Posts Tagged ‘scotland’


Against advice we went to do the classic Glen Tilt route on bike.  It was said definitely a route for dry conditions, not on the back of one of the wettest weeks of the year.  we almost turned back in a snowstorm but with a chin to the wind  we were rewarded as we dropped down into Glen Tilt.  The pictures cant do it justice.  Classic and Epic.

Back to the Homelands

Filmed in the hills above where i grew up in Kilmorack, Inverness Shire – a place where I’ve spent lots of time learning how to ride Mountain Bikes. When visiting family now, I still like to head out for a bike ride up in the backwoods of my old stomping ground. I thought it was about time a bit of it was captured behind a lens since it’s had such a big influence on my life. The trails are not particularly technical but very fast and flowing so great if you want to get some speed up… plus its a fantastic place to get a lung full of fresh air and a panoramic from the Moray firth to Glen Strathfarrar.


Cambu for the new.

Great life change on the turn of the season had left the mtb hanging; the rat race was undertaken in an youthful fervour through the medium of bmx. Going the distance on a bmx was slow and hard wearing but with perseverance the speed has come and skills and fitness have grown.

It seemed right and just to mark the first trip out in the woods to be marked with something that would test the ability and get the juices flowing so after a dose of rush hour traffic and jakey spotting, Cambusbarron came in to sight with Kenny a super talented, local randomly waiting at the trail head. Jen introduced us, the craic flowed and Kenny led us out into the magnificence that is Cambu. Following Kenny was a revelation, skill and class oozes from that man and following his lead brought me down lines and over jumps that in usual company would be considered before attempted. So hats to Kenny and the other locals that build the trails, the whole place from forest to quarry is truly outstanding. For pushing limits and just hanging out in the woods nothing in range comes close.

over the hills and far away

On wednesday 16 March 2011 I dropped into the back corries at Glencoe Ski Hill with Jamie from Clan ( Conditions were perfect & this line was a first for me – last time Jamie dropped in was 10 years ago (thereabouts). I only had three shots left on the camera, so i’m pretty pleased I got something! There was a half hour hike out at the bottom which allowed us to take in the scenery. Everyone on the hill had a smile on their face that day.

1st of the Season

I didn’t think I was gonna get out on Cairngorm Mountain that day as the winds we’re high and the tows we’re initially closed… I had to walk up from the bottom car park as the access road was almost impassable – unless you had a 4×4… Whilst I was waiting for them to reopen, I sat in the cafe with this wee tune going round in my head. I’ve always loved coming to this part of Scotland, no matter what the conditions are. The variations in weather make any place you’ve been before seem totally different… By the time I’d finished coffee, the train was in operation again so I thought Id take the new camera out for a slow motion trial. My ‘wee tune’ features in the video’s accompanying music, which i’ve aptly named ‘Minus’.


Devil’s Staircase / Ciaran Path

The Devil’s Staircase was apparently named by General Wades soldiers because of the difficulties of carrying building materials along it – its a steep, rough, rocky path which is dangerous and unrelenting… and thats why its great for mountain biking! Well going down it anyway.
We left Glasgow early and congregated with the rest of the 9 strong group at the bottom of the Staircase. The climbing is tough from the offset, but great for getting the circulation going on a cold November morning. We made it to the cairn in pretty good time and so we continued to fire down the first of the fantastic descents on the route. Very fast singletrack, with lots of different lines to choose from and wee jumps if you wish to get in the air for a moment… So far there had only been one puncture, which is pretty good out of 9 on a rough path like this. We turned right and cycled along the huge concrete piping that leads you up to impressive Blackwater Dam.
The next section is the Ciaran path which is 8kms of rough and very technical downhill. There we’re a number of bogs to jump over, as well as 1 or 2 ‘over the handlebar’ maneuvers… but no big injuries! A few broken spokes, a bent derailleur hanger and another puncture though… Eventually we made it to Kinlochleven for a coffee stop. Only 3 wanted to do the return journey. The others had decided to to take the long route by road and meet at the Clachaig Inn. Bowie, Sorley and myself headed back up towards the devils staircase. It was getting dark but as long as nothing went wrong then we would be back at the car soon… of course something went wrong! The path claimed another inner tube and so we spent ages trying to mend it with crap repair patches… after much faffage and eventual success, we set off down the staircase with bike lights on full beam. My hands we’re now completely numb, but it didn’t matter as the descent back to the car in the pitch black took no time at all and was amazing.


A Week on Mull – SGC 2010

Well its that time of year again when the Scotstoun Gentlemen’s Club (SGC) head out to the hills for a week of outdoor pursuits – This year we went to Mull. Unfortunately we spent the week trying to predict the unpredictable weather! Nonetheless we made the best of it and got out on the bikes to Tobermory via Loch Frisa, Coastal walking on the Ross of Mull and gorge walking up in Glen Forsa and also by Loch na Keal. So much to do on this Island – definitely heading back there soon.


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.