|Ski tourers on the Moine Mhor in the Cairngorms|
The February issue of The Great Outdoors is in the shops now. I have a feature on ski touring, appropriately as I went on my first short tour of the season yesterday (see last post), plus a backpacking column piece on a winter camp in the Cairngorms, a review of ten insulated gilets/vests and a review of Jim Crumley's excellent book The Eagle's Way. The winter camp also produced two photos in the magazine - the frontispiece and a double-page spread taken at night at Loch Etchachan.
This issue also features two other spectacular double-page winter photographs - one from David Lintern of the Sneck in the Cairngorms and one from Stewart Smith of Grisedale Tarn in the Lake District. More great pictures appear in Colin Henderson's photo essay on hillwalking and scrambling in the Scottish winter hills. The first image of a hillwalker climbing Mayar in the Cairngorms in clouds of snow and spindrift really captures the Scottish winter experience. Perhaps the most atmospheric picture though is Terry Abraham's sunset one of a winter camp on Bowfell that opens a feature on Lakeland in winter. Carey Davies is also in the winter Lake District, writing about a playful day on Crinkle Crags with ice axes for his Mountain Magic column.
Far away from snow and winter Tony Howard visits the Manas National Park on the India-Bhutan border. This follows my ski touring feature and I found it quite startling to turn the page from my snowy pictures to see elephants and a langur. Elsewhere Jim Perrin explores the hills of Shropshire and, in his Hillwalkers' Library, recommends Neil Gunn's Highland River. In his Environment column Roger Smith warns how a recent new planning policy could have a negative effect on the countryside in England and calls on outdoor lovers to ask questions of candidates for the general election. In the Hill Skills section Mark Chadwick of Glenmore Lodge gives advice on avalanches and there are also tips on ice axe self-arrest, understanding snow and mountain weather, and a recap on compass use.
As well as my gilets test the gear section has a review of eighteen base layers and the Sherpa Nangpala Primaloft Down Blend jacket, both by Daniel Neilson.
|Down vest in use at a chilly camp in the San Francisco Mountains on the Arizona Trail|