walkhighlands





The Longest, the Loveliest and the Loneliest

Cameron McNeish’s new book, Come by the Hills, is published later this month, following on from the success of his memoir, There’s Always the Hills . In this extract, Cameron delves into the history and legends of one of Scotland’s most beautiful glens. IT was Sir Walter Scott who first described Glen Lyon in the above terms and my old mentor Tom Weir was fond of using the same alliteration to describe this 34-mile long glen of highland Perthshire. He often told me Glen Lyon was his favourite glen and for a man who knew Scotland like few others that

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Posted in Features, Magazine

To Know Being, the Final Grace

Cameron McNeish examines the lessons he has learned from Nan Shepherd’s writings NAN SHEPHERD, the woman-on-the-five-pound-note, was a reasonably successful novelist and poet but her work as a ‘geopoet’, if I may use such a term, has been widely acclaimed by literature experts and academics alike, as well as by those of us who love the hills. The focus of that work, a slim volume called The Living Mountain has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, championed by respected writers like Robert MacFarlane and others. Now I’m not an expert in literature and I’m certainly not an academic, but I am a writer and a

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Posted in Features, Magazine

No Permits planned for Ben Nevis

I really should have known better. A journalist of my acquaintance rang me to say he’d been chatting to the John Muir Trust about Ben Nevis. Clearly on the scent of a story he told me that 160,000 people had climbed Ben Nevis last year, putting an enormous amount of pressure on the mountain. We chatted a bit about the effects of so many boots on a footpath like the one that runs up the hill from Achintee and he asked me if I thought a permit system should be introduced? I suggested the tourist path on Ben Nevis was

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Posted in Magazine, Nature, News

The Long Walk-in

How often has that thought crossed your mind? If only circumstances had been a little different anything could have happened. Couldn’t it?

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine, Nature

I Know Where I’m Going – but does anyone else?

Cameron McNeish urges hillwalkers to let someone know where they’re going, but don’t leave route notes on your car windscreen.

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Hill tracks – why is the SNP Government blocking progress?

POLITICS is a strange business. Much of it is carried out in committee rooms where elected representatives of the people make decisions on subjects they often know very little about. About four years ago Helen Todd of Scottish Environment Link and I had a meeting with the erstwhile Planning Minister Derek Mackay on the subject of bulldozed tracks in the hills. I had been encouraged to have a chat with Mackay by Alex Salmond who was First Minister at the time. I had been meeting with Alex to discuss various issues about landscape protection and generally he was very helpful.

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine, Nature

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

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

The wonder of natural beauty

ONE day a bear walked into a bar, sat down, and ordered a beer. The barman was amazed, and in a state of shock proceeded to pour the bear a drink. “How much?” said the bear. By this time the barman was getting over his shock and realising the bear, although obviously smart, has no idea of the price of beer, decided to overcharge him. “Twelve dollars sir”, said the barman. The bear paid him and slowly drank his beer. After a while the barman’s curiousity got the better of him, so he tried to engage the bear in conversation.

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Posted in Features, Magazine

The Mountains Are Calling

IT seems that I meet more fell runners than walkers in the hills these days. The old safety cliches about not going hillwalking without waterproofs, spare hats and mitts, a warm drink and stout boots don’t appear to affect these mountain athletes. Dressed in shorts and t-shirt, perhaps with a miniscule pack or a skimpy lightweight waterproof tied round the waist these guys and gals seem impervious to the cold and wet as they bound down the hillside with little obvious effect on hips and knees. How I envy them. When I was younger I ran a bit in the

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Posted in Features, 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.