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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Mountain man's legacy sends Scots on road to adventure

Four intrepid Scots in their 20s and 30s will embark on a range of conservation adventures in the Highlands, Trinidad, California and Newfoundland, thanks to a fund set up in memory of Bill Wallace MBE, an inspirational Edinburgh-based mountaineer who died in the Alps seven years ago. Zoology student Rachel Forbes, who has had to battle Aspergers Syndrome, will join a Glasgow University Exploration Society expedition to Trinidad to research and help protect some of the island’s endangered species, including four types of marine turtle. Another Glaswegian recipient of the grant, Steve Owen, has been funded to purchase specialised equipment

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Posted in Nature, News

Busy year ahead for bothy group

Volunteer members of the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) are getting geared up for a busy year of bothy maintenance. The Association, which looks after over 100 bothies for walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts, has a full programme of projects planned for the year ahead including: – new bothies in the Kielder forest in the north of England and the Elan valley in Wales; – the rebuilding of Glen Dubh-lighe bothy near Glenfinnan which was destroyed by fire in 2010; – major work parties at a number of Scottish bothies including Shenavall, Kinbreak, Invermallie, Uags, Strathchailleach, Uisinis, and Over Phawhope; – Faindouran

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Posted in News

Men's Trail Shoes

There are some situations where a strong, rigid boot is almost essential – ice-climbing immediately springs to mind – but for a lot of the time there is no need to lug a pair of boots around. Footwear is an area where personal choice and fit over-rules any review, but during the summer months I’ll be wearing a pair of lightweight trail shoes for my hillwalking. I prefer a pair of shoes designed for trail running, which tend to be lightweight, flexible, quick drying and – importantly – quick draining. A flexible sole provides feedback from the terrain, important for

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews

Women's Trail Shoes

Having spent years engaged in a perpetual foot versus stiff boot struggle, I became an evangelical convert to the world of trail shoes after completing a long distance route in footwear strongly resembling my old school trainers. Since then trail shoe design has moved on with the new minimal breed looking very interesting and creating a real divide with the more substantial, and sometimes waterproof lined versions – the colours are getting more lurid too! All of these women’s shoes are available in a men’s version and the majority of the men’s ones reviewed by Phil here are also available

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews

Wildfires hit Northwest Highlands

Following the long spell of very dry weather, firemen have been fighting several large wildfires in Northwest Scotland and the Outer Hebrides. Flames stretching for two miles in length were at one point threatening the village of Strontian on the Ardnamurchan peninsula with over 30 firefighters working to stop the fire spreading. Fire crews have also been battling wildfires in other areas, including Lewis, Skye, Mallaig, Glenelg and Tolsta on Lewis. Despite the freezing conditions and snow and rain affecting much of the UK, many parts of the Highlands and Islands have had dry and sunny conditions for the last

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Posted in Access issues, News

Caledonian Forest project needs your vote

An ambitious plan to reconnect two ancient Caledonian pine forests in the heart of the Cairngorms is one of six conservation projects competing for funding. The project to restore the Caledonian forest at Abernethy has reached the shortlist of this year’s European Outdoor Conservation Association funding awards. Public votes will decide which of the six proposals in the Outdoor category will receive funding. Last year, the John Muir Trust’s project to repair the footpath in the Steall Gorge in Glen Nevis was the successful winner, receiving £25,000, and the RSPB is hoping that support from outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists will

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Posted in Access issues, Nature, News

Police appeal for missing walker

Police are appealing for sightings of missing Inverness-based Clive Dennier who is believed to have gone hillwalking over the weekend. Mr Dennier, aged 50, who is a reporter for local paper the Strathspey and Badenoch Herald, failed to turn up for work at the paper’s Grantown on Spey office on Monday. Police believe Mr Dennier had spoken about going hill walking at the weekend but no one has heard from him since. There is no information about where he may have gone, although he is known to enjoy walking in the Cairngorms as well as on the west coast. Mr

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Posted in News

US firm Bristow chosen to run SAR helicopters

The Bristow Group, a company based in Texas, has been chosen to run the UK’s helicopter search and rescue service from 2015. The Department of Transport has confirmed that the US firm has been awarded the 10 year contract, worth £1.6bn, to take over the search and rescue function operated by the RAF and Royal Navy for the last 70 years. The ageing Sea King helicopters will be replaced by 22 modern Sikorsky S-92s and Agusta Westland 189s which will operate out of 10 locations around the UK with claims that the new service will reduce the time taken to

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Posted in News

Job vacancies at the MCofS

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) is currently seeking a new Communications Officer and a Club Development Officer. These are full time, salaried and permanent posts with the national representative organisation for mountaineers, hill walkers, climbers and ski-tourers, which has 11,500 members. The MCofS has issued the following details: “Communications Officer / Magazine Editor (37 hours per week, based Perth) Based in our Perth office, this exciting new position will take responsibility for the coordination and editing of MCofS communications, including our award-winning members’ quarterly magazine Scottish Mountaineer. The post holder will also work with colleagues in the administration team

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Posted in News

Carbisdale Castle YHA to close

Carbisdale Castle Hostel looks set to close for good because of the high cost of repair bills. The hostel, located near Invershin and housed in a spectacular castle containing a fabulous hall of marble statues, has been closed for the last two years but was previously very popular with walking groups, families and even wedding parties wanting to explore Sutherland. Owners, the Scottish Youth Hostels Association (SYHA) said the hostel may not reopen because millions of pounds worth of investment was needed and that there were no plans to open it in the foreseeable future but that the SYHA had

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Posted in News


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