Five new skills to learn for the 2016/17 ski season

Ever wondered how to land a switch backflip? Or ski steep gullies? Or survive a rag-doll wipeout? Allow our experts to enlighten you...

Outdoors 1
TrexTuesdays at UrquhartCastle on the shores of Loch Ness. Picture: VisitBritain

Two American dinosaurs go hunting for Nessie

TOP Scottish visitor attractions have been given a major boost after a visit from two Tyrannosaurus Rex from across the Atlantic.

News 1
Blair Aitken skiing close to the edge on Ben Nevis PIC: Hamish Frost

Interview: Photographer Hamish Frost on shooting extreme skiing in Scotland

Skiers will know those moments, when the Scottish mountains and Scottish weather work together and deliver clear vistas, stunning light and pristine snow. Most of us just hope to enjoy them. Hamish Frost has made it his job to capture them in photographs. Frost, a keen skier and climber, began to take photographs seriously just two years ago, but quickly found his work getting noticed. As this winter approached, he quit his job with a Perth-based energy company to concentrate full-time on ski and adventure photography, and says he has a near-full roster of work for the forthcoming season.

Jamie Kunka of Lonely Mountain Skis in his workshop

Interview: Jamie Kunka, award-winning Perthshire ski-maker

From a small workshop in the picturesque Perthshire town of Birnam, the muffled shriek of a bandsaw can be heard above the hum of traffic on the A9. Given the location, in the heart of “Big Tree Country” on the fringes of Tay Forest Park, it’s a sound that’s not uncommon, but what’s happening here is far from ordinary. This is no timber yard, and these are not your average planks of wood being cut. Step inside and you’ll find a young man single-handedly transforming the surrounding trees into beautifully crafted, award-winning skis.

Donnie Campbell after completing his 24-hour Munro challenge.

Munro mountain record broken with 24 tackled in 24 hours

FORMER Marine Donnie Campbell has broken an endurance record by running and climbing 24 Munros in less than 24 hours.

Picture: SWNS

Mystery cairn found on Braemar golf course

A mystery cairn has been discovered during works to improve a golf course.

The Enchanted Forest. Picture: submitted

Enchanted Forest named UK’s best cultural event

The annual sound and light spectacular which attracts tens of thousands of visitors to a Highland wood every year has been named the UK’s best cultural event.

Art 1
Roger Cox PIC: Neil Hanna Photography, www.neilhannaphotography.co.uk

Roger Cox: My top 40 books about the outdoors (part two)

Welcome to part two of my Top 40 outdoors books list.

Outdoors 3
Fabbien Cousine of France competes in the men's downhill qualifying round at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Fort William mountain bike race ‘best in world’

Scotland’s mountain bike racing community has received a major boost after a Highlands race consolidated its reputation as one of the best in the world.

Tiree Surf Club members . Picture: submitted

Stay of execution for Tiree surfing hut

The fate of an island beach hut which has played a key role in the success of two of Scotland’s young surfing stars has been left hanging in the balance.

News 1
Picture: Alan McCredie

Alan McCredie: Scotland’s ‘dreich’ days should be cherished

Many years ago now, after a particularly comedy-fuelled night out during the Edinburgh Festival I bumped into a theatre reviewer friend of mine on the way home. I told him of my night of comedy, and he told me of his night spent reviewing comic theatre. “I’m sick of laughter. Time for some Joy Division” he said.

News 6
Ben Nevis PIC: Ian Rutherford

Roger Cox: My top 40 books about the outdoors (part one)

This winter, I’ve signed up to be a Bookfella for the Scottish Book Trust. The purpose of a Bookfella is two-fold: to raise money for the SBT and to encourage more men to read for pleasure (apparently we’re not as good at this as women). I don’t have space to go into my ill-considered fundraising stunt here, but suffice to say it involves me making a royal fool of myself on top of a hill sometime between now and next April. In an attempt to get more men reading for pleasure, though, I’ve also agreed to list my top 40 outdoors books, both on Twitter and in this column, in the hope that it might inspire a few fellas to seek out some of my favourites. (Yes, I know, women also read books about the outdoors. Realistically, however, I don’t think it’s too controversial to suggest that this list will probably have more traction with male readers than – for example – a list of my top 40 poetry books.)

Mark Boyd

Scots surfer Mark Boyd gives the pros a run for their money at Thurso

Of all the Scottish surfers given wildcard entries to the UK Pro Surf Tour event at Thurso at the end of last month, Mark Boyd was perhaps the least well-prepared. “I’ve been working non-stop through the summer and autumn and just managed to get the time off for the contest,” he says. “Actually it felt like I was trying to re-learn how to surf wave by wave during the comp, which isn’t ideal going up against guys who have been surfing and competing all summer.”

Stay in a beautiful treehouse in rural Perthshire. Picture: hutsandcabins.co.uk

Five of the best places for luxury winter glamping in Scotland

THE warmth of a wood stove, crisp mornings and the stunning snow-covered Scottish scenery, who needs summertime when you can camp out in luxury during the winter?

Picture: YouTube

Video: 360 degree view of the River Clyde and Scottish landmarks

Ever wondered what it would be like to have a birdseye view of the River Clyde or Edinburgh’s Calton hill?

Thanks to new scheme introduced this winter, Scottish ski pass holders will now be able to ski and board for free at Icelandic ski resorts, and vice versa.

Planning to use your Ski-Scotland pass in Iceland? Here’s what to expect

First introduced in 2009, Ski-Scotland’s All Areas Season Ticket has always been good value for anyone lucky enough to be able to head to the hills on a semi-regular basis. As the name suggests, it allows you to access any of the five Scottish ski centres whenever they’re open, which means if you’re willing to do a bit of driving you can make the most of each new snowfall by going wherever the weather and snow cover are looking the most promising. Last week, however, these golden tickets got even better – not to mention about 100 times more exotic – following the announcement that for the 2016/17 season they would also give access to ski resorts in Iceland, as part of a reciprocal deal. Not enough snow in the Highlands by mid-December? Never mind – if you’re an All Areas pass holder you can hop on a plane to Reykjavik and go skiing there instead, at any one of 11 resorts. (The same deal also applies to anyone with a season ticket to any of the five Scottish ski centres.)

Ben Nevis - one of the 14 places to see in Scotland before you die from Matador Network. Picture: Flickr

10 inspiring Pinterest travel pins for exploring Scotland this winter

PINTEREST is a great site for inspiration and these pins by travel bloggers and websites are a great way to discover the best things to see and do on a trip to Scotland.

Cyclists enjoyed the scenery above the River Tweed, near Walkerburn. Picture: Stephen Whitehorne

Scottish Borders Council approve ambitious cycle tourism strategy

SCOTTISH Borders Council’s Executive Committee has approved an ambitious five year strategy for further developing and expanding cycle tourism in the area.

Dumfries & Borders
Enjoy staying in a luxury cabin in a highland forest. Picture: www.forestholidays.co.uk

Embrace winter’s hottest trend with these Scottish hygge hideouts

THE latest trend to hit our shores is a Danish import that focuses on cosiness and contentment, here are five of the best places to achieve a sense of hygge over the festive season.

Loch Morlich lies at the foot of the Cairngorms. Picture: Holiday Cottages

Loch Morlich named as one of the UK’s best winter walks

A SMALL loch near Aviemore has been named as one of the best winter walks in the UK by a British travel website.

Inverness, Highlands & Islands 2
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