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Amateur night on the Buachaille

Last night  decided to solo the broad buttress and bivi on the top, I left Glasgow at 5pm into the rubbish hour traffic. It was a beautiful evening with a warm sunset dropping fast behind me, threatening to leave me in the dark  if i didn’t move my arse.  The climb was pretty exciting, i lost the route a couple of times and ended up giving over my life to a few clumps of heather and some grass. When i finally topped out it felt amazing to be alive. I walked the last few hundered feet to the summit and ate my sandwich and set up my bivi for the night.

Its the first time i have solo’d a hill never mind a scramble it felt pretty amateur to be honest, but i have learned a lot about my limitations, and where i need to work on stuff. Mostly navigation and route finding.

Would I do it again.. certainly but the bivi was pretty dull without company.

‘nice sunset i said to myself’ ..’aye’ i said back.

The Howick Tannery

After 3 weeks in my tent in the Drakensburg mountains it felt adventurous to be heading into civilization.
Ash and I ventured with wide eyed excitement along the dirt roads  towards the small town of Howick.
Our mission; to find the rumoured tannery in the industrial outskirts to purchase some sleeping skins.
(Old faithful the thermarest having given up the ghost with an unidentifiable slow puncture)

This place blew me away.
Stepping through time into a bygone era of thick smells and grime. It reminded me that adventure and exploration can be found in the oddest corners, in this case;  between the animal rescue centre and the taxidermists.

In this tiny tannery skins are processed as they have been since the middle ages, hand sorting, dipping, tumbling, stretching and fluffing. They work mainly with sheep and cow skins, but you can bring in any road kill /dead pets  that take your fancy.

The folk that work there are smudged black and striking, like Dickensian characters, probably with  Victorian pay and working conditions  to match.

Any hoo; I’ve just realised that this is in the Zulu lands, not Scotland or even outdoors. Oops. Promise some mountains
next time ..

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.


If you want to share some of your adventures just drop as an email and we'll register you on to the system.


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We have compiled a list of usefull weather forecasts to help with planning trips. This list is designed to work on mobile phones, so it can be used when out in the wilds. Signal willing of course...

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.