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In Pursuit of Perfection โ€“ the Lochaber Traverse

Seeking perfection on an ambitious three-day journey to reach Ben Nevis

This feature was first published in The Great Outdoors magazine, January 2017

Between 2008 to 2011, I lived in Lochaber. I don’t live there any more. Now I make visits north, losing the weather lottery more often than not. Sometimes I find myself wondering if all my greatest adventures in the Scottish mountains are behind me, but very occasionally I’m permitted one of those rare glimpses of perfection that have inspired me for all of my adult life.

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To hell with Facebook – I’m starting a newsletter instead

Just because everyone’s on there doesn’t mean your business needs to be too

Maybe itโ€™ll come as no surprise, if youโ€™ve been paying attention, that I donโ€™t much like Facebook. For years, Iโ€™ve had a business presence there because I felt I had toโ€”but no longer. Hereโ€™s why Iโ€™m closing down the Facebook pages for my business and setting up a new email newsletter instead.

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Skills: Winter Walker to Winter Climber โ†’

If you’ve ventured into the winter hills more than once or twice, you’ll have seen winter climbers: men and women with short, bent-shaft ice axes strapped to their packs, marching at speed up to the North Face of Ben Nevis or into the Northern Corries. Are they mad? Perhaps โ€“ but if you’re winter climbing curious too, here’s a primer for the winter walker who dreams of more vertical challenges.

To read the full feature, head over to ยป

Walking 1,500 miles in 2017

In the end, it wasn’t about the miles

At the start of 2017, I decided to take on ViewRangerโ€™s Walk2017 challenge. The idea is simple: you pick a mileage targetโ€”500, 1,000 or 1,500โ€”then aim to hike it over the course of the year. Because I had several long-distance walks planned, I picked 1,500 miles, which I hoped would present a challenge without being impossible to achieve.

Through ups and downs, Iโ€™ve stuck with it, and I hit 1,500 miles on the 31st of December (1,504 miles, actually).

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My nine top wild camps of 2017

Nine of the best, from Ardgour to Norway

For the last few years it’s been my custom to do a roundup of my year in the outdoors, but this year I have been posting monthly photo updates and I feel that ground has already been covered.

2017 has, however, been a very good year for wild camps. While it has lagged slightly behind 2015 and 2016 in terms of nights spent under canvas โ€“ I’ve only camped for 51 nights this year โ€“ I’ve put a bit more effort into finding that elusive perfect camping spot.

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