Meet the Coffee Land Rover - taking espresso into the Scottish backcountry

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that some of the best snowboarding experiences of my life have either started or finished with a really good cup of coffee. Take my first ever day touring on a split snowboard, when I first properly appreciated the limitless possibilities of wandering off the beaten track. I was in Revelstoke, British Columbia, staying with my friend Anna, who had worked out her life so she could spend half the year at home in Tasmania and the other half in BC’s greatest ski town. This was before they built the Revelstoke mega-resort, so at this time the local skiing community consisted entirely of hardcore powder hounds, fully committed to earning their turns – super-fit MacGyver types who rightly looked down their noses at “pie-ass resort skiers” like me. Somehow, Anna had found me an old-school Burton splitboard via a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, and I was excited to give it a try. The avalanche risk was off the scale – I’d arrived in Revvie during the mother of all blizzards – so the plan was to stay low and complete a fairly modest, easy-angled route well below the tree line.

14th Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival will feature some of Scotland's top adrenalin-junkies.

Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival to showcase extreme sports

THERE are no prizes for a new climbing route, a first ski descent or for surfing a remote cold-water wave in Iceland.

St. Kilda. Picture: Isla J. Robertson. National Trust for Scotland.

Six great Scottish islands you can only reach by sailboat

SCOTLAND boasts some of the most stunning islands in the world for scenery and wildlife, and many of the best are thankfully accessible by public transport - be it ferry, plane or road bridge.

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The Signal Box in the Cairngorms. Picture: Sykes

7 unusual and idyllic cottages in Scotland

THERE are some amazing worldwide holidays on offer for families, but why not try a break at one of the more unusual destination on Scotland’s doorstep?

Applecross Bay. Picture: Creative Commons

Five of the best beach walks in Scotland

Scotland’s beaches offer spectacular views and golden sands, but some of them can take a bit of a walk to get to.

Jura golf course.

Jura island course creator has designs on golf conference

THE creator of one of Scotland’s newest and most remote golf courses will share the story of its development with some of the sport’s leading international designers at a major conference.

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Nordic ski-ing.

The growing popularity of Nordic cross-country ski-ing

NORDIC skiing, also known as cross-country skiing, is a sport growing in popularity in Scotland.

Alex Yoder, enjoying a snowboarding history lesson in Turkey

Roger Cox: If you thought snowboarding was born in 1960s America, think again

For years, I thought I knew more or less everything there was to know about the history of snowboarding; everything that mattered, anyway. According to the official version of events it all began in 1965, when an engineer called Sherman Poppen from Muskegon, Michigan, fastened a couple of skis together and tied a bit of rope to the end so his daughters could “surf” on the snow. His design, dubbed “the snurfer” by his wife (see what she did there?) became so popular that he licensed the idea to a manufacturer the following year, and they went on to shift over a million units. Then, in 1977, along came Jake Burton Carpenter, who had the bright idea of fixing bindings to the deck of his board at the National Snurfing Championships (yes, that really used to be a thing) and thereby effectively ushered in the modern sport as we know it, also laying the foundations for his own multi-million dollar snowboard company in the process.

Picture: SWNS

Amateur photographer captures ‘Monarch of the Glen’ shot

An amateur photographer has captured the dramatic moment the silhouette of a majestic stag appeared against a sunset backdrop in the Highlands.

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Glen Affric Youth Hostel.

Five Scottish hostels in stunning locations

WHERE but only in Scotland can you go hostelling and take in some of the best scenery and wildlife in the world.

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President-elect Donald Trump addresses the ill-tempered press conference. Picture: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

25 exhilarating outdoor things to do in Scotland

The start of a year often means setting challenges. If you want a rush of adrenaline in 2017, try one of these exhilarating outdoor activities in Scotland.

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Picture: www.c2csurfschool.com

A beginner’s guide to surfing in winter in Scotland

Surfing, winter and Scotland. At first it might sound like a match made in a frozen-over hell. But for a select few the winter waves of our country offer an unorthodox surfer’s paradise.

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Scottish surfer Andrew Robertson, working on his top turns at Balevullin, Isle of Tiree

Scotland’s junior surfers impress in Morocco

It’s been quite a year for Scotland’s junior surf team, particularly when you consider that they’ve only been able to compete on the world stage since 2014. With such limited experience you might reasonably expect them to be propping up the international standings for a few more years yet while they find their feet, but in September they held their own at the World Junior Surfing Championships in the Azores, finishing a respectable 27th out of 38 competing countries, and this month, at the Eurosurf Junior Games in Agadir, Morocco, they defied expectations again, finishing 9th out of 16 teams taking part. More importantly, they seem to be having fun – in Agadir they also picked up the award for the competition’s friendliest team.

The Lairig Ghru, Cairngorms. Picture: submitted

Five essential Cairngorm walks

Containing five of the six highest peaks in the UK, the Cairngorms are a must for any Scottish hiker.

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Canicross. Picture: Laura Murdoch/ www.lm-images.uk

Everything you need to know about canicross in Scotland

The new year is rapidly approaching so it’s time to dust off the running shoes and tackle your ambiguous New Year’s resolution of ‘getting fit’.

Loch Arkaig has been sold to a community group. Picture: Clifton Bain/Contributed

Commando forest Harry Potter flew over on a dragon is saved

A SPECTACULAR ancient Scots pine forest - famed for being used as a training ground for WWII Commandos and featuring in a Harry Potter movie - has been bought by a local community following a race against the clock to raise funds.

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Schiehallion. Picture: submitted

Seven accessible Munros to tackle in winter

It’s often said there is no such thing as winter hillwalking - it’s real mountaineering. This gives some idea of the added seriousness of tackling any of Scotland’s Munros in the snowy season.

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The Dandie Dinmont terrier breed is one of the rarest in Scotland. Picture: Neil Hanna/TSPL

Plan to save Scotland’s rarest pedigree dog breeds

It is one of the rarest pedigree breeds of terrier in the UK, with just 17 puppies registered in Scotland by the Kennel Club in 2015.

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Sullivan's Winter film poster

New film makes the case for Scotland as a Winter Wonderland

About this time last year, somebody showed me a trailer for a still-in-production film called Sullivan’s Winter. I get sent a lot of trailers for films about the outdoors but something must have appealed to me about this one because apparently, according to the indelible record of the interweb, after watching it I tweeted “reckon this is going to be my favourite film of the winter (even though it hasn’t actually been made yet.)” The trouble with making a statement like that, of course, is that there’s a very real risk of ending up with egg on your face if the film turns out to be either a) just OK or b) less than OK. Happily, however, having just watched the final cut, I can honestly say that Sullivan’s Winter more than lives up to the promise of the trailer.

Directed by 25-year-old filmmaker Andrew O’Donnell, who hails from Lennoxtown in East Dumbartonshire, it tells the fictional story of a young naturalist and writer, the titular Sullivan, played by Blane Abercrombie. Sullivan is on assignment for an outdoors magazine, he tells us. He’s been given the winter off to write an extended essay on his travels around Scotland and – perhaps the most obvious giveaway that his character is made up – he says the magazine he works for has even given him a modest allowance to cover travel and accommodation.

Why not take part in a Santa fun run? Picture: TSPL

Five festive runs taking place over Christmas in Scotland

THE Christmas holidays may be about great food and even better company but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some epic exercise along the way.

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