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Monthly Archives: July 2020

Gear review: Vaude Alpstein 200 DWN quilt

Recommended Price: £330 (but check prices online)Weight: 595g including stuffsack An ultralight sleeping bag or quilt has been on my gear test wish list for longer than I can remember. Lifting of lockdown restrictions mean I’ve finally a proper chance to get out and try the Alpstein 200, a summer sleeping bag / quilt from Vaude. The Alpstein design is interesting, quite different from any sleeping kit I’ve used previously. The foot end is fully enclosed, like a sleeping bag, up as far as the backs of my knees. The rest of the design is then open, though there’s a

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Posted in Camping, Gear reviews, Magazine

‘Tak it Hame’ call for hillwalkers to remove litter left by others

Mountaineering Scotland is asking hill walkers and climbers to help keep Scotland’s hills and mountains clear of litter and to ‘Tak It Hame’ – removing not just their own litter, but any they find left by others. Tak It Hame 2020 is being launched as coronavirus lockdown eases and the lifting of travel restrictions has seen much publicity about littering and ‘dirty camping’ in some of Scotland’s most popular beauty spots. It had been planned to relaunch the anti-litter campaign in early spring to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Mountaineering Scotland. But due to the Coronavirus lockdown, that was

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, Nature, News

Quarandreaming the Cairngorms

David Lintern returns to the centre for his first post lockdown overnighter. After dark confinement, air and space and the colours of summer. Down in the glen, the first blaeberries, voluptuous purple bell heather and the vivid yokes of bog asphodel line the path. Further up, fresh juniper, birch and pine shoots wave skinny young arms in praise of a warm breeze. Topping out, there are fluorescent green flushes with rust oxide hearts, sharp edged newly bolted deer grass, fluffy head-nodding cotton grass, clusters of dusky white, purple and pink Orchids. It’s an outdoor festival, a landscape in motion. The

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Plan to avoid the busiest walks this weekend

Some of Scotland’s best known places for walks are set to be busy again this weekend, as people continue to enjoy the eased lockdown restrictions. Last week, certain very popular locations within easy reach of a day trip from the central belt became excessively busy, with car parks overfull and excessive parking on the verges causing obstruction on narrow roads. This is likely to be the case again on some routes, especially in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park with its proximity to Glasgow. Parking and roads to Ben A’an, Conic Hill and Ben Lomond are likely to

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Gear Review: Hanwag Banks SF GTX boots

Recommended price: £210Weight: 1060g pair (women’s size 5.5) I have wide feet and often struggle finding suitable stiffer boots, ending up either with pinched toes or a larger size with a loose hill grip that let my feet slide forwards when walking downhill. German company Hanwag has a reputation for making boots in a range of fits so I’ve been trying out the Banks, which comes in 3 different fits for women. This is a traditional looking boot in navy nubuck leather with mesh fabric tongue and ankle cuff. There is a good amount of extra reinforcement around the heel

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews, Magazine

Essential Repairs on Schiehallion

Visitors warned of closures at Schiehallion during July for essential path repairs. After many years of successful volunteer-based maintenance, contractors are to begin new repairs on the main route to the top of the renowned Perthshire landmark. Essential repair work on the mountain path means access to the mountain will not be possible for three days – 22, 23, 24 July (weather dependent) – when a helicopter lift will bring stone into the site from elsewhere on the mountain. This will be used to build steps and drainage features that have suffered from both natural and human made erosion. For

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Posted in Access issues, News

A homecoming

Lucy Wallace feels all her senses heightened on an emotional return to the hills. Granite has it’s own smell. I think I’ve always known this. I’ve travelled the world and there is always something familiar, intangible and yet homely, in a granitic landscape. Today, in the brisk, dry air, the acrid scent of decaying minerals is distinctive. It’s a sharp, metallic odour, but not unpleasant. I’ve missed it. There are other smells. As soon as we step out of the car, we pick up the earthy flavours of damp soil. We set off through thick birch wood that gives way

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Win £150 each month from Cotswold Outdoor

We’re delighted that Cotswold Outdoor have joined us as the new sponsors of the Walkhighlands forum walk of the month competition. The competition has run for more than ten years, but had been suspended whilst Scotland’s restrictions on leisure travel to within 5 miles home were in place. These restrictions were lifted today. Every month Walkhighlands will have £150 worth of Cotswold Outdoor vouchers to give away to the users who submit the best reports from their walks, which don’t have to be in Scotland. Get out with your camera and get writing stories from your adventures in our countryside.

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Posted in Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Welcome back – but be responsible

It’s going to be great to once again have freedom to travel around Scotland more than 5 miles from home, from Friday 3rd July. But we need to all think carefully when planning where we head out beyond our local area this weekend. On the one hand, it’s going to be a good idea to pick somewhere not too obvious, off the beaten track, to avoid overcrowding. On the other hand, Mountain Rescue teams are going to be stretched with slower response times and fewer team members available than normal – so it is a good idea to stay well

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, Nature, 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.