Faces of the mountains celebrated with awards

© Kevin BeckWinner Kevin Beck's image - Challenging conditions on Braeriach.
Winner Kevin Beck's image - Challenging conditions on Braeriach.

A photograph of a mountaineer battling winter conditions in the Cairngorms has won a major competition.

The winners of Mountaineering Scotland’s Faces of the Mountain photography competition have been announced with first prize going to Kevin Beck for his image called Challenging Conditions on Braeriach.

Zak Mooney was runner-up with the shot Night Time Ascent on Beinn Alligin. Beinn Alligin is in the Torridon region of Wester Ross.

Zak Mooney’s image – Night ascent of Beinn Alligin.

Second runner-up was David Blighford for his photograph taken in Glencoe called Morning Mist Lifts on the Aonach Eagach Ridge.

Launched in the May issue of Scottish Mountaineer magazine, the competition drew more than 200 entries.

The images celebrated people’s enjoyment of Scotland’s mountains.

David Blighford’s image – Morning mist lifts on the Aonach Eagach ridge.

Ten images were shortlisted and the top three were selected by photographer and author Nadir Khan.

Of the winner, Nadir said: “Loved the atmospherics in this shot, the sense of wind and light, the solitude and peace even amongst the wind and battering spindrift is really stunning. It’s what makes Scottish winter mountaineering so alluring, the sense of being transported to another planet but within just a few hours of the normal daily routine.

Mr Mooney’s image “captures the cold and beauty of an early morning start in winter, beautiful, surreal, moving by head torch before dawn the viewer can feel the cold sharp air on the lungs and feel the exhilaration of being in the mountains on a day like this. An inspiring shot,” added Nadir.

While Mr Blighford’s image “captures so much atmosphere, the clouds rolling over the hills and the layers of the ridge and the figures on the mountain in the distance are inspirational to keep moving, keep climbing higher through the clouds. It captures a feel of being in the mountains with friends and the monochrome edit is superb. A great shot.”

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The competition guidance said the judges were “looking for feel, expression and attitude over and above technical expertise”.

It stated: “You don’t need to be a professional photographer, just capture a moment that sums up being in the mountains with your friends and family.”

The top prize was a specialist backpack for carrying camera equipment.

Images will be used by Mountaineering Scotland both in print and online for campaigns, publications and marketing.