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Monthly Archives: July 2016

Munro-bagging – what counts as a genuine ascent?

I was on Meall nan Tarmachan the other day enjoying the bonus of starting my climb at a healthy 500 metres above sea level. I mentioned this to a couple of guys I met close to the summit and one of them, with tongue firmly in cheek, suggested we were all ‘cheating.’ The comment reminded me of a minor brouhaha that broke out a few years ago when the Daily Mail ran a story about a member of the Munro Society, the club that exists for all those who have climbed Scotland’s Munros, suggested that the vast majority of the

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Walkhighlands navigation course 6 August

A last minute cancellation means there are another 2 places available on the one day navigation course run by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland for Walkhighlands users on Saturday 6 August in the Ochils. The course will begin with an hour of work indoors and then the rest of the day will be spent on practical navigation skills on the hill. The course will be run by Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Officer at the MCofS and is aimed at anyone who wants to learn how to navigate for hillwalking or to brush up existing knowledge. The courses are very friendly

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Posted in News, Walkhighlands news

Disabled teenager reaches Cairn Gorm summit

Natasha Lambert has completed one element of her latest challenge, Sea and Summit Scotland. She reached the top of the Cairn Gorm Mountain, just after 3pm on Monday. It took her just over five and half hours to reach the summit which is some 1245 metres above sea level, the sixth highest mountain in the UK. Natasha has athetoid cerebral palsy and uses a wheel chair. However, for this part of her challenge, she used a special device called a Hart Walker. This pulls Natasha upright and enables her to propel herself forward. Natasha also wears a lycra corset to

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Posted in News

MCofS changes name to Mountaineering Scotland

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS), the representative organisation for hillwalkers, climbers, mountaineers and ski-tourers who live in Scotland or enjoy Scottish mountains, has announced that it will rebrand as ‘Mountaineering Scotland’ following consultation with members. Commenting on the change, Chief Executive Officer, David Gibson said: “The MCofS has represented the interests of its clubs and members since 1970. We are proud of our heritage and achievements, but we recognise that times are changing and tailoring our brand and communications to new audiences is essential.” The ‘Council’ in the MCofS title originates from when it was formed as a body

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Posted in News

Judges overturn judicial review decision on Stronelairg wind farm

A huge and highly controversial windfarm in the Monadhliath mountains looks set to go ahead once more after judges overturned the decision of last years’ judicial review following an appeal. The windfarm had originally been given planning consent by the Scottish Government in 2014, but wild land conservation charity the John Muir Trust had challenged the decision, and a judicial review last December judges had found that the government’s decision had been “defective”, overturning the plans. However SSE and the Scottish Government appealed against the ruling, and judges have now overturned the judicial review. The original decision to grant consent

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Posted in Nature

Devil’s Elbow, Glenshee car park to close for month

A parking layby near the Devil’s Elbow on the A93 just south of Cairnwell is to be closed for improvement works from 25 July to 26 August. The site is marked a blue ‘P’ on the map below. Alternative parking will still be available on the north side of the road at at the Devil’s Elbow itself. The car park is sometimes used for the shorter route to Glas Maol and Creag Leacach. The car park will be landscaped, a new curved seat installed and the path toward the Munro stone pitched for a short section from the car park.

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Posted in Access issues

Hen Harriers return to Mar Lodge

A male hen harrier chick was satellite tagged today at the National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge Estate, following the first successful breeding attempt on the estate by this iconic raptor species in several decades. Four chicks were produced in total and one of these has been tagged as part of the RSPB’s Hen Harrier LIFE project, which is part-funded by the European LIFE scheme and cosmetics company, LUSH. David Frew, Property Manager at Mar Lodge Estate said “It is fantastic news and really exciting to see these birds returning to the estate for the first time in living memory.

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Posted in Nature

Shooting the Breeze – Alex Boyd

We continue our series of interviews with the leading lights of Scottish outdoor photography. David Lintern quizzes a master of Victorian photographic techniques and finds a very 21st century artist just under the surface. Let’s start with your exhibition of new work, currently running at the John Muir Visitor centre in Pitlochry. What can people expect to see? It’s a selection of new work made over the last two years, mostly using old Victorian processes in the Scottish landscape. For this exhibition I’ve largely concentrated on work from the Hebrides, but in particular Skye and the Uists. Expect stark, monochrome

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Photography

Environment groups call for walkers to send info on new hilltracks

The Scottish Hill Tracks Campaign, being run by Scottish Environment LINK, is urging walkers to continue to send in photos and information about new tracks being constructed in the hills. Details of what is need and how to submit material is at- http://www.scotlink.org/work-areas/link-hill-tracks-campaign/ Legislation has now been in force for over a year which requires developers considering constructing tracks for agriculture or forestry purposes to notify the relevant planning authorities (Prior Notification procedures). Before the legislation, developers could construct such tracks without notifying anyone. LINK volunteers have been monitoring all new planning applications for such tracks over the past year

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Posted in Nature, News

Butterfly wings are beautiful things

One of my earliest memories of interacting with the natural world involves those gaudy cheap fishing nets you used to be able to buy at seaside resorts. They were essentially just a length of bamboo cane with a brightly coloured bag-like net on the end – perfect for scooping up fish and whatever else took our fancy in those Cornish rockpools. But I didn’t use them for fish. I didn’t even use them on the coast. My brother and I would use them in our garden, 70 miles from the sea, to catch butterflies. I never actually wanted to keep

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Posted in Features, Magazine


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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.