Latest Issue

The Munros: plan an incredible mountain challenge

Before we introduce you to our latest issue, here’s a brief explainer from editor Carey Davies:

“This content of The Great Outdoors is often put together way in advance of when it is printed and circulated. The Spring edition of the magazine does not contain any mention of the current restrictions imposed on freedom of movement to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The editorial deadline for the Spring issue was March 6 – before the UK had yet to introduce even early social distancing measures – and since then the speed and scale of the unprecedented situation has accelerated exponentially and lockdown measures have been introduced. We have been covering developments extensively online, and the next edition of The Great Outdoors (May) will reflect the very different context we all find ourselves in.

“We encourage all hikers and hillwalkers to respect the restrictions and we will be providing advice and inspiration to help us all get through it (check out our 14 tips on how to stay connected to the outdoors in lockdown.)

“Remember, the mountains will be there to welcome us back when all this passes.”

Munro Magic

What’s the best way to while away a few weeks of lockdown? Well, how about planning a once-in-a-lifetime challenge? Taking on the Munros is the ultimate goal for many British hill walkers and our Spring issue has everything you need to plan a bagging expedition. Read Sarah Jane Douglas‘s account of how Munro walking helped her cope with her mother’s death, meet four very different compleaters and get an introduction to the easiest and hardest of the Munros. Also in the Spring edition:

  • David Lintern links together a host of Glen Affric Munros in a high-level backpacking journey.
  • Andrew Galloway attempts a climb of the notorious Broad Stand.
  • Phoebe Smith ‘walks with whales’ on Australia’s Dirk Hartog Island.

PLUS Hanna Lindon looks at how to ease the environmental burden of your overseas expeditions, Chris Townsend reviews three-season boots, Daniel Neilson tests portable coffee-making devices and we’ve got ten wild walks to inspire your post-lockdown adventures.

How to get a copy

Read more: a peek inside the issue…

Healing Hills: Sarah Jane Douglas turned to walking to help cope with the loss of her mother to cancer and her own diagnosis with the same disease, climbing all Scotland’s Munros along the way…

“On mountains I am freed from the troubles of my past and worries for the future. The Munros, and mountains in general, have taught me to live in the here and now; they continue to show me that although life is uncertain it is also full of possibility; and they reconnect me to my mother. As long as I am fit enough and healthy enough I will keep on putting one foot in front of the other – and just keep on walking.”

Hiking with humpbacks: Australia’s Dirk Hartog Island is the centre of an ambitious rewilding project – but can you really ‘walk with whales’ there? Phoebe Smith went to find out.

“At first it sounded like someone blowing water – and I questioned whether perhaps I was already close to The Blowholes. But as I walked a few steps further it came again, then again. It was as if I was being followed. A plume of spray emanated from the water 100 metres below my feet, swiftly followed by the unmistakeable sight of a grey dorsal fin slicing through the surface. It was a humpback whale – and it was, seemingly, swimming alongside me.”

Sky walking: Fulfilling a seven-year ambition, David Lintern links together a host of Glen Affric Munros in a high-level backpacking journey across one of Scotland’s most spectacular landscapes.

“The spidery, north-easterly arm between the next two Munros – Mullach na Dheiragain and Sgurr nan Ceathramhnan – was sensory magic, rising and falling, climbing through boulder fields as new aspects on tomorrow’s return ridgeline began to shimmer in the heat. My brain fizzed and cracked with the wonder of wild open spaces; at this land which was content just to be itself.”

Standing Tall: Coleridge had a close shave on it; others have not been so fortunate. What made Andrew Galloway want to attempt a climb of the notorious Broad Stand?

“It was going to be a leap of faith. I shouted for tight rope and pushed out with all my strength, grappling for the finger hold and finding it securely. “Get a grip” shouted Matt, and I hauled myself up onto the next ledge, eventually finding my feet on the coarse, forgiving rock. I crouched there for some time, regaining my composure and allowing the adrenaline now coursing through my veins to subside, looking down into the heart-stopping drop below.”

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