Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Mountain Guiding: How to Enjoy the Outdoors Through the Seasons

A guide by Anna Danby

The one thing that unifies anyone in the Scottish Highlands is a good old blether about the weather, Why? Because we get a lot of it and it’s always changing! But what if the changing weather is something to celebrate, rather than fight against it?  

Seasonality is one of the things I love the most about living and working as a mountain guide in the Scottish Highlands, including the ebb and flow of the weather and the way the light shapes how the days are spent. The constant changes mean you can always discover new things about the same places. Each change in the season brings a shift to a different way of being.  

I am often asked ‘What is the best time of year to visit the Highlands?’ My answer is anytime – it just depends on what you want to do, so here is my guide on how to make the most of the outdoors in every season.


The first days of spring always feel so bright, brimming with energy and promise. When you feel the warmth of the sun’s rays return and vibrant green grass springs up from nowhere, you know it’s time to stretch your legs and shake off the winter. This is a time for slow journeys through the mountains, awakening your senses to life returning. 

The days are lengthening, the weather is often calm and settled, and the insects still sleeping! It’s also a quiet time in the hills, so you can go for miles and not see another soul.  

My Keela kit top pick for spring: The Hydron Jacket is my go-to for spring conditions when the weather is brightening up but you still need a bit of extra warmth.  


Summer is the time for big adventures in high mountain terrain. The days are long and there is a lot that can be fit in, so experiment with the timings of your adventures, start late, and aim for a summit sunset.  

Summer weather as always can be fickle, as we can go from long spells of warm, dry conditions right through to days and days of rain so my best recommendation is to have flexible plans.  

My Keela kit top pick for summer: Nevis Trousers are perfect for long summer mountain days.  


Autumn is all about colour as the vibrancy of summer fades and the vivid diversity of autumn comes into full swing.  

This is another great time of the year for camping as the midges are long past their peak and, if you get lucky, the golden light of an autumn morning is second to none so you can see for miles. 

It’s also a time for practising the skills that you will need to keep enjoying the mountains through the darker days. Get that map and compass out and hone those skills, join a course to make sure you’ve got it dialled.  

My Keela kit top pick for autumn: The Talus Jacket is great for those cooler days on the move. 


Winter in the Scottish Highlands can be many things when the conditions change rapidly - from a deeply frozen snowy wonderland under bright blue skies, to storm-force winds and torrential rain in a matter of hours. More than any other time of year you need to be prepared for everything.  

It’s important to keep your objectives manageable, across shorter distances, and familiar terrain. Remember that you are likely to move much slower when dealing with weather and snow than at other times of year so plan accordingly.  

Whatever the weather, winter hill days can be some of the most rewarding. You might get lucky and glide over snowy slopes glinting in the sun, more likely you’ll get a face full of weather and an occasional breath-taking view.  

My Keela kit top pick for winter: Keela’s Pinnacle Jacket for wet and stormy days and the Solo Jacket for keeping you super cosy when the temperatures plummet.  

Read more

Seven Top Tips for a Family Adventure

Seven Top Tips for a Family Adventure

Experienced Winter and Summer Mountain Leader, Keela ambassador, and mum to her little girl, Anna Danby, shares with us her best advice for organising adventures for the whole family.

Read more