Since the launch of the modern MINI Countryman, the purist fans of the brand have looked down on the brand’s only SUV. In its second generation, the Countryman is the largest, heaviest, and least dynamically exciting MINI ever made. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, especially in its sportier John Cooper Works spec. Instead, it trades some of that old-school, go-kart feel for better year-long usability. In this new photo gallery from MINI, you get to see the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works play in the snow in the Bavarian Alps.

Through the snowy, Alpine region of Allgäu, located in Bavaria, is the perfect setting to have some fun in the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works. The sporty little (or not so little) MINI is a great combination of kit for snowy fun. Its 2.0 liter turbocharged engine makes 306 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, the same engine that powers the BMW M135i and M235i. It’s paired with an Aisin-sourced eight-speed auto and MINI’s ALL4 all-wheel drive system. Which means it can handle the snow with aplomb.

On a tight, twisty, paved road, the MINI Countryman JCW isn’t exactly thrilling. It’s a bit too big, too heavy, and too grippy to be fun. However, remove the tarmac, reduce the grip levels, and add some fresh powder and the MINI Countryman JCW actually becomes quite fun.

Its taller ground clearance helps, too. While its ride height and size might upset MINI purists, who’d prefer a classic Mini with the ground clearance of a skateboard, it’s quite handy on some snowy Alpine trails. If you want, and you probably should indulge, the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works is available with a variety of roof rail accessories; roof racks, roof boxes, bike racks, and more. On some snowy roads, such accessories would help make the trails a bit easier, in case you get stuck.

This photo gallery makes me want to take a MINI through a snowy Alpine pass, even a Countryman John Cooper Works.