January 19th, 2012
A coastal walk should always be a safe and enjoyable experience. It is worth considering the following points particularly if you are new to walking, or you intend to explore the longer and more remote walks.
- Stay on the path and away from cliff edges
- Take extra care in windy and/or wet conditions
- Always supervise children and dogs
- Leave gates and property as you find them
- Remember that mobile signal can be patchy in some coastal destinations so let
- someone know where you are heading and when you are due to arrive
- Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
Tags: coastl paths, keeping warm, thermal clothing, winter walking
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January 15th, 2012
Terra Novas new Elite down sleeping bags are probably one of the lightest and warmest ranges available for serious mountaineers. High quality 900 Fill Power goose down and superlite down proof fabrics create comfortable bags that are the closest you can get to just carrying the down! These sleeping bags have all the quality features you would expect from an elite winter sleeping bag, from box wall construction to zip baffles and welded seams. The Elite range of Terra Nova down Sleeping bags come in 3 variations, the 300, 600 and 900. The lightest down bag, Elite 300, weighs just 330g (11.7oz) and has a temperature rating of +10°C to -2°C. The heaviest down bag in the range, Elite 900, still only weighs in at 990g (34.9oz) and has a temperature range from -10°C to -26°C.
Tags: down, elite, lightweight sleeping bags, mountaineering, terra nova, warm
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January 13th, 2012
The light and sound installation ‘Sòrn’ at Strathmashie Forest, Laggan in the Cairngorms National Park (the UK’s largest national park at 4,528 sq km) has been created by the artist Gill Russell. Funded by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), the Cairngorms Local Action Group and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the project celebrates 2011’s UNESCO Year of the Forest by creating artworks in outdoor locations in the national park which ‘enhance awareness of the heritage of the forest and of the people who live there’. Sòrn is the culmination of the project and has been supported by Laggan Forest Trust which is hosting the exhibition over the winter months. Sòrn is designed to be seen in darkness so anyone wishing to view the installation is advised to visit in the evening. Located on a good forest track five minutes from the Wolftrax car park, Sòrn is well signposted but remember to bring a torch!
More down to earth, a new mountain bike centre near Tomintoul, which could create the longest single track descent in Scotland, has been approved by the CNPA. Two trails will be built – 10 kilometres and 19 kilometres – through the forests and on existing forest roads. The descent from the summit of Carn Daimh on the longer of the trails will be approximately 4.7 kilometres. CNPA Planning Officer, Mary Grier, said, “Interesting and challenging trails will be created from the existing landform rather than being man-made and will involve limited construction and minimal tree felling. We’ve also added a condition that the trail should be no wider than 1.2 metres, all of which helps protect the surrounding forest and landscape. Currently both cyclists and walkers use the forest roads and the likelihood of conflict between the two has been identified as low. The increased promotion of the new centre could attract more people to enjoy the outdoors in this area of the park and explore the existing network of paths.”
Tags: cairngorms, cycling, mountain biking, national park, walking
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January 9th, 2012
The Wales Coast Path is the longest continuous coastal path around a country, winding its way through 870 miles of stunning coastal landscape from the outskirts of Chester in the north to Chepstow in the south east. The route will take walkers from the mouth of the River Dee, along the north Wales coast with its seaside towns, over the Menai Strait onto the Isle of Anglesey, from the Llyn Peninsula down the majestic sweep of Cardigan Bay, through Britain’s only coastal National Park in Pembrokeshire, along miles of golden sand, via Gower with its stunning scenery, along the waterfront of Cardiff Bay and Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, to the market town of Chepstow.
5th May 2012 will see the official launch of this monumental project and events will continue throughout the summer as communities take the opportunity to hold their own celebrations; listings will be available on a Wales Coast Path website to be launched in early 2012. Big Welsh Coastal Walks will be organised by Ramblers Cymru. These will be a series of led walks, suitable for all levels of fitness, along the Path in what is expected to be one of the largest mass participation events ever seen in Wales.The whole path will be accessible to walkers and, where practical, some sections will also be suitable for cyclists, families with pushchairs, people with restricted mobility and horse riders.
It’s tipped by Lonely Planet as one of the World’s top ten destinations for 2012 – www.lonelyplanet.com/europe/travel-tips-and-articles/76854.
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Tags: ales coast path, hikingw, lonely planet guide, national trust, ramblers, walking
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January 5th, 2012
Spending the night in a snow hole or a day climbing a sheer ice face are just two of the activities which feature in the Torridon Winter Walking Festival in March. Walkers will be able to join some of the most highly qualified mountaineering guides in the UK in some of the most stunning snowy winter wilderness in the country to take part in one of Scotland’s ultimate winter adventures. The three day Torridon Winter Walking Festival is organised by Torridon Activities, and runs from Saturday, 3rd – Monday, 5th March, 2012, when ice axe arrest, walking in crampons and avalanche awareness are a given; there is a Winter Skills Day for those not already confident and in the know.
The mountains featuring in the Torridon Winter Walking Festival’s programme contribute to some of the finest mountain scenery in Europe – Beinn Eighe, Liathach, Coire Mhic Fhearchair, Beinn Alligin and Beinn na h-Eaglaise – and require not only stamina and fitness to conquer in both summer and winter conditions, but also an introductory lesson in Gaelic pronunciation at the very least (included).
As the high level walks are aimed at people who are used to the mountain environment, they require a reasonable level of fitness. The walks take in wild places, don’t necessarily follow footpaths, and conditions underfoot coupled with the terrain dictate that the walks are of a medium to strenuous nature. The rewards, on the other hand, are of spectacular uninterrupted views over a stunning Highland landscape bathed in a winter freeze. Low level walks also feature on the Festival programme, and follow estate roads and footpaths passing through frozen glens and past frozen lochans without the commitment of a hill climb.
There are plenty of accommodation options in the area – many listed on the Festival’s website – ranging from youth hostels, B&Bs and guest houses to self-catering, inns and hotels.
For further information on the Torridon Winter Walking Festival, to book a place on one of the walks, to find out more about the guides, the routes and the accommodation, check out www.thetorridon.com/activities/walking-festival.
Tags: avalanche, highlands, mountaineering, scotland, survival equipment, walking, winter sports insurance
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