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Posts under ‘Travel Stories’

AN EARLY START TO THE 12/13 SKI SEASON

Published: The Scotsman, 1 December 2012 THE ski lifts weren’t running at CairnGorm Mountain yesterday – the official opening is today – but a handful of skiers and boarders were so keen to get their first turns of the season they slogged to the top of the ski area under their own steam. By 11am, […]

TRAVEL STORY: NETHY BRIDGE

Published: The Scotsman (TSMag) 2 June 2012 IN MANY ways, Aviemore makes an excellent gateway to the Cairngorms National Park. It’s easily accessible by car and by train, some of the highest peaks in the country are right on the doorstep and the town’s main drag has more outdoor gear shops than pubs. Every year, […]

TRAVEL: A SECRET STASH AT NEVIS RANGE

Published: The Scotsman (TSMag) 18 February 2012 IMAGINE a ski resort where real-deal backcountry terrain is just a five-minute stroll from the top of the highest lift. A place where a long, curvaceous ridge offers access to a series of steep-sided bowls which, because they’re sheltered from the prevailing wind, are often stuffed full of […]

SPRING SKIING ON BEN MACDUI

Published: The Scotsman (TSMag) 3 December 2011 THE SCOTTISH Mountaineering Club’s ski touring guidebook, Ski Mountaineering in Scotland, describes the 700m descent from the top of Ben Macdui to the floor of the Lairig Ghru as “one of the finest and most challenging ski runs in the Scottish mountains.” Backcountry skiing in this country has […]

FOUR SEASONS: A GHRU-ELLING WEEKEND

Published: The Scotsman (TSMag) 5 November 2011 TWANG! My attempts to light a fire using the age-old bow-drill technique are not proving very successful. I’ve worked out how to string my bow to the requisite tension, I’ve learned how to wind my spindle onto the string, and I’ve managed to trap the spindle between the […]

WELCOME TO “SKI TOWN USA”

Published: The Scotsman (TSMag) 15 January 2011 MORE than any other ski destination I’ve visited in North America, Steamboat Springs in Colorado feels like an actual town – not simply a cluster of high-end accommodation and identikit eateries dumped at the bottom of a mountain. That in itself should be reason enough to visit, but […]

ITALY’S BEST KEPT SECRET

Published: The Scotsman (TSMag) 4 December 2010 “OF ALL the mountain ranges I have ever seen,” wrote the Austrian-Italian poet and mountaineer Julius Kugy, “none is equal to the Julian Alps”. Riding the newly completed cable car through the vast, snowy canyon of Sella Prevala, you can see what he meant. For years, this awe-inspiring […]

FOUR SEASONS: THE HORN OF THE SADDLE

Published: The Scotsman (TSMag) 17 April 2010 HOW old is too old to ski? Or snowboard? Or ride a snow bike? It’s not something I’ve ever given much thought to. Ask most snow-addicts how long they plan to keep sliding and, more likely than not, they’ll simply say “until I die”. That’s the default response. […]

FOUR SEASONS: ITALY’S FORGOTTEN CORNER

Published: The Scotsman (TSMag) 20 March 2010 SHOULD skiers or snowboarders care about the history of the hills they’re skiing or riding in? Until recently I didn’t think so, but a few days in Italy’s Julian Alps have changed my mind. When I first started looking into the possibility of visiting the resort of Sella […]

FOUR SEASONS: THE ART OF CHICKENING OUT

Published: The Scotsman (TSMag) 13 March 2010 FOR the last ten winters now, like an oversized migratory bird, I’ve been visiting the same place in the Austrian Alps with more or less the same group of snow-seeking friends. Numbers vary from year to year – usually there are eight or ten of us, but this […]