on Sunday, Puzzle Media released Late, a short film about a group of British skiers who set out on a 20-day tour in April to search for snow and big lines in the Scottish Highlands’ Glencoe region and Nevis Range.

LATE – Official Film from British Freeride on Vimeo.

Through pouring rain and misty skies, Scottish skiers and riders Amy Marwick, Aaron Mclean, Robert Kingsland, Joe Simpson and others ticked off steep couloirs that could entice more than just the diehard adventurer. When asked about the backcountry scene in Scotland, Marwick explains the tradition’s humble origins.

“The ski scene in Scotland is quite deep rooted in the Highlands,” Marwick says. “It is mostly locals who get up there during the winter and do their thing.”

One local of significance is Philip Rankin, who founded the Glencoe Ski Center in 1956. “I pioneered one ski lift in Scotland, and it was the first. Nobody believed it would work,” Rankin says in Late. Rankin saw potential in the mountains of Scotland early on, and that vision is shared by a growing number of people.

To identify their objectives and plan routes, Marwick, Mclean and Kingsland used guidebooks written by Glencoe skier Kenny Biggin, in addition to the Facebook page British Backcountry, which serves as a regional forum for the touring inclined. Winding their way through privately owned land made traveling difficult at times, Marwick says, and when gates blocked road approaches they hoofed it tens of kilometers to snowy descents.

As Marwick explains, the team chose to explore their home hills in hopes of encouraging interest in the Scottish mountains often overlooked and overshadowed by the nearby Alps. “Hopefully people will think, ‘Oh wow. There is really cool terrain in Scotland,’” she says. “We didn’t aim to make it look rad. We wanted people to watch it and think, ‘That looks fun!’”

Find Biggin’s backcountry guides for the Glencoe and Nevis Ranges at skimountain.co.uk.

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  1. Carolehall says:

    Oh, the pictures are incredable .My grandfather now decieced, wuld be about 125 today. I have been so interested in the stories of his life with my mom , grandmother, and their son. He worked on the railroad and lived on a parsil of land Homestead somewhere on LAKE LOUISE. After my Grandmother died, of heart attack and their 20 year son left, he tried to keep my then 11 year old mother ,he realized it was really not the place for a young girl to live . I am sorry to keep rambeling on. Today I am an artist of watercolor and have always wanted to take the train tracks he was part of , making history . I am in my early 70s but still long to find The homestead he once lived on, see where mom walked th path to get to school and witness the beauty of your country. Guess the only way is to win the lottery , hay never know!

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