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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Ullapool Hill and Far Beyond

Modest Ullapool Hill or Meall Mor (270 metres) beckoned on an early August day. I normally just have to open pink OS sheet 15, see the tightly packed contours of deep salmon pink contrasting against the pale spread of broken peninsulas, to be excited towards the pitch of the Coigach and Assynt Hills. Or looking the other way, sheet 20 with its expanse of roadless land, makes me want to pack a rucksack and to twist and turn through that interior that fastens in Beinn Dearg and Seana Bhraigh, and walk right through to the east coast. There is no

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Child cancer patients brave the elements at Schiehallion

Patients, families and staff from Glasgow Children’s Hospital in high spirits on the Fairy Hill despite the dreich conditions. For the fourth year in a row, patients, family and staff from the Schiehallion Unit of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Glasgow visited the mountain which inspired its name. The annual family day – a collaboration between the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity and the John Muir Trust – took place this year under dreich, grey skies and relentless rain. Despite the conditions, over 60 attended, with half the group climbing the mountain while the rest participated in other activities at the

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Posted in News

How to Improve your Landscape Photography

Karen Thorburn shares her tips for taking better landscape photographs. If you’ve been following my recent posts, you’ll know by now that my favourite topic to write about is my emotional attachment to the landscapes of Scotland. This month sees a brief departure from that; instead, I’d like to share with you some of my top not-too-technical tips to help you to improve your landscape photographs. 27 years after picking up my first camera as a young child back in 1991, I’m still striving to improve my skills and expand my knowledge of the landscapes around me. It’s a life-long

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Photography

John Muir Trust objects to proposed Glen Etive hydro schemes

Wild land charity the John Muir Trust has lodged objections to three proposed hydro schemes in the popular outdoor area of Glen Etive near Glencoe on wild land grounds. The proposed schemes on the south-east side of the Glen Etive Road at Allt Ceitlein, Allt Chaorainn and Allt Mheuran are within the Ben Nevis and Glen Coe National Scenic Area, the Glen Etive and Glen Fyne Special Protection Area and within Wild Land Area 9 Loch Etive Mountains. The proposed developments are part of seven hydro schemes planned for the glen by the same development company. The Trust has stated

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Posted in Nature

Gear review: AKU Tengu GTX Low hiking shoes

Recommended Price: £169.90 Weight: 1220g pair (UK size 10.5) I was very impressed when testing AKU’s Alterra boots last year. The full height Aku Tengu GTX boots are a lightweight winter mountaineering boot with a B2 rating – so how could that translate into this low cut trail shoe version? The first thing to strike me was the shoes’ stylish appearance – as I’ve come to expect from the company; the spongy tongue material extends right around the top of the shoe which makes them look very different. They are towards the heavier end for trail shoes, but then when

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews

Looking after what we love?

Scotland’s environmental record so far this year isn’t that easy to digest, but David Lintern has had a go… It’s 2018, and god knows there’s a lot of bad news competing for our attention. But in a slight change to our usual programming, we’ve decided on less detail but more scope for this, a roundup of Scottish conservation issues. Why? Because there’s only a few of us here at Walk Highlands Towers and many more of you, and we need your help to keep up with what has also been a hell of a year for the Scottish environment. Here’s

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature, News

New ‘suspension bridge’ keeps red squirrels safe in Highlands

A specially designed rope bridge slung between trees high over a Highlands road is giving red squirrels a safe crossing. Camera footage has revealed regular use of the bridge by the charismatic species. Conservation charity Trees for Life installed the bridge over a road near Shieldaig last summer, as part of its project to reintroduce red squirrels to the northwest Highlands. Footage collected for more than a year from a camera trap has now revealed squirrels from a flourishing new population at Shieldaig crossing the bridge and exploring their new homes. Together with nearby road signs alerting drivers to the

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Posted in Nature

New first stage for South Loch Ness Trail set for opening

The South Loch Ness Trail is complete with the officially opening of a new section between Fort Augustus and Loch Tarff on August 8th. The trail runs for almost 58km from Fort Augustus to the outskirts of Inverness, following a mix of purpose-built paths, forestry tracks, minor roads and ancient paths along the southern side of Loch Ness. The trail previously started at Loch Tarff, a beautiful spot high above Fort Augustus but with no public transport or accommodation options. The new path links Loch Tarff with Fort Augustus and provides a spectacular start to the route on a well-graded

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Posted in Magazine, News

Gear review: Wicking Underwear

I’d not given much thought to the underpants I wear when walking; the 5 for a tenner cotton briefs from M&S had been adequate. However when Paul’s ancient, quick-drying LGT briefs finally gave up the ghost after over 10 years of walking wear including a year-long backpack with only 2 pairs, we decided a foray into modern wicking underwear was in order. The main advantages to wicking underwear is comfort, lower weight, and quick drying. Whilst good for a day walk, these properties really come into their own on multi-day trips when there’s a need to wash and dry underwear

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews

Hillwalkers urged to check deer stalking info as season gets underway

As the weather warms up, the deer stalking season begins. Walkers can make sure they won’t disturb stalking by checking the latest local advice on deerstalking provided through Scottish Natural Heritage. The details on deer stalking on estates between July and late October are placed on the Heading for the Scottish Hills website and on Walkhighlands route descriptions. “Deer stalking takes place when Scottish weather is often at its peak and more people want to get outside and enjoy nature, but it’s also a very busy time for land managers. Heading for the Scottish Hills is a quick way for

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Posted in Access issues, News, Walkhighlands 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.