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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Arc'teryx Cerium LT Jacket

New for this autumn, the Arc’teryx Cerium LT represents the Canadian brand’s first foray into down insulation and it’s already won a few awards. Is it worth the cash? Here’s the lowdown: Arc’teryx Cerium LT Jacket Price: £240 Weight: 261g (L) lightweight; high warmth-to-weight; packable expensive; colour (more subdued colours are available…); no hood   It’s hard to believe that Arc’teryx don’t have down insulation in their range, so the introduction of the Cerium LT, plus the heavier Thorium AR, comes as no real surprise. I’ve had an early sample of the Cerium LT for a few months now (yes,

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets

Light threat to Dark Sky Park

The Astronomer Royal for Scotland, the John Muir Trust and the Scottish Wild Land Group have sent an open letter to the Scottish Government asking it to update Scottish Planning Policy to prevent the construction of wind farms in Europe's only Gold Tier Dark Sky Park. Located around the Galloway Forest Park in south-west Scotland, the Park has provided a major boost to Scotland’s profile and educational and tourist resources. Following years of hard work by local communities, it now boasts the only publicly accessible, research-grade observatory within a Gold Tier Dark Sky Park in the world. This inspirational project

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Posted in Nature

MCofS Winter Skills and Avalanche Courses

As winter approaches, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) have released dates of this year's Winter Skills and Avalanche Awareness courses. Last year was a particularly avalanche-prone winter, and the MCofS is urging anyone heading out into the snowy conditions to consider topping up their knowledge of avalanche conditions and the best ways to avoid getting caught up in one. These subsidised courses are available to MCofS members (you can join as part of the application process) and are either a weekend or a series of one day courses. Based at Glenmore Lodge near Aviemore, they are aimed at anyone

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Posted in News

A personal plea for the Monadhliath

A folder sits on the desk of Scottish Finance Minister John Swinney. It contains the recommendations of Mrs Jill Moody DipTP MRTPI, the reporter to the recent public inquiry into proposals to build 31 wind turbines in the Monadhliath close to the headwaters of the River Dulnain. It’s titled, ‘The Allt Duine Windfarm,” and since the area in question is in the former constituency of Fergus Ewing, the Energy Minister, it falls to Mr Swinney to make the crucial decision. Indeed, the Allt Duine is a tributary of the Dulnain and the proposed turbines would be erected within a mile

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Body found in search for missing Skye hillwalker

Police have confirmed that a man's body has been found in the search for a hillwalker missing on Skye since Tuesday evening. The Police have said they will not release his name until a formal identification has been made. The missing man, who is understood to have been in his 60's, was reported overdue by a member of his family on Tuesday. He had been walking in Coire Ghrunnda in the Skye Cuillin. The search and rescue operation, which was co-ordinated by the Police, involved the Skye Mountain Rescue Team, search and rescue dogs, and RAF and Coastguard helicopters.

Posted in News

Government urged not to water down wild land policy

The Scottish Government plans to consult on the wild land map, drawn up by SNH, which will be used to define protected areas in any future wild land policy. This move has been seen by supporters of the proposed policy as a delaying tactic that is likely to result in a reduction and dilution of the proposed protected wild land areas. Stuart Brooks, John Muir Trust chief executive said: “Responses to the Scottish Planning Policy consultation document reveal a concerted assault on the core wild land map by energy corporations and property developers. “They clearly see Scotland’s wild land as

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Posted in Nature

Scottish Government launches plan to save the wildcat

A new action plan to reverse the decline of the Scottish wildcat within six years was launched today by Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse. It sets out for the first time a package of measures that a range of land managers, conservationists, and researchers agree has the best prospect for the ‘Highland Tiger.’ The aim is to conserve Scottish wildcats by reducing the chances of cross breeding with domestic and feral cats and by lowering the risk to wildcats from feline diseases. Efforts will be targeted in areas which support the most viable wildcat populations. And a conservation breeding programme will

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Posted in Nature

Reel Rock film tour comes to Scotland

The Reel Rock tour of the world's greatest climbing and adventure films has added four Scottish dates to its current schedule. The film tour will be coming to Bathgate on 9 October, Aviemore on 10 October, Balloch on 11 October and Glenrothes on 12 October. Further details of venues, times and prices can be found on the tour website.

Posted in Uncategorized

Real Three Peaks Challenge aims to clean up

Highlighting a new initiative to make a clean sweep of Britain's three highest peaks, Ben Nevis conservation officers have called on climbers and walkers to treat the mountain with the respect it deserves. After an especially busy summer season, rangers and volunteers from the John Muir Trust, which manages Scotland's highest and most popular mountain, have had to remove a huge collection of items left behind, including tents, tarps, sleeping bags, stoves, abandoned camps, disposable barbecues and items of clothing. Now, Mountain Training Instructor Richard Pyne, with the support of the Mountain Training Association, has organised the Real Three Peaks

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Posted in Nature, News

Rare whale stranded on St Kilda

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS), has reported that a rarely-seen Sowerby's beaked whale and calf became stranded in the shallow waters of Village Bay, Hirta last week. The 5m long adult female and 1.5m long calf were seen in distress just before 11am on Thursday 12 September. Staff from the NTS and defence contractor QinetiQ immediately attempted to refloat the animals but, despite their quick response and strenuous efforts, were unable to successfully move the mother before it passed away. The calf freed itself without assistance and was last seen swimming out to open water. It is, however, unlikely

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Posted in Nature


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