100 Years of Glasgow HF.

Past Presidents of Glasgow HF Outdoor Club

Last week I attended a civic reception at the City Chambers in Glasgow for the centenary of the Glasgow HF Outdoor Club. I’ve been a member for many years now, although I have been pretty much inactive since developing knee problems in early 2014. At that time  I was club president and while only president for a short time it was certainly memorable, with the process of the club affiliating to the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (now Mountaineering Scotland) being a particular stand out memory of off-hill activity.

The club is going from strength to strength and it’s encouraging to see how many members have taken an active interest in running the club. Without them it simply wouldn’t function. Here’s to the next hundred years and beyond!


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West Highland Way: Ardleish to Crianlarich

Approaching Keilator Farm

A few months back I hiked a small part of the West Highland Way, from Inversnaid to Ardleish, starting and finishing by boat. It was a good way to pack in a hike with an overnight stay, and it left me with an idea, that I could return for another time and pick up where I left off.

Read the full walk report: West Highland Way: Ardleish to Crianlarich

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Take Your Map and Stick It Where The Sun Don’t Shine

My paper maps live in a dark cupboard. They don’t often see the light of day unless I’m planning a walk and even then a lot of my planning is done on Memory Map. Computer mapping has its pluses and negatives. One of the negatives is of course that when you want a hard copy you are reliant on probably the least reliable bit of home computing equipment: the printer. I seldom use my printer. I buy new ink, get it working, print a couple of sheets and then stick it away until I need it again. Usually that’s the night before I need a map, and I’ve now lost count of the number of times I’ve been let down. A few weeks back I was heading for Killicrankie and needed a small section of map. We weren’t planning on walking a great distance, and a single sheet of A4 at 1:50,000 would have done. What I got was a sheet of varying shades of yellow, no contour lines and no way to tell the difference between a road and a river; quite important in the Killicrankie area…

OS Map App

Before catching the train we popped in to buy an Ordnance Survey map and it was the first one I’d bought for a while. I was surprised to see that the maps now come with a code which gives access to an electronic copy of the same sheet: just scratch off the foil, reveal the code and enter into the Ordnance Survey app to allow you to download it to your phone or tablet. One useful feature is that by pressing the cross-hairs icon the app uses your phones GPS to pinpoint your position.

So while Ordnance Survey have taken quite a big step forward by tying in their electronic mapping with the paper mapping, they appear not to have taken the one step which would help with storage and accessing paper maps: get rid of the paper cover! Field maps aren’t designed to be used with a lump of cardboard glued to the side. It prevents them being folded properly, so the first thing I do on buying a map is to remove the cover, but I don’t discard it. Five minutes with some sellotape, a sheet of paper and the cover gives you a pouch which can be used to store the map when not in use so it can be protected, filed with other maps and identified when you need it. Quite why Ordnance Survey haven’t switched to a pre-manufactured pouch is a mystery to me. So in the interim, don’t throw your covers away. Follow these couple of steps and start storing your maps properly.

  1. Use a craft knife and carefully slide it along the glued section where the map joins the cover, separating the two.
  2. Using scissors, cut off the two wings where the glue was applied.
  3. Cut an A4 sheet of paper in half. Discard one half and cut the remaining part into two.
  4. With sellotape, fix one piece of paper to the left side of the cover and one to the right side.
  5. Place a strip of sellotape face down along the edge of each piece of paper. Fold the two pieces of paper inwards then close the cover to form a pouch or pocket.
  6. Run another piece of sellotape up the outside of the cover where it meets the paper to ensure it won’t come apart. Refold your map and place it back inside the pouch.
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Corstorphine Hill to Cramond Island with Glasgow HF

The causeway with the tide in. The path is fully submerged to the left of the concrete blocks.

For once I was early, waiting in the rain outside Edinburgh Zoo for the Citylink bus from Glasgow to drop off John Barrowman and his merry band. It was good to see some of the old faces and catch up as we headed up over Corstorphine Hill, skirting the back of the Zoo, passing the rather well hidden Corstorphine Hill Tower before descending to Davidson’s Mains, and a breather in the park…

Full Walk Report: Corstorphine Hill to Cramond Island with Glasgow HF

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Sunset Over Rothesay

Sunset, Rothesay, Isle of Bute

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Who Dares Wins

Winged Dagger Logo

I was on holiday recently at Garve, in Wester Ross. It wasn’t a walking holiday as such, I was on a coach tour visiting Inverness, Skye and Dornoch, but I did manage a few short strolls near the village. One walk led me to what is marked on the OS map as Strathgarve Lodge (although Google Maps shows Strathgarve Lodge as being around 1.5km NW), grid reference NH 405 613. Following the path to Loch Garve I noticed that a few of the access gates had the SAS “winged dagger” logo on them. I was intrigued by them as normally ex SAS are shy, retiring types who don’t court publicity. Google searches haven’t revealed anything, so if anyone out there knows the background to these I’d be interested to hear it.

Leave your replies at the southern corner of the boathouse at Hereford…

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West Highland Way: Inversnaid to Ardleish

Come back, I’ve left ma pieces!

The camping ban in Loch Lomond was something else to contend with- I refuse to pay to camp out of principle, so I decided that much of Loch Lomond was out- until I stumbled on a solution: boats.

There’s a ferry from Tarbet on west Loch Lomondside to Inversnaid on the east side, cleverly bypassing the area at the south of the loch which falls within the camping ban area and dropping you bang on the West Highland Way, around four miles south of Doune Bothy.

Full Trip Report: West Highland Way: Inversnaid to Ardleish

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