Highland Trail 550 – Gear freak-out

The 2018 Highland Trail got a little too exciting for me, and in the end wasn’t a completion, although it had nothing to do with my gear choices. I do like to indulge in a little gear nerding from time to time, and optimizing my kit for this year gave me something to think about in the months leading up to May. At the end … Continue reading Highland Trail 550 – Gear freak-out

Tread lightly: A Tale of Three Plateaus

  The granite plateaus of the cairngorms began their life far from the sun, at the roots of a mountain chain, at a time when Scotland and America were still parts of the same landmass. Wind, water and ice took their toll, and the mountains were eroded into nothing, but their roots remained. Ice came and took bites from it, but the granite was only … Continue reading Tread lightly: A Tale of Three Plateaus

Introducing the Caribou

When Annie and me met Sarah and Thor Tingey at the UK packraft roundup at Inshriach last June, water levels were on the bony side of optimal, but we went for a ride through the dusty pinewoods anyway, and took boats so that we could float down the Spey back to base. It turned out it was the first time that Sarah and Thor had … Continue reading Introducing the Caribou

Clockwork Ghosts: the 2017 Highland Trail 550

    I’ll begin at the end.   There is a searchlight moon hanging low in the sky, but it’s almost hidden behind the squat silhouette of Buachaille Etive Mor. Although it’s bright tonight, the wash of pale blue light does little to fill the shadows of ink that deepen to black in the coires and gulleys, where vague outlines merge into one another. It’s … Continue reading Clockwork Ghosts: the 2017 Highland Trail 550

Sticky post

Way out West: Bikerafting in the Outer Hebrides

  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Scotland is an infinitely more varied and variable part of the world than its size and tourist-pleasing stereotypes would suggest. The mainland alone is a geological patchwork quilt of different massifs and ecosystems, of different accents and too many unhealthy foods to count. Macaroni pie, anyone? As well as the mainland, there are of course … Continue reading Way out West: Bikerafting in the Outer Hebrides

Highland Trail 550 – Kit List

Since the ITT I rode of the Highland Trail 550 in May last year, I feel like I’ve learned a lot more about optimising kit and strategies for covering a lot of miles as lightly and efficiently as possible. Of course, it’s always possible to go faster by having a better engine or spending less time stopped, but well thought out kit makes a massive … Continue reading Highland Trail 550 – Kit List

Review: Revelate Designs Periphery Pocket

  Perfectionism isn’t always a virtue – no one is going to notice that your tyre logos line up with your valves when they’re caked with mud, and oftentimes it’s best to just crack on without sweating the small stuff too much. I’m willing to bet though that Eric from Revelate would disagree, and his constant tinkering and experimenting with the designs of his company’s … Continue reading Review: Revelate Designs Periphery Pocket

45NRTH Wolvhammer review

  Although it does happen, it’s not all that often that British winter conditions demand a full winter boot to keep toes pink and wiggly. A combination of overshoes and waterproof socks is usually enough to keep them warm, although keeping them dry is another matter, especially in the perma-bog of the Highlands.   When we began to plan a trip to cross Iceland in … Continue reading 45NRTH Wolvhammer review