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19 PULL-OUT LAKES / SNOWDONIA / PEAK DISTRICT ROUTES FULLY MAPPED, READY TO WALK LIVE FOR THE OUTDOORS OCTOBER 2019 THE UK’S BEST-SELLING HILLWALKING MAGAZINE (BY MILES) OCTOBER 2019 £4.60 THE BEST MOUNTAIN R WALKS HIGHLAND GIANTS The greatest routes on Scotland’s biggest peaks GOLDEN OLDIE Classic round of Coniston INTO THE WILD Explore ancient forests the one that almost had to drag its trigger-happy photographer out of Rothiemurchus Forest beneath the Cairngorms HOW TO... ■ SHOOT MOUNTAIN PHOTOS ■ ENJOY GREAT WILD SLEEPS ULTIMATE GU GEAR TESTED GE ID to Wales’ wild E Rhinog hills BEST JACKETS FOR AUTUMN BOOTS | SATNAVS | GAITERS “I cherish mountain adventures with my parents and brothers, my wife and our kids just as much as ventures on mountains like Fitz Roy. Deuter to me is a brand with history - and future!” MICHI BÜCKERS WITH THE NEW TRAIL 30. Michi is a certified mountain and skiing guide and Deuter brand ambassador. He started his career as a road bike racer. Today his list of outdoor sports is long and he loves to combine all of them. SUBSCRIBE Sign up for a year of Trail and WELCOME TO SAVE OVER £20! High in the Moidart Corbetts on Scotland’s west coast, with layer upon layer of peaks melting into the horizon. PAGE 44 BEN WEEKS M O U N TA I N M A G I C I’m ashamed to say I was more than a couple of islands; white sand beaches; and wildlife ranging decades into my life before I properly visited the from eagles and red deer to dolphins and orcas. Scottish Highlands. Driving across Rannoch Moor This issue is our own little slice of Scotland, on the A82, with the unmistakable silhouette of taking you up its highest mountains and into its Buachaille Etive Mor guarding the entrance to the deepest, darkest woodlands. So drink it in, then shadowy trench of Glen Coe, I don’t think I’ve fill up your car, and head north. Trust us, you ever felt so foolish. I’d spent a small fortune and won’t regret it. There’s plenty more to entertain lost many years chasing grand landscapes you south of the border too, with classic in distant countries, when everything I’d walks on the Old Man of Coniston and ever wanted was right here in Britain, Nantlle Ridge, plus a bonus adventure to just a few hours north of Glasgow. a dreamy Arctic island. You lucky lot! Huge, hulking peaks; wide-open glens; Oli Reed, editor sparkling lochs; ancient forests; remote (Twitter @the outdoordad) Cover photograph: An Teallach by Tom Bailey. EDITOR’S PICKS Ben Weeks makes Tom Bailey intentionally James Forrest jumps on a a convincing case loses himself for two plane to the mountainous for multi-topped days in Rothiemurchus Norwegian island of An Teallach as Forest, searching Senja, then comes Scotland’s greatest for Scotland’s back encouraging you mountain walk p24 ‘holy grail’ p32 to do exactly the same p60 OCTOBER 2019 TRAIL 3 Trail, H Bauer Publishing, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA Email Prefix all 6-digit phone numbers with 01733 EDITORIAL Phone: 01733 468205 Editor Oli Reed Deputy editor Jenna Maryniak Art editor Louise Parker Head of publishing Shane Collins Senior writer Ben Weeks Staff writer Jake Kendall-Ashton Senior editorial assistant Sara Mattick Photographer Tom Bailey Technical editor Graham Thompson Map illustrator Steve Hall ADVERTISING Commercial manager Anna Skuse (468435) Key account manager Joe Sheehan (366402) Classified sales Deanne Dwight (366384) MARKETING Marketing manager Holly Burdall (468111) Direct marketing manager Julie Spires (468164) Newsstand marketing Samantha Thompson (468128) PRODUCTION Print production Colin Robinson (468072) Ad production (468772) Printers William Gibbons Distribution Frontline (555161) SUBSCRIPTIONS 32 To contact us about subscription orders, renewals, missing issues or any other subscriptions queries, please email or call 01858 438884 (UK) or +44 1858 438884 (overseas) D I G I TA L I S S U E S Head of e-publishing Jim Foster Email: BACK ISSUES To order back issues, please call 01858 438884 (UK) or +44 1858 438884 (overseas) Rothiemurchus Forest H BAUER PUBLISHING Head deep into the mountains and Managing director Kim Slaney lochs of the ancient Caledonian pines Editorial director June Smith-Sheppard Digital managing director Charlie Calton-Watson for a glimpse into a lost world. Group direct marketing manager Kim Slaney Chief financial officer Bauer Magazine Media Lisa Hayden CEO Bauer Publishing UK Rob Munro-Hall Trail is published 13 times a year by H Bauer Publishing. FEATURES No part of the magazine may be reproduced in any form in whole or in part, without the prior permission of Bauer. All material published remains the 6 Peak of the Month copyright of Bauer and we reserve the right to copy or edit any material submitted to the magazine without further consent. The submission of material Ben More Coigaich, Ullapool (manuscripts or images etc) to Bauer, whether unsolicited or requested, is 24 taken as permission to publish that material in the magazine, on the associated website, any apps or social media pages affiliated to the magazine, and any 8 Base Camp editions of the magazine published by our licensees elsewhere in the world. Happenings from high places King in the North By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and to authorise Bauer to use it as described in this paragraph. 