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A world of adventure

The new year is traditionally a time of positive resolutions, dream building and hope-fuelled planning. We could all do with something to get excited about right now – which is why our February issue looks forward optimistically to a time when lockdowns are a thing of the past.

Concentrate your bottled-up wanderlust into some serious adventure planning with Ben Lerwill’s roundup of the planet’s most exciting treks, trails and long-distance walks. From Egypt to Andorra and from Scotland to Australia, discover some of the epic undertakings that could be on your itinerary later in 2021.

Also in the February issue:

  • Hike through a glacial landscape in Argentinean Patagonia with Anna Richards
  • Go backpacking across the Western Fannichs with David Lintern
  • Climb a wintry Cadair Idris alongside Helen Iles
  • Get skilled up for winter with Rebecca Coles

ALSO: the final results of The Great Outdoors Reader Awards 2020, winter mountaineering boots tested, 6 inspirational ‘wild walks’ and masses more.

How to get a copy

  • Order a single copy of this issue and get it delivered with free postage.
  • Take out an annual subscription and take advantage of our new subscriber offer (£15 for your first 6 issues).
  • Download the digital version to your tablet or smartphone and start reading straight away.
  • Take advantage of our special lockdown offer (3 issues along with the accompanying digital editions for just £9.99 plus free postage, with no ongoing commitment to subscribe.)
  • Buy it in shops across the UK (subject to lockdown opening).

Read more: a peek inside the issue…

World walks: Want to feed that pent-up wanderlust? Ben Lerwill rounds up some of the planet’s most exciting treks, trails and long-distance walks for 2021 and beyond.

“The following ten trails range across the world, from the Pennines to the Australian outback, and they include a mix of unusual propositions and stone-cold classics. If the last year has taught us anything, it’s to hedge your bets when it comes to looking ahead; and, after all, you don’t need to jet to the other side of the world to have a long-distance walking journey that will take you out of the ordinary.”

Ice and air: Anna Richards sees in a new year in style: hiking through a mind-blowing glacial landscape in Argentinean Patagonia.

“Just half an hour after leaving camp on the second day we were confronted with the first of the ziplines. It was like a portal to another world. Beyond lay a vast glacier and the Southern Patagonian Icefield, which formed the border between Argentina and Chile. The rappel ran upwards across a ravine roughly 10 metres deep. Below, the river was chalky, churning and thoroughly uninviting.”

Wider horizons: David Lintern looks back to the last backpacking journey he took before lockdown – a high, wild journey across the remote Western Fannichs in their finest winter clothes.

“As we descended, the light changed, and all was white and gold, and the magic of the winter hills was upon us and around us. As we edged around Carn na Criche, solar winds spun miniature snow tornadoes around Mick, backlit by the setting sun. Sgurr nan Clach Geala – the Peak of the White Stones – yawned off to the left looking beyond immense. There it was, that feeling of deep gratitude, of knowing that one is privileged to be there and then, right inside a moment that can never be repeated. That feeling never gets old.”

A white world: Cadair Idris is one of Snowdonia’s most popular mountains – but when winter conditions descend, it turns into a different beast altogether. Helen Iles takes it on.

“Cadair Idris is famous for its mythology; but it’s also steeped in real-life social history. Idris was said to have ascended it to study the stars, and stargazers and astronomers have often climbed it for the same reason. The mountain’s climbing history is rich, too, and the shelter summit has often been the venue for post-climb celebrations.”

The winter mountain journey: In the second installment of a three-part series on winter skills, Rebecca Coles details the skills required while you’re out on the hill – the use of crampons and ice axe, navigation, and considering avalanche hazard – using a route to the top of Bidean nam Bian as an example.

“Anticipating when to put on crampons is extremely important. Put them on before you need them, where there is a spacious flat area. The snow is only going to get steeper with ascent. It is all too easy to find yourself on a steep slope, struggling to keep your balance while trying to get your crampons out of your bag.”