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p68

‘The final pull lasted as long as any walk I can remember’

The ripple effect: an aerial view of mighty Mont Blanc.

Getty Images/ AFP Creative

mont blanc makes its mark

base camp skills

adventures 59

Dream peak

10

Trail Skills

Right up your street

12

Get hill-fit in six weeks, PLUS best wild camp spots, caring for crampons, why it’s good practice to carry a shelter

Cnicht, aka ‘The Welsh Matterhorn’ Google brings the hills into your home

The Mountain Inquisition 15 Andy Kirkpatrick gets a grilling from Trail

Hill measures up

How Thack Moor became a mountain

16

Your month of mountains, sorted

Out There

4

Your best mountain moments, on camera

17

HighLights: June

your trail In Box

18

The world of hillwalking, according to you lot

Subscribe and stay safe 48 p48

get a water purifier when you subscribe!

Sign up for Trail and get a water purifier

p51

Thousand metre thrills

20

Behind the picture

38

Kinder surprise

42

A challenge is born

51

Wanna walk a whopper? The British Isles has 141 of them; we do three. Plus tick-list!

One man, one winter, every Scottish 1000er The Peak District is a land of confusion: fact Three peaks, three chaps and one jolly jape

Mont Blanc: the ascent 68 First the preparation, now the stark reality. Trail takes a deep breath and goes for it


WHERE THIS MONTH’S ISSUE WILL TAKE YOU Taking a break on a ‘thousanders’ epic, overlooking Rannoch Moor.

ROUTES

GEAR 78

Lake District

115

Brasher Supalite Activ 80

Peak District

117

Incoming!

The must-have hill kit that’s available soon

A lightweight version of a classic leather boot

Route 2 Bleaklow

82

Brecon Beacons

119

Gas stoves

92

Snowdonia

121

West Highlands

123

Central Highlands

125

West Mounth Hills

129

Affordable outdoor digs for you and a mate Just the job for cooking up a brew or a stew

102

Six of the best ways to get a safe hill drink

p80

TOM BAILEY

Route 1 Ullscarf

2-person tents

Water purifiers

p20

Route 3 Bannau Sir Gaer

The Moelwyns

135

Lake District

141

Route 10 Moel Siabod Route 11 Cnicht Route 12 Moel Penamnen Route 13 Scafell Pike

Route 4 Cwm Bochlwyd horseshoe Route 5 Suilven

Route 6 Stob Ban

3 PEAKS

COLLECTOR’S EDITION

Route 7 Glas Tulaichean Route 8 Carn an Righ, Beinn Iutharn Mhor & An Socach Route 9 Carn a’ Gheoidh & Ben Gulabin

JUNE 2013 TRAIL 9


BASE CAMP

Think you’ve explored every summit our shores have to offer? Think again.

Random quote of the month

“Wool Stick, from Switzerland, has returned to base camp.” So said online news agencies in confused reports – and spellings – of a ‘fight’ on Mt Everest in late April involving a certain well-known climber who isn’t called Mr. Stick. (Indeed, who is?)

12 TRAIL JUNE 2013

anything above 2,000ft should be classed as a mountain. The discovery of Thack Moor’s inaccurate topography was made by three hillwalkers (John Barnard, Graham Jackson and Myrddyn Phillips) using high-tech GPS equipment. The trio recalculated the elevation of its rolling grassy summit by less than an inch – but that was enough to nudge it over the mythical mountain barrier. Ordnance Survey, the Government mapping agency, has officially confirmed the new height and agreed to amend their maps from 609m to

Walk it!

Thack Moor is easily accessible from Renwick village (NY596435), where roadside parking is available. Renwick is also served by bus routes 134 and 137.

the new altitude of 610m. So whether you believe in flimsy definitions or not, how can you resist the lure of a ‘new’ mountain? Thack Moor’s sweeping summit offers solitude, impressive birdlife and (weather permitting) distant views of the Lake District fells. What are you waiting for?

Where’s Oli? Every month we take pleasure in sending Trail’s grumpiest staffer all over the UK in the name of locational speculation. Oli’s in the Lakes this month, but what hill is he pointing at? And for a bonus point, what fell is he standing on? Answers next issue!

