|Camp high in the Monadh Liath on this year's TGO Challenge - there was just enough flat dry ground for two shelters.|
The June edition of The Great Outdoors is just out. My backpacking column is about the pleasures of keeping notes on walks. This came out of reading my Pacific Crest Trail journals for the first time in many years for my book on that walk and a photo of pages of these journals illustrates the column. In the Hill Skills section I give some suggestions on finding good wild camp sites, a skill that was tested on the TGO Challenge this year as so much of the ground was sodden from snowmelt and recent heavy rain. On the first day of the walk I did think my companion Tony Hobbs might have doubted my abilities in this area when no dry site appeared in the glen I'd chosen and we ended up walking 32km instead of the planned 21!
Also on the TGO Challenge I used the waterproof jacket that I've given Best Buy to in a review of eleven recent garments. There was some heavy rain at times and the jacket did prove excellent. Also in the gear pages is my review of the Nordisk Telemark 2 ULW, which featured in a dramatic trip earlier in the year, which I posted about here.
Elsewhere in gear Daniel Neilson tests eighteen lightweight softshell jackets and there's a piece on the new OutdoorGearCoach initiative, in which I'm involved.
The issue starts with the now usual striking double-page photos. Particularly stunning is Dave Newbould's pre-dawn picture from Y Garn of Tryfan and Moel Famau rising above a sea of mist. Fitting in with this is a feature on scrambling in Snowdonia by Hanna Lindon. And for those who've never done any scrambling there's advice in the Hill Skills section from Jon Jones, Head of Mountaineering at Glenmore Lodge.
More superb photography appears in David Lintern's feature on the Bridge of Orchy hills and the Tigh Nam Bodach. Elsewhere in this issue Ed Byrne tries sea cliff climbing; Tanya Oliver finds freedom after completing the 214 hills in Wainwright's guidebooks; Alan Rowan has a strange encounter above Glen Quoich in an excerpt from his book Moonwalker; Carey Davies experiences the unique challenges of walking in Palestine; Roger Smith considers the sale of Blencathra and reviews the very interesting sounding Reading the Gaelic Landscape by John Murray (I must get a copy); and Jim Perrin likes On Foot In Devon, a little-known book by Tarka the Otter author Henry Williamson;