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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Our picks: Gardenstown, Crovie and Pennan

On the remote northern coast of Aberdeenshire, looking out over the Moray Firth, lie three of Scotland’s most picturesque villages: Gardenstown, Crovie and Pennan. Gardenstown (locally known as the Gamrie) is much the largest of the three. A steep, steep road leads down through the modern part of the village to the harbour and the packed jumble of cottages which make up the old fishertown. A warren-like maze of alleyways, walkways and a narrow street connect the buildings and make this part of the village a fascinating place to explore. At the west end of the village there is a

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

Gear review: bottles and bladders

Years back all we had were dented Sigg bottles in our rucksacks, but of course times move on. We now have a whole array of different ways of carrying water in the hills. The thing that mixed it up and moved us on was plastics giving us bladders with drinking tubes and new bottle designs but metal hasn’t been left behind, stainless steel bottles have become the standard and the durability and easy-cleaning nature of one of those could see you use the same bottle for life. I take my hydration very seriously on both day walks and on backpacking

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Posted in Accessories, Gear reviews

Steall Falls path to be closed for at least a month; JMT calls for donations

Following the major rockfall on the popular Steall Gorge path on 13-14 September, the John Muir Trust has confirmed that the path will be closed for at least a month whilst specialist contractors repair the route. Local contractors will start work soon to make access safe again, by removing debris from the path, including loose and unstable boulders from the area above the path, and stabilising damaged trees. It’s estimated that the work will cost the John Muir Trust, who owns the Steall Gorge area as well as the summit of Ben Nevis, as much as £30,000. Alison Austin, the

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Posted in Access issues

The fire that never goes out

David Lintern pays his respects at the Craigallian Fire memorial. After last month’s pilgrimage to the birthplace of British conservation all the way up in Torridon, I wanted to take a look at something much closer to home, but just as significant in our shared outdoor story. It’s somewhere that tens of thousands from all over the world will pass each year, and a place that is within easy reach of most of us in the Central Belt. It’s easy to miss, but one of the most important heritage sites in Scotland when thinking about the development of outdoor access

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Helicopter drop assists in path repairs on Handa Island

More than 120 tonnes of stone and path-building materials have been airlifted by helicopter to a remote island to allow Scottish Wildlife Trust contractors and volunteers to repair the paths. The worn paths on Handa Island reserve off the west coast of Sutherland are being repaired to allow visitors to safely experience one of Europe’s most important seabird colonies and enjoy spectacular views from the island. Handa Island reserve is owned by Scourie Estate and managed in partnership with the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The island is a summer haven for around 70,000 breeding seabirds including puffins, guillemots and razorbills. Reserves

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Posted in Access issues, News

Mountain Weather Information Service future assured as funding confirmed

Following discussions between sportscotland and the Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) both organisations have provided reassurances that the current forecasting service will be maintained. sportscotland has been working in partnership with MWIS since 2007 to provide critical mountain weather forecasting, which has been a valued service for people who use Scotland’s hills and mountains. An agreement has been reached whereby sportscotland will continue the same levels of investment into MWIS to enable them to sustain current forecast provision throughout a development period which will result in a sustainable, long-term and enhanced service. Commenting on the agreement, Stewart Harris, Chief Executive

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Posted in News

Large rockfall closes path up Nevis Gorge

Following a serious rockfall from the slopes above the Nevis Gorge overnight on 13-14 September, the John Muir Trust has closed the Steall Gorge path in the interests of public safety, pending remedial work, which could take between two and five weeks. Although the damage to path is less serious than initially feared, there is a significant amount of debris on the path, including large and unstable blocks of stone. More seriously, tens of tonnes of loose boulders remain scattered above the footpath, some entangled with fallen trees, others precariously perched on the Meall Cumhann cliff, 400m above the path

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine

Skyline races return to Glencoe this weekend

The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline race will be held this weekend on Sunday 18th September, with other races scheduled from Kinlochleven on the Friday and Saturday. The course is widely regarded as the most challenging mountain running race in the world, which features long sections of exposed scrambling including the famous Aonach Eagach and Curved Ridge. The event is the third and final race in the Skyrunner World Series Extreme title with top racers from 26 different countries taking part and likely podium positions in the series for local Fort William runner Finlay Wild, Glasgow based Tom Owens and Edinburgh

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Posted in News

Mountain Weather Forecasts – the Need for Transparency

Since this story was published, continued funding for the Mountain Weather Information Service has been agreed. See update at foot of page. WHAT a brouhaha there was when it was announced that SportScotland was stopping funding for the Mountain Weather Information Service. That there was such a response to the news suggests just how highly respected Geoff Monk, the principal forecaster at MWIS and his team are held within the mountaineering and hill-walking community, especially here in Scotland. Geoff Monk is a fully trained weather forecaster and a former Met Office employee. In 2002, after several discussions within the mountain

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Posted in Magazine, News

CowalFest back for 14th year

CowalFest, the walking and outdoor festival based on the Cowal Peninsula between Loch Fyne and the Firth of Clyde s returning for a fourteenth year this October. The hub for activities is Dunoon which is easily reached by road via the Rest and Be Thankful or by car/public transport and ferry from Gourock. This year’s festival organisers say, “Although only thirty miles from Glasgow, Cowal is a tranquil area with a rich heritage and abundance of wildlife. The settings for the extensive range of walks could not be better for Cowal is Scotland in miniature and quite simply a hidden

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Posted in News

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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.