Archive for September, 2012

Nevis and Carn Mor Dearg, 21st Sept


It has been a while.

Here’s what I’ve been up to recently – had my friend Stephen coming up from England who hadn’t really been up a hill before, if you discount an on-the-whim trek half-way to Everest BC. So Nevis (his idea), and CMD (my idea), was on the cards. We drove up from Glasgow and after a night in Glen Coe YH we headed off up to Fort William, got breakfast and set off up Nevis – had a bit of snow on the top, which is good to see.

Against expectations at this point, we set off down damp snow and boulderfields to the arete. Lots of fun, but perhaps if you haven’t done a hill before the exposure was a bit eeks.

The walk off CMD to the CIC hut was super-impressive. Not to mention the strange sensation of standing in warm sunshine while snow is piling out of the sky above, the geological madness of the N face gets weirder and weirder the further down you go. I’d been on CMD once before on a big link up of the surrounding ranges, so I only went up the east ridge and continued along the arete to Nevis. Walking down to the CIC is an experience in itself. Lots of fun and interest.

It was nearly dark by the time we were down, I got back to Tarbet five minutes before the nightly road closure of the Crianlarich – Tarbet section (Callender diversion? No thanks).

Despite his protest we didn’t stop for a lovely highland pub meal in the Tarbet Inn considering the five or six police cars scattered around the junction pulling up a bunch of guys up. Who knows what that was about, I didn’t stop to look.

About High-8

High-8 is a loose gathering of like minded adventurists who document first person, on the ground experiences with words, photos and film. The hope is to form a rough guide to outdoor adventure sports in Scotland and provide a warts and all, honest representation of what we find. No sport is excluded from mountaineering and mountain biking to gorge walking and kayak all are welcome and encouraged.

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The Code

The Country Code, which most of us learned in school (and we probably haven't read since!), was updated in 2004 when it became the Countryside Code. Here's the updated version:
  • Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under close control
  • Consider other people
In Scotland, where there is a more general right of access, there also exists the Scottish Outdoor Access Code:
  • Take responsibility for your own actions
  • Respect people’s privacy and peace of mind
  • Help farmers, landowners and others to work safely and effectively
  • Care for the environment
  • Keep your dog under proper control
  • Take extra care if you are organising a group, an event or running a business.
There's obviously a lot to to be learned from these - it's amazing how many people get out to enjoy the countryside but are still happy to leave it in a mess. Even with the recent updates, the Countryside Codes seem slightly outdated when considering the wider issues involved when lots of people get out into the countryside. Some places just can't handle high volumes of people, no matter how they behave and publicity, no matter how interesting or well-done , has the potential to attract lots of people to an area. Blogs including video, pictures or words, form part the the wider media which could easily contribute to tipping the balance, and so we as bloggers have to consider the implications of what we decide to post. Can the place we're writing about take more people, and if not, it might be wiser to leave maps, place names or grid references out of posts. In Scotland, the Mountain Bothies Association has been careful to protect the location of some Bothies due to mis-treatment and, in some cases, even malicious vandalism. That is not to say they would not advocate people using them - in fact, a well used, maintained and loved network of bothies exist, and the MBA as an organisation is there to encourage this. Some bothies are busier than others but generally it is the less remote places which are more susceptible to abuse - something which might be worth considering when deciding whether to post information. It must be said, in most cases it's obvious what should or shouldn't be publisiced, but it's worth taking these considerations to mind.

Please note: The Code is constantly being revised and added to. If you like to add something login in to the discussion on the forum.