14 Outdoor opinion Trail heads the deep into the Highlands You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Bauer. If Bauer receives a claim from From our columnist Mary-Ann in search of Scotland’s finest hillwalk 40 a copyright owner or a person featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to 17 Mountains for the Mind Cloud island the copyright owner or featured person and / or for reimbursing Bauer for any losses it has suffered as a result. Mental health – out in the open The stunning peaks of the Isle of Skye Please note, we accept no responsibility for unsolicited material which is lost 18 Nature notes like you’ve never seen them before 46 or damaged in the post and we do not promise that we will be able to return any material to you. Finally, while we try to ensure accuracy of your material when Scotland’s red deer rut we publish it, we cannot promise to do so. We do not accept any responsibility for The Old Man of Coniston any loss or damage, however caused, resulting from use of the material as described in this paragraph. 20 Out There Join us for a perennially popular COMPLAINTS: H Bauer Publishing is a member of the Independent Press Adventure stories from you lot loop high above the Lake District Standards Organisation ( and endeavours to respond to and 22 Everest Anywhere 54 resolve your concerns quickly. Our Editorial Complaints Policy (including full details of how to contact us about editorial complaints and IPSO’s contact details) can be found at Our email for Can you climb 8848m this year? The Nantlle Ridge editorial complaints covered by the Editorial Complaints Policy is Could this rocky ridgeline be 64 Hot Topic Snowdonia’s best kept secret? H Bauer Publishing is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 01176085, registered address Media House, Lynch Wood, Is commercialisation killing 60 Peterborough, PE2 6EA. Vat no 918 5617 01. © Bauer 2019 Britain’s countryside? Land of the Gods 68 Mountain skills Why the Norwegian island of Senja is Top advice from Trail’s experts fast becoming a hillwalking hotspot 4 TRAIL OCTOBER 2019 CoNteNts 13 MOUNTaIN rOUTeS 93 Beinn a’ Bheithir, West Highlands 95 Grasmoor, Lake District 97 Mam Tor, Peak District 99 Moel Siabod, Snowdonia 101 Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons 103 The Merrick, Southern Uplands ULTIMATE WEEKENDS 105 Ambleside fells Looking through the Scots pines over to 109 the northern Cairngorms from Meall a Bhuachaille in the Rothiemurchus Forest. tom bailey Peter edwards Gear 74 FIRST LOOK Sprayway The Isle of Harris Torridon jacket WALKS OF A LIFETIME 76 FIELD TEST 113 The Rhinogs, Snowdonia Insulated jackets 81 Digital nav 82 Gaiters 86 Long-term tests 118 BRITAIN’S GREATEST SCRAMBLES Jack’s Rake, Pavey Ark OcTOBer 2019 Trail 5 ba secamp yo ur a d v en t ure s ta rt s here Ben More Coigach catching dawn light, with its awesome northern prow Sgurr an Fhidhleir jutting into the sky on the right of the picture. AlbAimAges / AlAmy xxxx 20192019 6 Trail OCTObeR N O R T H - W E S T H I G H L A N DS BEN MORE COIGACH On a list of criminally overlooked British mountains, Ben More Coigach will be in the top 10 – and probably near the top of that. Driving north out of Ullapool, you simply can’t miss it. It’s the great wall of rock rising up from the sea beyond Isle Martin, and remains in your passenger window as far as Drumrunie. Its biggest problem is its neighbours. Trying to convince people not to drive on by to Suilven is a hard sell, but if any mountain deserves a chance, this is it. Although not particularly high – just 743m – Ben More Coigach is big. The main east-west summit ridge stretches 4km, and the northern offshoot is almost as long again. The western flanks flow all the way to the ocean, either via sharp, scrambly rock or sweeping green coires, while its eastern edge is all fluted cliffs and precipitous viewpoints. And if you really can’t bring yourself to miss out on those Assynt peaks, there’s no better perch in Scotland to view them from. n How does it compare to Scotland’s greatest hillwalk? See page 24 OCTOBER XXXX 2019 TRAIL 7 M O U N TA I N S FO R T H E M I N D HIKING HEADSPACE MOUNTAINS THE MIND FOR Last month was a big one for our Mountains for the Mind campaign, with members of its