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Monthly Archives: July 2018

800% parking charge increase shocks hillwalkers

Hill walkers have been outraged by a proposed 800% increase in parking charges at one of Scotland’s most popular mountains. Argyll & Bute Council has announced its intention to increase car parking charges in Arrochar, at the head of Loch Long. The proposed increase will take the hourly charge from 30 pence to £1 and the rate for the full day from £1 to £9. The car cark at Succoth is well used by walkers heading for the distinctive rocky peak of The Cobbler, as well as Beinn Ime and other of the Arrochar Alps. Davie Black, Access & Conservation

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine

Gear review: Columbia Silver Ridge II convertible trousers

Recommended Price: £55 My past experience, years ago, with convertible trousers was not a good one – the zips that enable them to be converted into shorts were bulky and rubbed against my legs. Designs have improved greatly, however, and like most modern convertibles the zips in the Columbia Silver Ridge II are enclosed with fabric flaps that prevent any chafing. I’ve worn these trousers now on several Munro-bagging days and found them very comfortable in both trousers and shorts mode. The Silver Ridge II are made from a very lightweight ripstop nylon, making them especially suitable for hot weather

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Posted in Gear reviews, Trousers

Forgotten Heroes – Galen Rowell

DURING my editorship of The Great Outdoors magazine I had the pleasure of working with the celebrated American mountain photographer Galen Rowell. He had just climbed a Himalayan peak called Cholatse with a good friend of mine, the English mountain guide Bill O’Connor, and we planned a photographic feature on the expedition. I had come to know Galen through Bill – the mountaineering world is full of such personal connections – and I corresponded with him for some years. During that time I published three or four of Galen’s illustrated articles in TGO. At the time Galen Rowell was making

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Cowal walking festival open for bookings

Cowal’s walking festival is back for 2018. Based in Dunoon on the Firth of Clyde, this year’s festival will run from Friday 5th to Friday 12th October inclusive with a varied range of carefully graded guided walks to suit all ages, interests and ability. There is also a charity walk this year in aid of Ollie’s Wee Bothy, a charity providing holidays for families who’ve suffered the death of a child. CowalFest organisers say that fourteen new walks are included alongside old favourites and transport is provided if necessary. The walk leaders and organisers are all volunteers who are keen

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Posted in News

Gear review: Summer base-layers

I’ve not known a Scottish summer to be as warm as this one so far… and it’s provided the ideal conditions to test out a range of lightweight baselayers. Summer t-shirts for walking are generally one of two fabrics these days: polyester and merino wool (it’s important to avoid cotton which traps moisture next to the skin, becoming cold and uncomfortable). Polyester and merino wool have their advantages and disadvantages; polyester is lighter, cooler, cheaper, quicker drying and more durable, whilst merino wool is softer to touch, requires more care when washing, is warmer, less durable, more comfortable when wet,

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews, Magazine

Team Heavy and the Big Rig ride out

Walkhighlands, or bikehighlands? This time it’s a temporary two wheeled takeover, as David Lintern and family take to their steeds to reach the parts that little legs can’t quite manage. Getting a young family out and about is harder than it should be. Mum is bone tired and the kids (aged 4 and 1) aren’t independently mobile as yet. Before the really cold weather came in last year, we enjoyed one wild camp, but carrying the volume of stuff needed for four means that moving from place to place becomes next to impossible without tantrums… and that’s just the adults.

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Wild swimming: Where have you been all my life!?

I always enjoyed messing about in water when I was younger but I’m not sure I ever truly enjoyed swimming in it. I certainly wasn’t a bad swimmer, in fact I took part in inter-school competitions, but I think it was more something that I HAD to do because it might save my life one day. And as I got older and completed the various levels of swimming proficiency awards, culminating in swimming up and down a large pool fully clothed and then treading water for what seemed like hours whilst simultaneously self-inflating my pyjamas (seriously!)… the interest waned. I

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Gear Review: Keen Evofit sandals

RRP: £100 Weight: 300g (per sandal size 5.5) Keen are no strangers to making comfortable footwear designed around the actual shape of people’s feet. The Evofit is no exception providing a high level of comfort and support making them suitable for longer walks in hot weather than you might normally associate with a sandal – think of them more as an trail shoe with extra ventilation. The Evofit has a substantial sole with a lot of arch support, fitted with Keen’s trademark rand going all round the front toe box. This means there’s less issue with grit and sand getting

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews, Magazine

Gear review: Rab Longitude Pants

Recommeded Price: £65 Weight: 232g (32″ regular) I’m not sure I’ve ever known such a long spell of hot, dry weather in Scotland, and with the clegs biting what’s been needed is long trousers to give some protection, but that are very lightweight and cool to cope with the heat. It’s pretty fortunate then that I’ve been testing out these summer trousers from Rab. The trousers are made from a single weave Matrix SW fabric (100% polyamide) which is soft to touch, very lightweight and quick drying. There’s a diamond gusset and articulated knees which aid freedom of movement, and

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Trousers

Too hot for the hills? Experts warn of twin dangers

With the forecast remaining warm and dry for the coming week, hillwalkers in Scotland are facing an unusual challenge – not enough water! As well as meaning people should carry more water than usual to avoid dehydration, the dry conditions make it essential that extreme care is taken to avoid the risk of wildfires. Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Adviser with Mountaineering Scotland, said: “It has been great to see so many people inspired to walk and climb in our hills and mountains in this hot and dry spell. But sunshine brings its own problems. “In fact if you were out

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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.