Mike Cawthorne began hill-walking on Ben Nevis aged seven, and has been climbing mountains ever since. He has worked as a teacher, professional photographer and freelance journalist. He has an intimate knowledge of the Scottish Highlands, undertaking his first longdistance trek there in 1982. His first book, Hell of a Journey: On Foot through the Scottish Highlands in Winter (2000, new edition 2007) was short-listed for the Boardman-Tasker Prize for mountain literature. His second book, Wilderness Dreams, was published in 2007. He lives in Inverness.