TOM BAILEY

T

here’s only one destination UK peak-baggers should be heading to this month – England’s newest mountain. Don’t worry, the English Tourist Board hasn’t constructed a monstrous new mountain theme park (although, on second thoughts, that doesn’t sound like such a bad idea); we’re talking about Thack Moor in the north Pennines, which has recently been upgraded to the magical 2,000ft mark. Although the actual definition of a mountain is murky to say the least – ranging anywhere from the prominence of its peak to the steepness of its slopes – one of the more commonly accepted designations is that

ORDNANCE SURVEY MAPPING © CROWN COPYRIGHT. CREATED WITH MEMORY-MAP. LICENCE MEDIA089/12

New mountain alert!

© ANDY SUTTON / ALAMY

Shafts of light over Thack Moor, England’s ‘newest’ mountain.


HAPPENINGS FROM HIGH PLACES

RETRO GEAR OF THE MONTH Julbo Vermont Classic Sunglasses €210

RACHEL HUSBAND / ALAMY

Julbo was founded in 1888 to create protective eyewear for crystal hunters in the French Alps. Now, for a limited time only, they’re bringing back these traditional mountaineering glasses to celebrate their 125th anniversary. Order your pair from www.julbousa.com

Remote restaurant of the month

Corrour Station House Central Highlands Fri-Sun 7-9 June

r interest: Email us to register you .uk a.co edi rm aue il@b tra

Daylight hours

WILDLIFE ALERT! High Street, Lake District England’s only resident golden eagle can be seen soaring over Haweswater and the High Street range during May and June. Visit the RSPB viewpoint in Riggindale for more information.

Manchester, England Sunrise

Sunset

Day length

June 1, 2013

04:47

21.28

16h 41m 06s

June 15, 2013

04:39

21:40

17h 00m 25s

June 30, 2013

04:44

21:41

16h 57m 24s

Cheesy joke How can you tell mountain climbers are curious? They always want to take another peak.

Full moon

Fort William, Scotland 23 June, 12:33

The UK’s most remote restaurant, which is housed in our most remote train station, opened last year and is ready for its first full summer season. Inaccessible by road, immortalised in the hit movie Trainspotting and isolated on the plains of Rannoch Moor, it’s the ideal feeding hole after a secluded weekend of walking.

Don’t miss.5.3.

Everest 19 am - 6pm

ne, 11 23 May - 9 Ju , London harf Gallery W r e w o T OXO for ical Society al Geograph oy R hs e ap th gr in o Jo of phot g exhibition in at iv of pt ry ca sa a niver the 60th an to celebrate Everest. t M of nt the first asce is free. Admission

JUNE 2013 TRAIL 17


Go: Glen Coe, Scotland Do: 1000m epic

20 Trail june 2013


Climbing the slopes of Scotland's Black Mount. The imperious Buachaille Etive Mor (right) watches from across Glen Etive.

THOUSAND METRE THRILLS They’re the British Isles’ biggest, baddest peaks. So could bagging our 1000m mountains make the ultimate tick-list? We at Trail say ’yes’... WORDS DAN ASPEL PHOTOGRAPHS TOM BAILEY

I

t’s finally happened: Trail’s gone metric. In our search for the perfect mountain challenge we’ve shrugged off feet and inches and embraced the mathematically purer metre. So that means no more Munros. That means a list ranging from An Teallach in the Highlands, to Glyder Fawr in north Wales, to Carrauntoohil in Ireland. That means nothing but the highest and mightiest mountains on our Atlantic isles. That means a lifetime achievement that’s yours for the taking. It also means a list that values quality over quantity. While the Munros (a 122-year-old collection of all Scottish summits over 3,000ft and named after its creator Sir Hugh Munro) number a towering 282 in total, the ‘thousanders’ stand at exactly half that. What’s more, these 141 peaks are an international set whose bulk lies in a naturally snaking line, winding through the heart of Scotland’s greatest ranges. If you like to climb mountains, this is the challenge for the 21st century. ❯

JUNE 2013 TRAIL 21


GO: Peak District DO: Chasing a summit

We sent Trail’s man – loaded with technology – up Kinder Scout with a deceptively complicated mission: find the top.

