With modern maps, GPS and aerial photography, we like to think we know the hills better than anyone. But open an Ordnance Survey map of any mountain in the Scottish Highlands and there, in plain sight, is evidence that those who roamed these hills long before us knew them intimately – perhaps more than we ever will.
Assynt, in the far north-west of Scotland, is one of the world’s most startling landscapes. Shark’s fin mountains rise vertically from a plateau of three-billion-year-old rock, splattered with lochans. But for a landscape of real beauty, mystery and dread, you need to journey inwards.
Skye, late September 1981. A young woman sits in a dark bothy, staring into a fire. A pair of flimsy shoes are propped next to her, drying in the heat, and a kettle comes to the boil. Who was the Angel of Camasunary and where did she go? Hillwalker and photographer Duncan McCallum tells the story.
As the climber Mo Anthoine used to say, sometimes you have to feed the rat. After a winter indoors editing podcast episodes about other people’s adventures, Mountain host Christopher Sleight heads to the Cairngorms for a full-on winter’s day.
On 19th May 2015, Adrian Oram was traversing a section of the Cuillin Ridge with his novice climbing partner Mike. The ridge was harder than expected, but they were enjoying the challenge. It was a good day in the mountains. But for Adrian and Mike’s friends, a completely different story was playing out. Adrian and Mike had leading roles – only they knew nothing about it.