|Ben Macdui & the Cairngorm Plateau|
The October issue of The Great Outdoors is out now. This is the TGO Challenge issue with reports from this year's event and the application form for next year's. If you want to take part buy a copy now!
For those for whom two weeks is rather too long a time for the Scottish hills - for whatever reason - this issue has a big feature on weekend trips.In the lead item I cover the round of the five 4,000-foot peaks in the Cairngorms. I also describe the circuit of Glen Tilt and Beinn A'Ghlo plus the walk from Fort William to Corrour. David Lintern describes the Arrochar Alps plus Ben Lawers and the Tarmachan Ridge while Max Landsberg describes Ben Nevis and the Mamores, the Glen Shiel Ridges and Knoydart's Munros.
Over on the gear pages I review 16 synthetic insulated jackets, clothing that will be useful soon as we head into chillier days. Something else that will be needed more soon is a headlamp (though I carry one year round) and Daniel Neilson reviews 13 models. My review of the new Inov-8 Race Ultra 290 shoes also appears. Continuing the series on how gear is made and tested James Reader visits Gore-Tex in Southern Germany to see how footwear is assessed for waterproofness.
My backpacking column is a little different this month as it covers indoor activities - three plays about the outdoors that I saw at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August. In the Hill Skills section I give some tips on stream crossings where there are no bridges or they've been destroyed by floods, as several were in the Cairngorms last month. Also in the Hill Skills pages Glenmore Lodge instructor Phil Sanderson gives advice on how to keep safe and warm if you're stuck in one place in the hills for several hours or more. There's also advice on deer stalking in the Scottish Highlands and estimating how far you've walked.
Elsewhere in this issue are two impressive opening spreads - a misty, atmospheric shot of Loughrigg Tarn from Loughrigg Fell by Stuart Holmes and a sunrise shot of Ben Nevis and the Carn Mor Dearg Arete by John Parminter; an interview with Lorraine McCall about her continuous round of the Corbetts; photographer Mark Gilligan on his favourite Lake District waterfalls; John Manning on the Lyke Wake Walk; and ten overseas treks ranging from the Himalayas to the Canadian Rockies. In their monthly columns Carey Davies compares the British hills with the Alps, Roger Smith argues for more National Parks in Scotland (hear ,hear!) and Jim Perrin praises Ida Gandy's An Idler on the Shropshire Borders (a book I have to admit I'd never heard of before).