kinder Words Simon Ingram Photographs tom bailey

42 Trail june 2013


Kinder plateau: land of confusion.

surprise S

o, you’re on Gulvain, a 987m mountain in the west Highlands. You look at your map. That’s the summit, there. Upon arrival you observe the ground falling away on all sides and the Imaginary You stood on a trig-topped wedge of contours neatly perched on the edge of the map. You pat the pillar, you sit, you sigh, you leave, satisfied you reached the top. There’s just one problem: you didn’t. Had you put away OS map sheet 40 and unfolded number 41 before you left, you’d notice that the mountain cruelly dips into a col and continues on to an unremarkable, unadorned top a mile to the � north-east. That’s the summit. Even though it looks lower and has

june 2013 Trail 43


GEAR

INCOMING! A quick round-up of the new kit Trail has been playing with on and off the hill this month...

Nicholas Leigh Lakeland Poster Prints £25

Berghaus Expeditor AQ Leather Hiking Boots £100 Berghaus walking boots are not new. Berghaus’ AQ waterproof membrane is not new. But Berghaus’ AQ waterproof membrane being used in Berghaus walking boots? Now that’s a first, and we have to wonder why it’s taken so long. Nonetheless, they’re here now and at a price that should make you sit up and take notice. These 3-season boots are based on the ever-popular Explorer range, but the use of Berghaus’ proprietary membrane has enabled the release of the Expeditors at a price that makes them remarkable (the suede finish boots come in at just £85). And they’re good too – associate editor Oli Reed has been wearing the pair Berghaus sent to Trail: “It seems a bit weird to describe anything that costs £100 as a bargain, but what you get with the Expeditors is a high-quality pair of boots at a comparatively low price. I’ve been wearing them almost non-stop for the past two months and honestly can’t find a fault with them. They’re comfortable, warm, lightweight, do a good job of keeping water out and once you’ve bashed them up a bit, they look quite retro as well.” www.berghaus.com

78 TRAIL JUNE 2013

Trail’s production editor Sally spotted some of Nicholas’ work on greetings cards in The Beach Hut Gallery at Kents Bank in Cumbria. We’re not art connoisseurs but we know what we like – and we like mountains. More specifically, we like the mountains of Lakeland; and while nothing beats the real thing, these A2 prints of Nicholas’ oil paintings, inspired by 1930s railway posters, are pretty special. They’re also available in a range of greetings cards that cost around £1.50 each and make a great alternative to the usual sappy stuff you’ll find in Clintons. www.nicholas leigh.co.uk


WIN PRIZES WORTH £966!

Win 1 x Sprayway SX2 reviewed on page 91

Salewa Wildfire £110 Approach shoes are usually designed for climbers whose footwear, while perfect for clinging to narrow ledges and gripping vertical rock, is far less suited to a long walk-in to the base of the wall. But when a shoe comes with a 100 per cent blister-free guarantee, walkers should take note too. Designed around a minimalist principle, anatomically tailored and climbing-shoe-inspired, the Wildfires have a seamless upper, a supportive Vibram outsole with an aggressive tread and a typically alpinist colour scheme. They’re available in a UK-summer-friendly waterproof Gore-Tex version, too. www.salewa.com

Care Plus Anti-Insect DEET spray 40% 4x8ml £9.99 These little spray cans are barely larger than a tube of lip balm, but each 8ml of 40 per cent DEET packs enough punch to keep insects at bay for up to 8 hours. Perfect for lightweight backpackers crossing buginfested terrain where they want to float like a butterfly without being stung by anything. www.careplus.eu

Mountain Hardwear Plasmic jacket £110

Win 4 x Mountain Hardwear Plasmic jackets! see panel

Mountain Hardwear is another brand using its own technology to offer a well-priced product. The DryQ. EVAP system in the Plasmic wicks and disperses sweat to speed up evaporation and reduce in-jacket sogginess. It’s a lightweight top that will be a great spring/summer addition to your pack on trips that you hope will stay dry, but will probably end up wet at some point. www.mountainhardwear.eu

