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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Fort William Festival programme announced

This year’s Fort William Mountain Festival has a full programme of films, lectures, workshops and events. Highlights include evenings with adventurer Tim Emmett discussing his latest exploits, and Cameron McNeish and Richard Else talking about mountain film making, films from the Best of Banff World Tour, and an evening of paddling films. The Festival runs from Friday 11 February and ends with a party at Nevis Range on Tuesday 15 February. During the daytime there will be courses on avalanche awareness and winter walking and climbing skills. During the Festival the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture will be

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Posted in News

Buachaille avalanche ruled as accident

A Sheriff has determined that the avalanche which killed two climbers on Buachaille Etive Mor last year was a tragic accident that could not have been foreseen. The Fatal Accident Inquiry report by Sheriff Douglas Small into the deaths of Chris Walker, 29, from Cumbria, and Robert Pritchard, 37, of New Malden, last February, has been published and it states that the slab avalanche could not have been predicted. Sheriff Small reported: “I am satisfied that the avalanche was completely unpredictable and that the circumstances of this accident were highly unusual. I consider that this was a tragic accident which

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Posted in News

Coach travel deal for skiers

Coach firm Scottish Citylink has teamed up with three of Scotland’s ski resorts to offer a new timetable and a 20% discount on equipment hire for passengers when they produce their valid return ticket. The new timetable and offer covers Nevis Range, Cairngorm Mountain and Glencoe Mountain with regular departures from Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The timetable will run until 22 May 2011. The new deal has come at just the right time for boarders and skiers who want to take advantage of one of Scotland’s coldest ever winters and plenty of snow. Chris Sankey, for Scottish Citylink, said: “Winter

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Posted in News

Climate change linked to early deer rut

Studies of red deer on Rum have revealed that the deer are starting to rut earlier in the year because of climate change. Scientists from Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities examined the records of deer behaviour collected on the island of Rum over the last 38 years. The studies show that the annual rut, when males compete for a harem of females to mate with, now starts two weeks earlier on average. The researchers have said this could be because of warmer springs and summers. The research, published in the journal Global Change Biology, was funded by the Natural Environment Research

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Posted in Nature

Mick Fowler tour dates rescheduled

Climber Mick Fowler had to postpone events from his Berghaus Adventure Tour on 1 and 2 December because of the heavy snow and bad weather before Christmas. The Edinburgh and Newcastle events have now been rescheduled for 12 and 11 February. Anyone with tickets to the postponed events should be contacted with the new details and tickets are still available (£10) as well as times and venue details from the tour website. Mick Fowler is one of Britain’s leading mountaineers, specialising in the exploration of remote, extremely challenging climbing locations which has led Mick to be labelled “the mountaineers’ mountaineer”

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Posted in News

Scottish Wildlife New Year's resolution

2011 is the European Year of Volunteering and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is suggesting people should kick off the year with a resolution to help wildlife in Scotland. A recent SNH report found that only 23% of organisations involved with wildlife surveys felt they had enough volunteers to meet their needs and 60% found geographic coverage a problem. Wildlife recording has a long and important history in the UK for science and conservation, and has always been led by volunteers. Amateur collectors had a key role in developing natural history collections in the 19th and early 20th century and were

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Posted in Nature

Snow reveals wildlife secrets

Tom Cunningham, from Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve is urging walkers to make use of the current snowy ground to become wildlife dectectives. The SNH reserve manager said, “Recently we suggested that as well as looking around and in the trees when you are out for a walk, it is worthwhile checking the snow or muddy ground for footprints. These can reveal a lot about who’s been passing by, where they stopped, what they did and even how long ago. “This photo, taken at the end of December, at Tentsmuir shows just how revealing this can be. It shows where a

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Posted in Nature, News

Manifesto to make Mountains Matter

In this age of austerity, the benefits of mountaineering and the need to fund responsible access to the countryside is more important than ever. This is the view of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) which has just launched a manifesto for the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections in May. Despite the huge range of demands on public money, the MCofS says that access to Scotland’s hills should be an election issue because they offer an escape from financial concerns, providing benefits to a wide community. Hebe Carus, Access and Conservation Officer at the MCofS, commenting at the manifesto launch, said,

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Posted in Nature, News

Legal challenge to Cairngorms housing plans

Plans for massive new housing inside the Cairngorms national park could be sunk by legal action being brought by three Scottish based environment groups in the Court of Session. The groups are challenging the Cairngoms national park authority’s housing plans which provides for over 2000 new homes, including 1500 at An Camas Mor, near Aviemore, which, it is claimed, would be the largest housing development in any UK national park. The Cairngorms Campaign, the Scottish Campaign for National Parks, and the Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group are also challenging developments at Grantown-on-Spey, Nethy Bridge, Carrbridge and Kingussie. The park authority

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Posted in Nature

Highlands bid for Orienteering championship

The Highlands is bidding to host for the 2015 World Orienteering Championships. The last championships to be held in Scotland were hosted in the Inverness area, when 350 competitors took part, and it is hoped that a successful Highland bit could channel millions into the local economy. Highland Council has been asked to give £30,000 towards the bid and a report by council officials said it had been estimated could generate more than £2m for the local economy. The most recent, large-scale, international orienteering event held in Scotland was the Scottish Six Days Event, held near Perth, which attracted 3,900

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.