Thursday, 3 February 2011
The March issue of TGO is in the shops now. My backpacking column is about Peter Wright's Ribbon of Wildness book about the watershed of Scotland and the opportunities it offers to lovers of wild land. The idea of a long walk right through Scotland along the watershed is exciting and Peter Wright shows that the land along the way is pretty unspoilt. I've crossed the watershed many times and camped it on quite a few (the picture shows a camp by Loch Skeen close to the watershed in the Southern Uplands) but never really given it any thought before.
In gear I've reviewed 29 base layers (!) plus the Rab Infinity Down Jacket. Elsewhere Judy Armstrong reviews synthetic insulated jackets, Cameron McNeish reviews some MSR snowshoes and Eddy Meecham, in his last Lighten' Up column, revisits the gear he used before he went ultralight. Eddy's is an interesting article - I think many people will regard most of his original kit as pretty light already. And he does acknowledge that it does have some advantages over his ultralight gear in terms of convenience, comfort and durability.
Amongst the other good stuff in this issue are some interesting reader's letters on the question of air transport and ethical travel; news pieces on the Dumnaglass wind farm and the wake for wilderness Alan Sloman is organising plus the English forest sell-off (today the bill allowing this was passed in the House of Commons), which is also covered in Roger Smith's Tread Softly column; Emily Rodway on a day out on Helvellyn with the Fell Top Assessors; 10 of the best UK winter ridge scrambles described by Dan Bailey (but no Liathach or An Teallach!); the landscape of Donegal celebrated by Adrian Hendroff; Ed Douglas talking to some instructors about mistakes people make in the winter hills; Cameon McNeish Corbett-bagging in the Shieldaig area; geology in the Shropshire hills with Edoardo Albert; Jim Perrin exploring the mysterious Thursbitch valley in the Peak District and Hilary Sharp advising on snowshoeing.