What I’ve been reading this week, 22 November 2019

I have some cracking reads for you this week on a range of subjects: homecoming salmon, an Alpine rejuvenation, winter backpacking tips, wonder of wonders, photographing the Hebrides, and much more…


Melting glaciers and the double-edged sword of last-chance tourism – ‘the environmental paradox: traveling long distances to see melting glaciers before they disappear makes for more greenhouse gas emissions.’

Country diary: homecoming salmon leap to attention – inspired by leaping salmon, Carey Davies reflects on ‘the instinctual undertows in our own lives’.

The planet is burning – Stephen Pyne makes an interesting case for the concept of the Pyrocene – the Age of Fire.

Long-distance hiking and the outdoors

A long hiatus and an Alpine rejuvenation – Cam Honan has been busy.

Hut-to-hut in Austria – Ronald Turnbull hikes the Stubai Höhenweg.

In praise of snowshoes – a good piece on snowshoes by Chris Townsend, who has been out in the snowy Cairngorms (which are on his doorstep).

Backpacking and wild camping tips for the winter months – some great practical pointers here from Valley and Peak, especially on managing condensation, which can be a real problem in winter.

Wonder of wonders – Merryn Glover writes about the non-writers of Glen Tanar. ‘When we stop to pay attention, there is no end to the world’s miracles.’

Skills: expert tips for walking further and faster – this article is packed with great advice from folk who know a good deal about going far and fast in the mountains.

Wild Women Creatives – Kelly Hargie, who runs the blog Every Treasure, is starting a new monthly outdoor event with the theme of creativity at its core. The first event will take place in January 2020 in the Mourne Mountains.


Photographing the Hebrides – Colonsay & Oronsay: Sand, Skies and Sea – some fabulous images here from Christopher Swan.

Writing and editing

‘Your throat hurts. Your brain hurts’: the secret life of the audiobook star – this is an absolutely fascinating look into the hard work and dedication that go into producing audiobooks.

Paperback of Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo: the perfect gift to slip inside your Christmas stocking – the paperback edition of Mark Horrell’s latest book, which I edited, is now out.


We spend so much time staring at our phones. What do we miss when we don’t look up? – I’ve thought a lot about this piece by Mel Campbell over the last week. I love the concept of the ‘sublime subversion of looking up’.

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By Alex Roddie

Award-winning outdoor and nature writer, editor, author, and photographer.

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