Friday 3 July 2020

Return to the Hills

On my last hill day it was snowy.

Finally the Covid-19 lockdown is easing in Scotland and we are allowed to travel more than five miles from home from July 3. On my last hill day in March it was still winter, the hills snow-covered. Now it is summer and the hills look green and lush. Spring has come and gone. I've never been away from the hills for so long before and it feels a relief to be going back, a feeling I'm sure is shared by many.

Typically the weather for this first day is very wet and windy with low cloud shrouding the tops. This evening looks better so I'm heading out for a late walk up Meall a'Bhuachaille. This is a relatively short and easy trip, appropriate for finding out how much of my hill fitness I have left. It's also a favourite and I'm looking forwards to seeing the woods, the lochan and the splendid views.

I'm taking a spare plastic bag with me, as always, for any rubbish I find. I hope there isn't any but I'm aware that litter dumping has become a big problem as lockdown eases. I hope everyone going out for the first time since lockdown this weekend takes care not to leave litter and picks up any they find.

I hope too that people don't push themselves too much or do anything risky. I know I've lost some fitness and need to build up to the longest walks again. Mountain Rescue have warned that rescues won't be the same due to Covid 19 and people should take extra care. Let's all go back to having a safe and enjoyable time in the hills.

Wild camping is still not allowed - I think mainly because of fears of crowded roadside camping. July 15 looks like the day when that will change. I'll have a celebratory camp then. If the weather allows.

Mountaineering Scotland has issued advice following the changes on July 3.


  1. My first post-lockdown walk was last Thursday. It was quite emotional as I reached the summit of Sgor Gaoith. I'd come up over Geal Charn and Meall Buidhe with a diversion to get the views from Sgòran Dubh Mor. Not sure where you're thinking of for your wild camp but from Sgor Gaoith I could see that there was a LOT of water on the Moine Mor. Of course it may have dried out a bit by now but just wanted to give you the heads-up.
    Wherever you go, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. With the tops likely to be in the clouds tomorrow I'll be heading up Glenfeshie.

    1. Thanks Ian. I was up on Sgor Gaoith yesterday. The Moine Mhor does look a bit wetter than usual. Always plenty of dry spots though. My first post-lockdown wild camp may well be up there. Hope you have a good trip up Glen Feshie (hard not to, it's such a wonderful place!)

    2. Thanks Chris. Upper Glen Feshie was glorious! Made even more so by the fact that I had it to myself beyond the bothy. If you don't know already, the path opposite Glen Feshie lodge has now completely collapsed into the river and is very precarious. I came back along the track to avoid it. Coming up the glen, the bothy is now signposted left at the fork in the track.
      Enjoy your wild camp and I'll look forward to reading about it in due course.