Saturday 17 September 2011

Autumn Issue of TGO Out Now

The latest issue of TGO is out now. This is the Autumn issue, slotted in between the October and November issues. There's a special feature on the opportunities for using the train for a weekend in the Scottish Highlands. This brought back memories as when I lived in Northern England I often used the sleeper train for quick trips to the Highlands. In the feature I describe a wonderful walk through the heart of the Cairngorms from Blair Atholl to Aviemore via Glen Tilt and the Lairig Ghru, Cameron McNeish describes a backpacking trip in the Black Mount from Bridge of Orchy and Ronald Turnbull manages to climb both The Cobbler and Ben Lomond by using the ferry across Loch Lomond.

In the gear section I review insulated jackets and John Manning has a gear report from a trip in Bowland in dire weather. John liked his waterproof jacket but wasn't so keen on his tent. Also from John is an interesting analysis of the 2011 TGO Challenge gear survey, concentrating on shelters and packs and one Challenger's amazing sub 4kg base weight.

My other pieces in this issue are a look at the place of signs and waymarks in wild places in my backpacking column and advice on pitching a tarp in the Hill Skills section. Also in Hill Skills are Kevin Walker on grid bearings and magnetic variation, Rob Johnson on scrambling with a dog, Dylan Baker recommending medium format film cameras plus some fitness and nutrition advice.

There's much more in this issue of course. Jim Perrin reviews John Wyatt's The Shining Levels, reminding me that I should reread this excellent book, which I've had for many years. Away from books, films and TV are a minor theme. In his On the Hill column Cameron McNeish wonders why no one has made a TV programme about Alfred Wainwright while Alf Alderson describes five walks in areas where Hollywood films were made, four of which are in Wales. Elsewhere Andrew Terrill has an unexpected autumn adventure in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado when the weather turns wintry. Stormy weather also causes difficulties for Ed Byrne as he has to retreat from an attempt to cross Loch Glencoul in the Northwest Highlands by kayak. The skies look stormy in some of the pictures in Mark Gilligan's dramatic photo essay on Wast Water through the seasons too. Carey Davies has more luck with the weather on a round of the Edale Skyline in the Peak District as does Cameron McNeish on a weekend in Northumberland. Far from hillwalking and backpacking in the UK or even Colorado there's an interview with Richard Parks, the first person to climb the highest summit on each continent and reach each pole in one year. The picture shows me keeping warm in the PHD Minimus jacket, which is reviewed in the insulated jackets feature, on the summit of Garbh Bheinn of Ardgour on a bitterly cold January day.


  1. I better make a special effort to get this issue then. In a remarkable piece of serendipity I'm setting off to walk Blair Atholl to Aviemore on Monday afternoon, by train.

  2. Did you wear PHD up and back, or put on at top for warmth?

  3. Forgot to add, when i spoke to Peter about the PHD Minimus Jacket the other day, he said it is cut shorter than some jackets, he did give a specific reason, but forgotten it, no hope for me. Did you find the length long enough, esp if you were to use it bending to get in and out of a tent? No chills on lower back?

    10/10 for PHD customer service. Peter a terrific chap and really helpful. Also patient ;-)

  4. I only wore the Minimus on the summit - it would have been too warm when moving. It was an overnight trip so I wore it in camp too. I found the length fine. I don't know how it compares to other PHD jackets but it's longer than many from other brands.

  5. Peter said the Yukon was longer by a couple of inches (?) I think, but that is a -15 jacket! The Minimus in Drishell is in their sale :-)
    Incredible photo there Chris, amazing, you look like you are on top of the world and loving it. The snow and icy white on the rocks, just, well, rocks. Looks slippery! Did you need the axe much?
    Good luck this winter, look forward to reading more of your adventures. Esp your cold weather camps!

  6. Really enjoyed Chris, lovely sense of change through history