Nevis memorials to be removed

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20 August 2006

New book records anniversary tribute to Wainwright

If you’re one of the Wainwright fanatics who took part in last year’s Great Lakeland Challenge, you can now read the story of the event.The challenge, set up by the Wainwright Society to mark the 50th anniversary of the Grumpy Old Man’s first illustrated Lakeland fell guide, was to get people up all 214 Wainrights – the fell tops which have a chapter in his books – plus the extra 56 in his Outlying Fells tome, making 270 in total.The challenge took place during one week in May 2005 and each registered blagger was asked to produce an account and pics of their escapade.

18 August 2006

Palmtop guidance for Lomond nature reserve

Loch Lomond visitors have the chance to go high-tech with a scheme run by the national park.The authorities are looking for people interesting in trying out what it calls 'Mopark Interactive Journeys', which in English means using either palmtop computers or MP3 players to guide you along paths.The venue is the Inchcailloch nature reserve, a small island on Loch Lomond, near Balmaha.

13 August 2006

Going down: Gaping Gill winch operates from next week

Mortals who’ve never donned a wetsuit and crawled through muddy sumps have a chance to see one of the country’s subterranean jewels.Craven Pothole Club is offering the chance to descend into the 340-foot chasm of Gaping Gill, in the shadow of Ingleborough, from next Saturday.No caving experience is necessary: the descent is by winch and chair and you’ll be at the bottom of the main shaft in only one minute.

12 August 2006

Buttermere is venue for rescue operation

At the risk of tempting fate… Lakeland lovers have the chance to be involved in a major search and rescue operation next month.Yes, grough understands that a careless step on Striding Edge, a moment of panic on Jack’s Rake, can easily land you at the centre of such an incident.

11 August 2006

Needle sport on Gable's crags

For those who don’t get a big enough adrenaline kick out of soloing rock routes, here’s a new sport to get the heart pumping.Two guys spent 24 hours setting up a slackline across from Napes Needle on Great Gable, one of the iconic rock fingers in the Lakes.

11 August 2006

Trust steps up fight against Scottish windfarms

Lovers of the Scottish wilderness areas are being urged to back a campaign against further windfarm development.The John Muir Trust, the campaigning organisation for conservation and, among other things, owner of Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis, pictured left, is asking the public to sign up for its fight to keep the country’s wild areas free of large-scale wind-turbine developments.Its website lists its main points:• Wild land should be conserved for nature and people for the benefit of present and future generations; • Developments on core wild land, such as industrial-scale wind developments, are a major threat to our rapidly diminishing wild land; • The best renewable energy options around wild land are small-scale, sensitively sited and adjacent to the communities directly benefiting from them, where the landscape impact is minimal; • Large wind turbines, often 120 metres high (taller than the Forth Rail Bridge) grouped in clusters of up to 100, are totally unsuitable for Scotland’s finest landscapes; • The intrusion is not just the turbines and pylons, but includes the access roads, concrete bases, and underground cables; • Producing energy near to where it is consumed reduces the need for giant pylons through wild and scenic areas e.g.

10 August 2006

Boozed-up campers wreak havoc in Lakes

Lake District rangers say single-sex gangs of campers are causing untold damage in the national park.They say they are disgusted by wanton damage and disregard for what they say is one of England’s loveliest landscapes by groups denied access to established campsites who then head to car parks, lake sides and beauty spots for a night drinking and tenting around campfires.Revellers have smashed up farm gates and stiles for firewood, left rubbish and beer cans, scorched the ground and used hedgerows and walls as toilets.Northern area ranger Graham Standring said: “If they can’t find firewood they’ll rip off branches and remove gates and stiles.“A wooden footbridge at Carrock Beck, near Haltcliffe, was chainsawed and burned, which is bad, even by wild campers’ standards.”Chris Berry, whose area includes the honey pots of the Duddon Valley, Wasdale and Eskdale, said:  “We’re only talking about a small minority.

08 August 2006

Trouble flares at Vixen Tor 'conciliation' event

More tales of woe and vexation reach grough from Vixen Tor, the Devon crag where access has been blocked.The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) reports that two climbers had to leave some of their gear in place after being made to leave the crag at the end of an open day.

