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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Mountain Bothy Association take on maintenance of remote Cairngorms refuge

The Mountain Bothy Association have taken on responsibility for repairing and maintaining the Garbh Choire Refuge. The Refuge is situated in one of the more remote climbing areas in the Cairngorms. Although usage has been light compared to other shelters in the area, it has played a significant role in the development of both rock and ice climbing in the area and is an important part of Cairngorm mountaineering heritage. It was originally built by Aberdeen University Lairig Club approximately 50 years ago. The refuge is a steel frame covered with stone. It is in a poor state of repair

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Posted in Access issues, Nature, News

Gear review: Mammut Trovat Guide High GTX boots

Recommended Price: £215 Weight: 1.98kg (pair, UK size 12) Raichle was a well respected manufacturer of rugged mountain boots for many decades, before being absorbed into parent brand Mammut in 2009, but these boots – which still have a Raichle logo on the tongue – show that their tough pedigree has been retained. The boots are constructed of full grain leather and have a high cut, with a softer Nappa leather on the cuff and tongue. The uppers feel very stiff when new, but do develop a flex after wear. The tough construction is softened with memo foam inside, which

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews, Magazine

Back to the land

David Lintern visits a 21st century croft in the Cairngorms, and comes away with free range eggs and hope for the future. Just off the road to Tomintoul over the Cromdale Hills, there’s a small wooden bungalow and a couple of outbuildings that have seen better days. When my own family were looking to move to the Highlands, we looked at this property. It came with a lot of land; more than we had the capacity or know-how to manage properly… but since then I’m very glad to say it’s been bought by two women who really do know what

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

January Blues – the call of the north

I write this on ‘Blue Monday’, the day associated with winter doldrums, when holiday companies prey upon our sense of daylight deprivation, lack of exercise, divorce from life ‘out there’. It’s when I feel most like hibernating, so it was perhaps contrary to choose this time of year to travel 250 miles further north from my home in Perthshire’s heartlands. In Orkney this is the season of upended goalposts when empty frames stand on pavements as their swinging coffee signs are torn away by gales to announce a hiatus in hospitality. Days are defined by their extreme shortness. The sky

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Exploring the Celtic Rainforest

A bit of rebranding works wonders for the underappreciated. Back in my bagging days the idea of spending more than an hour roaming a squelchy woodland would have been a complete anathema to me. Not that I didn’t appreciate woodland or forest at the time, mind. I always enjoyed passing through them but they were for just that – thoroughfares on my way to a Munro rather than being destinations in themselves. Times have clearly changed, because a couple of months ago I deliberately spent six soggy but wonderful hours exploring the exceedingly mossy interior of Ariundle National Nature Reserve,

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Gear review: Berghaus Fast Hike Trousers

Recommended Price: £95 Weight: 320g I’ve been testing these lightweight trousers over the last three months. Whilst they are not the lightest I’ve worn, they seem extremely robust – showing not even the slightest signs of wear so far; the very lightest trousers are likely to wear out much faster. The Fast Hike Trousers are well tailored and not cut as baggy as many walking trousers – so do try them on to ensure you don’t end up with a pair too tight on the thighs; they are available in mens and womens and a variety of lengths as well

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Trousers

Our Wonderful Access Legislation That Almost Wasn’t

Cameron McNeish looks back at an unlikely event that ensured the success of our much lauded Scottish access legislation. ACCESS campaigners in Scotland have been celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, probably the most significant piece of legislation to affect all those who enjoy Scotland’s countryside. The Act secured the traditional rights and freedoms of all of us in Scotland to access land, coast and inland water, provided we do so responsibly. An accompanying code of practice, the Scottish Access Code, sets out those responsibilities for access users and land managers alike. Most hillwalkers are

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

North to the Future

I walked through Edinburgh’s West End after yet another late night in the office. First one in and last one out again. On crossing Shandwick Place, I kept my head down and avoided eye contact with other pedestrians but allowed myself sideways glances into bustling restaurants, brightly lit with festive decorations and bursting with office workers enjoying Christmas parties. The city around me was alive and buzzing yet I no longer felt a part of it. My Christmas was effectively cancelled by the deadline looming before me at work and the pressure to deliver on schedule. Any free time I

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Posted in Features, Magazine

15 years of Access Rights celebrated

Outdoor personalities, politicians and access campaigners came together at the Scottish Parliament last night to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the passing of the nation’s world-class access legislation. Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham and Richard Lochhead MSP were among the 100 guests at Ramblers Scotland’s Celebrating Scotland’s Outdoors event to mark 15 years of the pioneering Land Reform (Scotland) Act. Following many years of campaigning by Ramblers Scotland and others, the 2003 Act secured rights of access to most of Scotland’s land and inland water for walkers, cyclists, horse-riders, canoeists and other non-motorised users – provided those rights are exercised responsibly.

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Posted in Access issues

Scotland: Be Part of It

A few years back we shared a short film called Isolation, made by Mathieu Bernat & David Guersan. Through Creative Studio Unfazed, David has now teamed up with Jamie Farquharson to make a new short homage to Scotland’s Highlands – Scotland: Be Part of It. You can watch it below, with footage from plenty of great locations; be sure to press the button bottom right (next to Vimeo) to watch in full screen. The filmakers can both be followed on Instagram: David Guersan and Jamie Farquharson. Sound Mix : Arthaud Versaveaud Voice : Malcolm Urquhart Music : Timeless by Caleb

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Posted in 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.