fast-growing Facebook community organising the first official group walk. Trail went along for a great day on Skiddaw – one of only four Lake District peaks over 3000ft high – on a free event brilliantly organised by voluntary Mountain Leaders and Mental Health First Aiders from Black Dog Outdoors. The group included a real mix of ages and abilities, with participants travelling hundreds of miles (one all the way from Cornwall!) to walk, talk and explore the Northern Fells together. We hope this will be the first of many similar events, so if you want to take part either sign up for the monthly newsletter at or join the Facebook group to make sure you don’t miss any announcements. We launched Mountains for the Mind in January to promote the benefits of getting outdoors to improve mental health, and thousands of you have helped us spread the word. Keep telling your friends about it, take them out on a hillwalk, and let them experience the power of the mountains for themselves. ANDY HIGSON BLACK DOG OUTDOORS DIRECTOR “Black Dog Outdoors was established in 2018 to introduce people to outdoor activities as a means of improving their mental health and wellbeing. “Mountains for the Mind is a fantastic initiative that we’re proud to support. There’s synergy with our own aims and it was a pleasure to organise the recent Skiddaw walk on their behalf. That day connected people who, until the event, only knew each other through Facebook. “Feedback has been heart-warming, and it was humbling to see the support and encouragement everyone gave each other on the day. We can’t wait until the next event on Ben Nevis, and to continue supporting the amazing members of the Mountains for the Mind community.” Do it DANIELLE CONNOR / ALAMY* ■ S TA R T P L A N N I N G ■ HEAR THE ROAR FOR KENDAL OF RED DEER The Kendal Mountain Festival is As summer draws to a close this back for its 39th year from 14-17 Scotland’s spectacular red November, bringing together deer rut gets into full swing, thousands of outdoor enthusiasts with stags competing for to celebrate adventure stories the attention and affection of month from around the world through females by roaring through the films, talks and outdoor events. glens and challenging other males Tickets and accommodation go to combat. To read more about this fast, so start planning your trip. amazing spectacle, which takes place from late September to early November, turn to page 18. 8 TRAIL OCTOBER 2019 B A S EC A M P On the 931m summit of Skiddaw in the Lake District, on the first official Mountains for the Mind group walk. SAVE THE DATE! OLI REED BEN NEVIS 26 OCTOBER We’re excited to announce the next official Mountains for the Mind walk will take place on Britain’s highest peak on 26 October. The team from Black Dog Outdoors will lead the free walk up the Mountain Track from Glen Nevis – the On top of Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands, the destination for the next Mountains for the Mind walk (see right). most popular walkers’ route TOM BAILEY to The Ben’s 1345m summit. Places are limited to 40 people, so for details on how to register visit IF YOU CAN’T MAKE THAT ONE... Black Dog Outdoors is also running free guided walks in these areas on the following dates: 28 Sept – Cairngorms 9 Nov – Yorkshire Dales 30 Dec – North York Moors MOUNTAINS FOR THE MIND OFFICIAL PARTNERS: ■ P L AY A H I L L -T H E M E D ■ FIND ADVENTURE ON ■ W IN A £2 49 GAME OF CARDS T H E C O R N WA L L C OA S T P ATA G O N I A J A C K E T Those clever people at Harvey Maps have The South West Outdoor Festival is a Mountains for the Mind supporter released new packs of playing cards long weekend of guided walks, climbs, Ellis Brigham is giving away a men’s focusing on the Peak District’s trail runs, water sports and live or women’s Patagonia Calcite gritstone edges and the 268- music – and could well turn jacket to one lucky Trail reader. mile Pennine Way National Cornwall into the outdoor Made from light and packable Trail. Each card contains its capital of Britain from 2.5-layer waterproof fabric, it’s own unique piece of Harvey 27-29 September. Book perfect for tackling the UK’s hills mapping, so you can plan tickets for this family- and mountains. The competition a walk while you play. friendly festival at closes on 3 October, so enter now at OCTOBER 2019 TRAIL 9 B A S EC A M P Places we’ve been, things we’ve seen, and mountain-related stuff we like. VIEW WITH A ROOM Take a cosy king-sized bed. Pop it in a teepee in a beautiful wooded riverside location. Warm up with a wood-burning stove. Have an outdoor hot shower with views of the trees. Then walk for miles, because you’ve got the Howgill Fells at your tent door, the Lakes a short drive to the west, and the Yorkshire Dales plus the Pennines to the east. Oh, and to make it utterly perfect, there’s