Soft rush (Juncus effusus) will be familiar to many hill-goers. This unassuming, clump-forming plant is frequently overlooked and often actively avoided, growing as it does in wet places. However this wasn’t always the case: The word ‘rush’ stems from the much earlier ‘rezg’, meaning to plait, braid or weave and hints at the plant’s usefulness … More “Burning the candle at both ends”
To support the Government’s Year of Green Action Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust are organising lots of Wild Action Days where you can get involved to make your neighbourhood a wildlife haven. A team of experts and volunteers will be on hand to help you sample practical conservation activities, make nature crafts or join walks … More B’ham & Black Country Wildlife Trust ‘Wild Day of Action’
It was my great pleasure to be working with my friends at Mountain Escapes on the longest day of the year, leading a group of 20 enthusiastic walkers to the top of Snowdon to watch the sunset. After assembling in Llanberis we took the Sherpa bus to Pen y Pass and began a steady ascent … More Snowdon Summer Solstice Sunset
It seemed like ages since Deb and I had wandered amongst Snowdonia’s higher peaks so with a free weekend looming, we booked a couple of night’s stay at the National Mountain Centre, Plas y Brenin, emptied the contents of our ‘outdoordrobe’ into the back of the car and piled up the A5 to Eryri. Woohoo! … More Snowdonia’s Idwal Skyline
My article on the Mountains of Macedonia from the Autumn 2018 edition of the Mountain Training publication, “The Professional Mountaineer”: Ask people their favourite European walking destinations and it’s unlikely Macedonia will receive a single mention. Yet this sparsely populated Balkans republic has much to offer the adventurous hill walker. Innumerable peaks rise to over … More The Mountains of Macedonia
Pumlumon (pronounced “Pimlimon”, meaning ‘five peaks’ and often anglicised to “Plynlimon”) dominates the wild, empty uplands of mid-Wales. Its windswept summit, Pen Pumlumon Fawr (752m/2467ft) is the highest point in the Cambrian Mountains, while its flanks give rise to three major rivers; the Rheidol, the Wye and the Severn (the UK’s longest river at 220 … More Pumlumon – from summit to source
A one day introductory course on navigation by map and compass, for those seeking to be more independent in the UK’s hills and mountains. Set in the glorious surroundings of the Shropshire Hills, this course is ideal for anyone with little or no prior navigational experience. If you are a more experienced navigator, we will … More Introduction to Navigation – Shropshire Hills
For a long, long time I’ve been meaning to visit the Howgills, that appealing range of velvety lumps on the wrong side of the M6 from the Lake District. That was our plan for the weekend. On Friday evening a route was plotted and bags were packed and early Saturday morning we were off… to … More The Howgills…erm The Aran Ridge
Some years ago I remember someone saying that the Cairngorms were “a bit boring…just rounded hills, lacking in interest”. Looking back, I now wonder if they’d actually ever been there because my word, how wrong they were! For wild and remote mountains, huge views, dramatic crags and wonderful wildlife, the place has few equals. Since … More A couple of Cairngorms classics
For a good number of years my lower half had been clad in Montane’s ubiquitous Terra trousers when out on the hill. They’re tough, light, reinforced in the right areas and allow for a good degree of movement. The fit’s OK too, mostly (some pairs fit better than others, despite being the same stated size). … More Review: Rohan Stretch Bags
It’s been a year since I did my Mountain Leader training. As part of the training I was introduced to the delights of night navigation. While no stranger to wandering the hills in the dark, my previous experience was limited to simply following well worn paths up and down familiar peaks in Snowdonia. Now I … More Misty play for me.
I’m delighted to have been chosen to be a Trekmates® ‘Outdoor Hero’ brand ambassador for the coming year. Trekmates® is Europe’s leading provider of Outdoor Adventure Accessories and was formed in Nottingham, England in 1997. It is now one of the leading providers of outdoor adventure accessories in the world. Trekmates® design, manufacture and market … More Trekmates Outdoor Hero 2018
‘Macedonia? Where’s that?’ Even now this is still the most common response we receive when asked where we’re going on our holidays. It’s the southern-most former Yugoslav republic, bordering Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece, in case you’re still wondering. We’ve been visiting Macedonia for many years Mrs. C and I, largely due to the fact … More Macedonia: Polite cheese and a mountain called Steve, but beware the peacocks!
Hmmm, Snowdonia or the Lakes? A common question in our household, usually on the Friday evening preceding a ‘planned’ day of walking on Saturday. I say planned, but what usually happens is a conversation between me and Mrs. C. along the lines of, “Fancy a walk Saturday?” “Can do. Where you thinking?” “Snowdonia or the … More Chicken or beef?
If, like me, you despair of modern rucksack designs with their spindly straps, fiddly clips, overly elaborate back systems and all manner of seemingly superfluous dangly bits then read on… Based in a small unit in the village of Staveley in the Lake District, Aiguille Alpine have been quietly making rucksacks and other outdoor equipment … More Review: Aiguille Alpine ‘El Nino’ 27l rucksack
Mrs. C. and I seem to have started a tradition in recent years for a last-minute week away in Scotland. This time we managed to bag a great self-catering apartment in the sleepy village of Kinloch Rannoch. With omnipresent views across the loch to the ‘fairy hill of the Caledonians’, Schiehallion and surrounded by woods … More A week in Kinloch Rannoch
When a Facebook post went out requesting ‘mock students’ to work with trainee MIA, Graham Uney on a scrambling day in the Lake District, I didn’t think twice before responding. I’ve been scrambling for a long time but have only occasionally ventured beyond grade 1 territory, so the chance to push it up a notch … More Walk, sleep, scramble in the Lakes