Win 1 x OptimusVega reviewed on page 97

Win 1 x Primus Eta Express reviewed on page 99

Win 1 x Pure Hydration AquaPure Traveller reviewed on page 105

Win 1 x Platypus GravityWorks 2.0L Complete Kit reviewed on page 104

Win 1 x SteriPEN Adventurer Opti reviewed on page 103

To be in with a chance of winning one of these fab prizes go to: www.greatcompetitions.co.uk/trail

JUNE 2013 TRAIL 79


GO: the French Alps DO: western Europe's high point

on

M

c

an

l tB

part2

the ascent

mont blANC for mortals

If Alpine altitude is what you’re after, nothing but Mont Blanc will do. Join Trail as we attempt an ascent of western Europe’s highest peak. Words and photographs Dan Aspel

68 Trail JUNE 2013


Getty Images/Aurora Creative

S

ome interesting facts about Mont Blanc: at 4810m it is the highest peak in the Alps; its fastest ascent time is 3 hours 38 minutes; its peak is a dome of perpetual snow and ice far above its rocky tip; its summit has housed igloos and hot tubs and aeroplanes; on 4 July 2012 at roughly 3pm Trail stood on top of it; this summer you could too. Fresh from three days of training around the Aiguille du Tour (see May issue), our group of six had begun our attempt on the ‘white mountain’. Being a guided trip, our itinerary was in the hands of our alpine experts. This is where things get interesting. Which route you take is dependent upon conditions, hut bookings and your own physical condition. Luckily, with a two-clients-perguide policy, even our small group of six could be divided and tailored for maximum chances of success. In the case of the similarly aged Ben Rowland and myself a narrow weather window, combined with Slovenian-born guide Klemen Gričar’s confidence in our level of fitness, led to the following route: a one-day out-and-back attempt along the Three Monts (see map on page 73), from Chamonix to the summit and back to the Cosmiques hut in one go. It would be long. It would be challenging. And it would be our best shot at reaching the top of Mont Blanc. �

june 2013 Trail 69


Trail skills

Get hill-fit in 6 weeks

bne winston

Been hibernating over the winter? Live in the city? New to walking? Trail’s six week plan will recharge your fitness and get you ready to tackle longer walks, bigger peaks and multi-day wild camps.

60 Trail june 2013


get fit FAST “Exercising moderately three times without fail each week will progress your fitness more quickly than completing a single ‘very hard’ session, then having to rest for four days to recover,”

says fitness and endurance coach Marc Laithwaite. “One of your workouts needs to be a long walk. For most people this will be at the weekend. Try to separate your exercise sessions by 48 hours to help recovery.”

Workout 1 The long walk Start out by walking 1-2 hours at a time and try to add 30-60 minutes per week. Initially keep to the flat, then tackle gently undulating routes before progressing to hillier terrain. A rucksack can add significant strain to your legs and impact significantly upon fatigue, so keep your pack as light as possible at first, but add items to increase the weight as your fitness improves until you’re carrying all the gear you would take on the hill. If you live in a flat area, try to plan a trip to the mountains once every month, or as often as you can. Progression to tougher, steeper terrain is important, and not just for the sake of your fitness – it’s also essential

for checking kit. New shoes or boots may give you blisters after a couple of hours, so a short test run on tough terrain is an ideal opportunity to discover and rectify any niggles without limping home. Be sure to always take fluid and snacks with you and keep topped up. This is especially important as your walks increase in length, as dehydration and lack of calories are both key factors in causing fatigue. Don’t push yourself too hard or rush your progress. If you go too long, too quickly, too soon, you may need a week of rest, forcing you to miss your weekly training sessions. Consistency is the key to building fitness.

Now for interval training! Turn over for more details...

june 2013 Trail 61


group test

two-person

backpacking

ÂŁ100-150 Test Graham Thompson Photographs matthew roberts

82 Trail JUNE 2013

Which low-priced backpacking tent is the best option for you and a mate when heading to the hills?


two-person tents what we tested

tents

Wild Country Coshee 2 £100 Coleman Cobra 2 £110 Aztec Rapido 2 £120 Karrimor X Lite 2 £140 Quechua Quickhiker Ultralight II £150 Robens Starlight 2 £150 Vango Sabre 200 £150 Sprayway SX2 £150

JUNE 2013 Trail 83


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Trail magazine June 2013