Tuesday 7 November 2023

A Look At The December Issue Of The Great Outdoors

With snow having already fallen on the Scottish hills it's timely that the latest issue of The Great Outdoors features a guide to winter skills with twelve pages of advice from instructors at Glenmore Lodge on everything from avalanches to navigation in a whiteout. Alex Roddie also gives some tips on winter walking and backpacking. There's advice on hiking at night and Andrew Galloway describes the joys of winter nocturnal walks. In the gear pages Peter Macfarlane and Kirsty Pallas review winter walking boots. Kirsty also reviews crampons and David Lintern reviews ice axes for winter walking and easier mountaineering.

In the Cairngorms, October 23, 2023

Also in winter James Roddie climbs Beinn Alligin in deep snow in a feature illustrated with his dramatic and spectacular photos. The opening photo spread is a superb snowy winter photo of the Snowdon Horseshoe and Llyn Llydaw by Alan Novelli.

Away from winter and Britain James Forrest goes walking in the mountains of British Columbia and meets a bear.

In shorter pieces the wintry theme is continued with Creator of the Month, cold water swim coach Vicki McCreadie. Jim Perrin's Mountain Portrait of The Twmpa in the Black Mountains is illustrated with a great photo of this hill under snow too. The opinion piece is by Amy-Jane Beer who looks at the fallout from the felling of the Sycamore Gap tree and the need to repair our broken relationship with nature. As she nears the end of her walk round Britain's coast Emma Schroeder detours to walk round her birthplace, the Isle of Wight, and ponders what her journey means and why there are so many skeletons in shop windows.

My only contribution to this issue is a sponsored piece on Rab's Vapour-Rise garments, which I was happy to write as I'd liked the first ones some 20 years ago and was impressed with the new Alpine Light Jacket. Since submitting the piece I've worn this jacket on two backpacking trips in the Cairngorms and days out in the snow and I'm even more impressed now. I'll be wearing it much more. 

The winter theme is continued in the snowy Wild Walks section. In Scotland Alex Roddie traverses Bidean nam Bian in Glen Coe and Stefan Durkacz tramps the Cleish Hills on the border between West Fife and Perth & Kinross. In the Lake Distirct James Forrest tackles the Coledale Round, Vivienne Crow goes up Skiddaw Little Man and Ian Battersby picks a safe route up Blencathra in ice and spindrift and also traverses Great Dodd and Clough Head. Down in Eryri/Snowdonia Andrew Galloway finds standing stones and ancient cairns on Drum and Carnedd y Ddelw while in the Peak District Francesca Donovan climbs Shutlingsloe and Tegg's Nose in the snow. Much further south Fiona Barltrop finds snow in the South Downs on a coastal walk from Beachy Head to Seaford Head.

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