Thursday 9 January 2014

The Great Outdoors Latest Issue: the Winter Cairngorms, Entertainment in Camp, GPS & Communication Devices, Yak wool

Cairn Lochan in the Cairngorms

The February issue of The Great Outdoors is out now. I have a big feature in it about the Cairngorms in winter with many pictures. There's a great cover shot, taken by Terry Abraham, of our camp on Mullach Clach a'Bhlair when we were making the Cairngorms in Winter film. The little figure by the tents is me, also taking a photograph.

Given how difficult navigation can be in winter conditions in the Cairngorms it's good that this issue also has advice on this from Nigel Williams, the Head of Training at Glenmore Lodge, in the Hill Skills section.

My backpacking column is about entertainment in camp during storms or long dark winter evening and in the gear pages I review GPS and communication devices. The other big gear review is from Daniel Neilson and covers seventeen down jackets. He shouldn't be cold this winter! I also review the Kora ShoLa Zip base layer, a beautiful but expensive top made from yak wool.

Elsewhere in this issue is a wonderful double-page photo of Castell Y Gwynt in Snowdonia by Dave Newbould and a feature on 12 Welsh Ridges by Jim Perrin. Another excellent double-spread is Mark Gilligan's picture of Mosedale in the Lake District. In the Hills Skills section Mark gives advice on how to take good pictures in winter. A third mouth-watering double-page spread shows Loch an Eilein in the Cairngorms in winter conditions, taken by Ian Cameron. I've visited this beautiful little loch many times but have never seen it as wintry as this. A change in photography comes from Jamie Grant with a selection of black and white pictures of Glen Lyon.

Winter and photography continue as themes with Lizzie Shepherd's photo essay on ski touring in Norway. The minimalist opening spread showing a tiny skier crossing a frozen lake is wonderful.

Back in the magazine is former deputy editor Carey Davies, now the BMC's hillwalking officer, with a new column called Mountain Magic. In his first contribution Carey describes a night walk on Stanage Edge in the Peak District. Roger Smith, in his Environment column, considers wind power and calls for a complete block on wind farms in sensitive mountain areas. Hear, hear Roger! In the Hillwalker's Library Jim Perrin delves underground with Norbert Casteret's Ten Years Under The Earth

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