03 August 2006

K2 escape for 'Banjo' as four Russians killed

A climber from the UK had a near miss in an ice fall on K2 that killed four Russian climbers.Terence ‘Banjo’ Bannon was in a party near the summit of the Karakorum peak when he witnessed the massive slide of ice and snow which buried the four.

18 August 2006

Families of dead snowboarders face rescue bill

French debt collectors are pursuing the families of two snowboarders who died in an avalanche last year.Rescuers failed to save the two, who were boarding off-piste at about 3,200m on the north face of La Grande Motte, near Tignes.

17 August 2006

Rain check: How's the forecast?

How's the weather in your neck of the woods? More to the point, how's the weather forecast? The Mountaineering Council of Scotland wants your ...

24 July 2006

Police warning to Lomond vandals

Following the case of the rampant campers in the Lake District comes news that Central Scotland police are chasing vandals who have been cutting down trees in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.They are warning that anyone committing anti-social acts in the area will be prosecuted.A report has been sent to the Procurator Fiscal after two men admitted chopping down the trees at Sallochy car park.Stuart Chalmers, for Forestry Commission Scotland in the Cowal and Trossachs area said: "Woods and natural spaces provide a huge range of benefits and people value them for a variety of reasons.

11 August 2006

Beach access plans cause celebrity big bother

Reclusive stars are getting steamed up about impending legislation to open up access to Britain’s beaches.The English coastline may soon be opened up for the right to roam Kate Bush may have sung: “Out on the wiley [sic], windy moors we’d roll and fall in green”, but she’s probably mightily dischuffed at plans to let hoi polloi roll and fall through her 17-acre, £2.5m Devon coastline retreat.The Independent reports Kate as being among a plethora of celebrity owners of beach and coastline property up in arms at plans to introduce a right to roam similar to that enjoyed under the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act on mountain and moorland in England and Wales.A campaign by the Country Land and Business Association (CLBA) to pre-empt and dilute the proposed law is said to include as backers DJ Norman Cook, AKA Fatboy Slim and his missus Zoe Ball; Jonathan Ross, the impoverished TV talk-show host and general wag about town; Jamie Redknapp who apparently kicks a football around for a living, and even musical art-school bad boy Damon Albarn who lives in a house, a very big house in the country – at least at weekends.They’re pitted against the Ramblers’ Association (RA) and the Government’s Countryside Agency, which are intent on improving public access to England and Wales’ 4,412km (2,741 miles) of coastline.

14 August 2006

Mountain-top launch for classic novel

Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England and destination for countless charidee participants, is the venue for a unique book launch next month.Lovers of mountain literature will be able to pick up a copy of a reissued classic tale of heroic derring-do at the summit cairn on 9 September.The launch will take place between 1pm and 3pm on the 978m peak and, according to the publishers, complimentary wine and cheese will be on offer.And the name of the novel at the centre of all this palaver.

10 August 2006

Guided walks are just the ticket on Dartmoor

Visitors to Dartmoor are being offered free guided walks – if they use public transport.Experienced Dartmoor guides will lead the walks, which normally cost up to £5, free of charge on production of a bus ticket used on the journey to the start of the route.The service is available on routes from Exeter and Plymouth and runs on summer Sundays, starting this coming weekend and ending in September.The starting points are Princetown, Postbridge and Haytor and are scheduled to last between three and five hours.Full details are on the Dartmoor National Park website..

08 August 2006

Moorland access: all areas now open

Heavy and persistent rain (grough can vouch for that from a Scottish Highland Munro-bagging trip at the weekend) has led to the lifting of the access restrictions in national parks across the country.The Yorkshire Dales authority lifted its ban on Friday, and the North York Moors park’s western area reopened the day before.

08 August 2006

Annabelle's gong gets climbers steamed up

The cragrats on the UK Climbing forums are getting their ropes in a twist over the news that blonde uppercrust stunner Annabelle Bond has been awarded an OBE for, among other things, services to mountaineering.Annabelle was the fourth UK woman to stand on top of Everest when she summited in May 2004 and completed the highest mountains on each of the world’s seven continents to raise cash for the Eve Appeal which funds research into the prevention of ovarian cancer.

07 August 2006


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