JENNA MARYNIAK a stunning country inn serving food to die for just seconds away. n SCREENS DOWN, HIGH TEA, ANYONE? SOCKS UP MOUNTAINS OF MESS 135kg This August hikers took tea parties to new heights on Scafell It’s estimated that adults and teens Pike during Afternoon Tea Week. After hiking to the 978m summit spend up to 12 hours of England’s highest mountain, 20 guests sampled a new on a screen per day, alcoholic tea from crowd-funded producer Noveltea, while even children plus a variety of dishes including Sushi of the Day and are spending of rubbish removed Nutella Donuts from bar and restaurant company twice as much from Ben Nevis in 2018 time looking at a The Florist. They also broke the record for the screen than playing And 8kg of banana peel in world’s highest high tea party in the process! outside. As part of just 2 days this summer! our Mountains for the Mind campaign, 6kg join Bridgedale in of rubbish cleared swapping some from the remote screen time for a bit shores of Scotland’s more outdoor time. Loch Etchachan S A LT Y HILL FUEL If you find yourself 48% of people in the Believe it or not, POO is also a problem, with piles of faeces and toilet paper being in the Cumbria / UK admit to Yorkshire area, keep dropping litter left in beauty spots up your hill calories with a fresh Tomato, Rosemary and SEND US Love a good hill pic? Sea Salt Focaccia from a Booth’s YOUR HILL Then check out all of supermarket. They’re damn tasty, SNAPS the entries so far in our beat a boring butty, don’t get squashed and don’t even need UK Mountain Photo of the Year any filling. Nom, nom and thrice nom. competition, then enter your own We’ve got a pair of Merrell MQM to win some Fujifilm camera kit Flex Mid GTX hiking boots worth £125 to give away this month. at Enter online at merrell-flex 10 TRAIL OCTOBER 2019 G E A R T H AT D O E S G O OD WALK THIS WAY… AND HELP KIDS READ Music is full of collaborations, outdoor gear less so – but that’s exactly what we have here. Expert shoe maker Keen and outdoor clothing specialist Sherpa Adventure Gear have got together to create the Innate x Sherpa (£140), a boot with Keen’s famous levels of comfort and durability given a Himalayan flavour thanks to an endless knot embossed in the upper, plus Nepalese flag detail on the heel loop. For every pair bought, €15 will be donated to Room to Read, a charity transforming the lives of children in developing countries through literacy and gender equality in education. Keen and Sherpa’s ultimate goal is to teach 1000 Nepalese children to read and write for one year. Truly a collaboration to be proud of. C A S IO G-S H O C K M U D M A S T E R C A R B O N CO R E G U A R D £ 3 2 5 l Tough mineral glass resists scratching l Four in-built With its slight military sensors detect styling and bulletproof compass bearing, l A location build to match, the latest atmospheric indicator G-Shock offering from pressure/altitude function and temperature, Casio has plenty of features displays the and they count steps that appeal to the rugged direction outdoor adventurer. and distance to a user- l The case, bezel designated and back use carbon for destination increased toughness l The watch is water-resistant l The watch can be paired to a dedicated smartphone to 200m/20 bars pressure app for additional features including: l calculating calories burned l A mud-resistant filter between l automatic time adjustment the case and buttons keeps dirt out l recording tracks and activity 12 TRAIL OCTOBER 2019 B A S EC A M P A BMC TEE 4U Fancy a limited-edition technical tee? Created to celebrate L A DY L E G- E N DS Montane’s position as the recommended clothing and pack Rosa partner of the BMC, the Dart T-Shirt (£26, or £23.40 for BMC members) is a classic all-mountain technical base layer. It features soft and wicking Apex D-Fuse fabric, Polygiene odour-resistant treatment, an ‘exclusive’ colour palette and BMC branding. Get yours now at Frida Amelia E VO L U T IO N O F L I G H T I N G PETZL POWERS ‘EPIC WOMEN’ UP AGAIN INCREASE IN Petzl’s Reactive Lighting, which automatically adjusts REACTIK REACTIK+ SWIFT RL NUMBER Launched earlier this year, Zamberlan’s the output of the lamp Max. power 220 lumens 300 lumens 900 lumens ‘Epic Women’ range of footwear in response to ambient features boots and shoes specifically light levels, was first Battery size 1800mAh 1800mAh 2350mAh for female adventurers, with each introduced in 2012. Max. distance 65m 110m 140m named after an icon of women’s The latest model, mountaineering. Now two new additions Weight 115g 115g 100g the SWIFT RL (£97), – the more technical Rosa (£235) and the replaces both the Price £75 £90 £97 light and comfortable Frida (£190) – will previous REACTIK and join the Marie, Amelia and Henriette in RE
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