A few photos of a few places taken over the last twelve months; some with the kids, some with friends, mostly alone. Some from trips that were many months in the making, others from trips that were planned an hour before leaving the house. Numerous trips were cancelled, postponed and rearranged due to what’s been something of an […]Read more "2016 “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”"
For Rufus’ first proper backpack we kept the route short and the plan simple; an amble and a scramble up and over the knobbled summit of Causey Pike following the ridge to Sail before dropping down to the valley to camp. It was a still and balmy afternoon in late September, warm enough to make the ascent […]Read more "Small steps…"
We left the car just outside of the deserted hamlet of Bowscale on a baking hot June afternoon, both of us smothered in sun cream and each carrying a pack for the night. Initially we counted our blessings for the idyllic summer conditions; pale blue skies framing fells carpeted with lush greens and yellows, there was also the promise of some […]Read more "missing the summit not missing the point"
It all started off innocently enough, ambling through a quiet Kinlochleven on a damp grey Saturday to begin a four day backpack around the Mamores at the tail end of Winter. The town was deserted and smelt like woodsmoke, the only people I did see were nipping out to the shops and back home to warm fires. In the forest surrounding […]Read more "The Mamores: The Mountains that stole my trousers"
At the far end of Cwm Cywarch, one of the quieter corners of Snowdonia, a faded tatty information poster framed in wood describes the old system of transhumance. Farmers would move their livestock around the mountains between higher and lower pastures in time with the seasons, staying on higher ground during the warmer summer months and retreating down to the […]Read more "Hafod: a summer resting place"
Towards the end of a three day backpack around the Cheviot Hills last autumn, the vista of broad grassy tops was suddenly interrupted by a deep plunging cleft marked on the map as Hen Hole. A dramatic glaciated gorge with a high waterfall and steep craggy slopes about a mile or so west of The Cheviot summit. The dense gathering of contour lines on the map suggested […]Read more "a night in the hole"
A few weeks ago I received an unexpected phonecall from my friend/landlady, it was only a five minute conversation but the upshot was that I needed to quickly find a new place for me and the boys (and our cat) to live. This wasn’t great news, over the last eighteen months the house we’d been renting had become […]Read more "A Life Aquatic: Packrafting in Cumbria"
A night camped out on the lonely grassy moors around Bleaklow almost feels like returning home after a longer trip. Having nearly dried out from a spectacular backpack in the northwest highlands a few weeks had passed, which is just long enough for itchy feet to be setting in, a simple night on the hills was needed. Only an hour away by […]Read more "Something simple"
58km walked over five days A plan had started to form almost exactly a year ago, a warm sunny Easter Sunday just before 7am sat on the summit of Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair during a round of the great wilderness of Fisherfield. Looking south to Torridon lay a sprawling sea of jagged summits, all wearing the last of the […]Read more "Plan B: A backpack around the bothies of Attadale"
A year bookended by long dark winter camps where frost coated the tent and hot drinks were made on repeat for the sole purpose of staying warm. As the months passed and the days grew longer and warmer endless summer days were spent backpacking; travelling light, walking till sundown and setting off again at dawn. All in […]Read more "2014: a year outside"