Beinn a’ Chrulaiste

I managed to use the winter gear a few weeks back. Having thought I’d seen the last of the mountains of Glencoe I was pleased to find myself on one of the glens lesser trodden hills, and also one of its best viewpoints… 

Full Trip Report: Beinn a’ Chrulaiste

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Scottish Government response to Loch Lomond Camping Ban Letter

After a mere two months I have had a response to my Open Letter to Dr Aileen McLeod, the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.

Letter from Scottish Government, 19/04/16

Letter from Scottish Government, 19/04/16


In short, we acknowledge your letter but are taking absolutely no notice of it. The Scottish Government has had fair warning that this action will criminalise RESPONSIBLE wild camping, yet this letter confirms their intention to continue on a course which I think flies in the face of the aims and the ethos not only of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, but of the National Park itself.

With many campers preparing to defy the ban on point of principle, and the courts already showing signs of unwillingness to prosecute, this issue is set to run for a number of years.

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Missing: Jim Robertson

Jim Robertson is a fellow member of Glasgow HF Outdoor Club. He has been missing in the Cairngorms since March 2nd.

His daughter Lynn has set up a page where donations can be made to the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team in thanks for all the efforts they have made, and continue to make, in the search for her father.

You can donate at


*Photo from Grough

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TGO Magazine: Open Letter to Dr Aileen McLeod

An edited version of my Open Letter to SNP Environment Minister Dr Aileen McLeod has been published in the April 2016 issue of TGO magazine. As of today, almost four weeks after the letter was sent to Dr McLeod, there has been no response from her.


TGO Magazine, April 2016

TGO Magazine, April 2016


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Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park: Procurator Fiscal Refuses to Prosecute

This article from the MCofS magazine, The Scottish Mountaineer, from November 2015 is an interesting one. It would appear that a camper who was doing so responsibly under the outdoor access legislation was to be prosecuted for breaching LLTNP byelaws. After some delay the Procurator Fiscal decided not to press ahead with the charge.

Hat’s off to the unknown camper who took them on. I think he or she will be the first of many standing up to this legislation.

Scottish Mountaineer, November 2015

Scottish Mountaineer, November 2015


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Achinver Hostel: User Survey

I’ve never stayed in this hostel, but received a short survey. It may be of interest to you:

I’m writing to you as an established Hill walking/Climbing Group that might be interested in short stay hostel accommodation in the North West Scottish Highlands.

My partner, Ruth Bradley, and myself, have applied to the Scottish Wildlife Trust to become the new tenants at Acheninver Hostel in Achiltibuie (north west of Ullapool).  The SYHA have relinquished their lease and the SWT have decided, after much deliberation, not to sell the building but to find folk willing to keep it open as a community amenity.  We are full time residents in Achiltibuie and are very keen to see the hostel become a vibrant visitor hub, facilitating access to the Ben Mor Coigach Reserve, the Summer Isles and the North West Geopark.

There are many hill routes in the area, within easy access from the hostel including Ben Mor Coigach, Stac Pollaidh and Suilven. There is also the heritage coastal route of the Postmans Path a 10km mountain path that runs from Strathcanaird to the Hostel.

The business plan we’ve developed aims to increase the proportion of group and exclusive use bookings at the hostel.   The hostel has two 8 bed dorms, one 4 bed dorm and one double/twin room.  We will offer provisioning, catering, and logistic support for groups to make the hostel viable as a base for adventure/exploration/education.

We need to demonstrate that there is a market out there for a small, remote, walk-in, rustic hostel in a breathtakingly wild and beautiful location. The hostel has been in use for 78 years and would be a great loss to the area if it were to close.

Please click on the link below to answer a 2 minute survey on the future of an iconic rural hostel.

Best of wishes,

Iain Simpson

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Scottish Borders: The Eildon Hills

In September 2015 Scotland’s newest railway, the Borders Line, opened to the public. I recently managed to take a trip on it to its terminating station, Tweedbank to walk the Eildon Hills….

Full article : Scottish Borders: The Eildon Hills

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