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Monthly Archives: September 2018

New Horizons

Karen Thorburn shares her personal perspective on St Kilda – Scotland’s ultima thule. Half my lifetime ago, in 2002, I found myself on holiday with my parents, standing atop huge sand dunes overlooking a magnificent beach on the west coast of the island of Berneray in the Sound of Harris. Pristine golden sand stretched in either direction as far as the eye could see, and turquoise water broke in waves on the shore. The little island of Pabbay lay to the north and, to the west, we looked beyond the Outer Hebrides to a vast expanse of open sea, or

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Report finds Scotland failing to protect against damaging hill tracks

A new report has found that current Scottish law is failing to protect Scotland’s landscape from damage caused by the building of vehicle tracks in the countryside. A coalition of nine leading Scottish environmental organisations is now calling for stronger laws to protect the country’s most iconic landscapes from these tracks. Scottish Environment LINK Hilltracks sub-group has today (Tues 18 Sept) published its Changing Tracks report – following three years of gathering evidence into whether planning legislation is effectively managing the development of the highly-visible tracks. The group argues that the proliferation of controversial upland tracks is ‘out of control’

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Posted in Access issues, Nature

Delay for Carnach Bridge replacement

Early this year we updated our Cape Wrath Trail route description to reflect that Carnach Bridge near Sourlies had been condemned as unsafe to cross and removed. The river is frequently impossible to cross in spate conditions. Camusory Estate has been working to replace the bridge and had hoped to have the new bridge in place by the end of 2018. However there have been several delays in the planning process and constructing the bridge on site requires a helicopter and suitable weather conditions. As a result, the bridge will now be built over the winter months and installed in

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News

New Corrour Bothy toilets open

One of Scotland’s most remote but busiest bothies has just upgraded its much used toilet facilities, the Mountain Bothies Association tells the story here: “The toilet at Corrour Bothy was built by the MBA and opened in 2007, since when it has prevented literally tons of human waste from polluting the area around the bothy. However the volume of use has meant that maintaining and servicing the toilet has been very labour intensive and necessitated monthly visits from a dedicated but very small group of volunteers. In an effort to ease their workload, it was decided to completely redesign the

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Posted in Magazine, News

Lizards on Parade

Although I’m someone who enjoys photographing wildlife, I tend not to head out on walks actively looking for specific creatures in the kinds of places they’re likely to be found. I much prefer the spontaneity, surprise and randomness that any walk can provide, which means that when I do encounter something interesting I’m often caught off guard. I therefore have a growing list of elusive wildlife subjects I’d like to write about in this column, but haven’t felt able to because I wasn’t quick enough or fortunate enough to snap a photo to illustrate them with. Lizards have long been

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Posted in Features, Magazine

New series of Paul Murton’s Grand Tours of Scotland’s Lochs starts tonight

A new series of Paul Murton’s Grand Tours of Scotland’s Lochs starts on BBC1 Scotland at 7.30pm tonight (available on iplayer in the rest of the UK following broadcast). Paul Murton’s Grand Tours series have been running for many years now, exploring Scotland’s lochs, islands, landscapes and history. In this new series of Grand Tours, Paul explores a choice selection of lochs from the 31, 000 that adorn Scotland. Travelling from the wilds of the west coast to the Grampian Mountains, Paul discovers the secrets of these iconic features of the Scottish landscape, which are deep enough in places to

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Posted in News

Gear review: Mammut Runbold Light shorts

Recommended Price: £69 (currently £49 on Mammut’s website) Weight: 148g When is lightweight gear too light? I’ve been trying out the light version of Mammut’s Runbold shorts both in the fine summer weather we had in Scotland, and through an Alpine heatwave. With a modern, athletic cut these shorts would need to be made from a very stretchy fabric in order to give the full freedom of movement needed for hiking and climbing in the outdoors – and they are. The super light bi-elastic material makes them extremely comfortable to wear – and so light you almost don’t notice them.

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Posted in Gear reviews, Trousers

The Internet Warriors

I read a blog this week that saddened me, but didn’t unduly surprise me. Iain Cameron regularly contributes to various strands of social media and has made something of a name for himself as Scotland’s snow patch expert. Iain’s contributions to social media are fascinating and his work necessitates long journeys into the Scottish mountains at all times of the year, journeys that often takes him far from the ‘safety’ of footpaths and Munro-bagger’s routes. He has, for a number of years, collated information about Scotland’s snow cover, information that is crucial, for example, in the fight against climate change,

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Gear Review: Berghaus Womens Fast Hike Waterproof Jacket

RRP: £150 Weight: 200g (UK size 10) Mens version available I received this lightweight waterproof jacket just at the start of the longest rain-free period that the Scottish Highlands has experienced in my lifetime. So it sat in my rucksack walk after walk with only minimal use as a windproof layer, proving its worth in terms of being very lightweight and packable – it packs down into one of the mesh pockets and could be easily clipped to a belt for very minimal walks or runs. Scottish weather has now resumed more normal service and I’ve had the chance to

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets, 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.