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Yearly Archives: 2020

Booking holidays in Scotland for 2021

This article was updated on 3rd February to keep up-to-date with the current position. All accommodation in Scotland is currently closed for leisure travel and holidays, and will remain so until at least the end of February. Currently, no-one knows for certain when travel restrictions will begin to be lifted once more, as the vaccination programme gathers pace; it is hoped that the first relaxations of the rules will begin in March. Although many people are desperate to be able to have a good holiday break when things improve, the current climate means that some are holding off on making

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Posted in Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Cairngorm snow gates closed at Glenmore

The snow gates on the road up to Cairngorm were closed at Glenmore on Christmas Eve, and are set to remain closed during the current Coronavirus restrictions. This means there is currently no vehicle access to the Coire Cas or Coire na Ciste car parks, nor to the Forestry and Land Scotland car parks at the Sugar Bowl and Allt Mor, even for local residents. We were informed of the closure by Forestry and Land Scotland, who pointed out that they were not involved in the decision, which was requested by Cairngorm Mountain, who have said that Highland Council and

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Brain Games

The mountains in winter are both exciting and dangerous. David Lintern takes a look at what happens in our heads when we’re lost in the moment outdoors – whether we are ‘beginners’ or ‘experts’. A couple of months ago I had an accident in my boat on the River Findhorn. My friend Debra and I had enjoyed a glorious afternoon paddling under a bluebird sky flanked by broadleaf trees in full autumn psychedelia. We’d paddled all the rapids we’d set out to, bathed in the blissful tranquillity of the flat stretches in-between and finished earlier than planned. It was just

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Posted in Features, Magazine

#ThinkWINTER mountain safety campaign launched

It’s International Mountain Day, and Mountaineering Scotland and Scottish Mountain Rescue are amongst a group of partner organisations launching the 2020 #ThinkWINTER campaign to encourage and help people to be safer in the outdoors and the mountains this winter. This summer saw a noticeable increase in the number of people heading for the outdoors and, with foreign travel opportunities still limited due to coronavirus, it’s likely that many will carry on their new hobby through the winter, domestic COVID restrictions permitting. The core messages from Mountaineering Scotland are: • Check the COVID protection measures where you live and where you

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Posted in Magazine, News

Scottish Avalanche Forecasts start for winter 20/21

Avalanche hazard warnings will be produced daily for all Scottish mountain areas from today Friday 11 December. Forecasts will be provided by the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) for the following areas: Lochaber, Glen Coe, Creag Meagaidh, Southern Cairngorms, Northern Cairngorms and Torridon until mid April. As well as providing detailed daily forecasts which hillwalkers can use in combination with weather reports to plan their routes, the SAIS builds up a record of avalanche activity across Scotland. Last season there were 241 avalanches, 27 of them human triggered and one fatality; the previous year there were three deaths. Hillwalkers and

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Posted in Magazine, News

Gear review: Keen Targhee III boots

Recommended Retail Price: £119.99Weight (size 10.5): 575g per boot I’ve bought many pairs of Keen Targhee’s over the last decade or so, which should tell you a great deal about how I find these boots. Firstly that I like them as I find no other boots quite so comfortable – both in the personal fit and the generous padding. The compromise, as is usually the case with comfier or lighter footwear, is that they are not the most durable. I’ve never reviewed a pair of Targhees on Walkhighlands, so the introduction of the latest model – the Targhee III –

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews, Magazine

Avalanches in Scotland – interview with Mark Diggins

As wintry conditions develop on the hills, we put questions from Walkhighlands users to Scottish Avalanche Information Service co-ordinator and senior forecaster for the Cairngorms, Mark Diggins. 1. How many avalanches are there in Scotland a year involving walkers and what are the most common causes? During last winter 2019/20, 27 avalanches were human triggered – this basically means that they were set off by people who were traveling in avalanche start zones in avalanche terrain (see diagram below) walkers are equally susceptible in terms of entering this type of terrain when following paths that are covered by snow. For

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Hamish MacInnes, the Fox of Glencoe

Hamish MacInnes, a giant of Scottish mountaineering and mountain rescue, passed away at home on Sunday. This tribute from Dave “Heavy” Whalley MBE BEM was originally published on his blog. There will be much written by many in the mountaineering world who climbed with Hamish MacInnes over the years. His exploits are legendary and so impressive. Hamish climbed all over the world, yet his passion was Scotland. He wrote many books of his exploits; they, like his films, are a part of his legacy. I got to know Hamish through Mountain Rescue where he was known as “The Fox of

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Posted in Features, Magazine, News

Scottish Outdoor Access job cuts despite growth in walking and cycling

Landowners and outdoor groups are jointly calling for better resourcing to support Scotland’s world-class access rights – as a new survey highlights alarming cutbacks in countryside access jobs. Scottish Outdoor Access Network (SOAN) polled all 34 access authorities on how they manage access, a topic which has hit the headlines during the Covid era due to booming numbers of people heading outdoors. The survey showed that during 2019/20: ·       Six authorities do not employ a single Access Officer; skilled professionals who find practical solutions to access challenges, and ensure the local authorities carry out their statutory duties ·       The equivalent of just 36.5 full-time

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine

Gear Review: Fjällräven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie

Recommended Price: £275 (£255 without hood)Weight: 435g (S) This retro-styled mid-warmth down jacket is part of Fjällräven’s new Expedition range. An extremely cold night in a snow hole bivouac in 1974 inspired company founder Åke Nordin to come up with the original Expedition jacket – basically two down jackets sewn together. I’ve been using some recent cooler weather to check out this modern product of the intervening four decades. Constructed with wide sewn-through baffles, the insulation consists of 110g of down (90% warmer goose and 10% duck) with 700 fill power and a reinforcement of synthetic padding at the shoulders.

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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.