Nan Shepherd’s masterpiece of nature writing is an inspiration – leader comment

Elise Wortley on her 2018 adventure following in Alexandra David-Nel's footsteps. She will set off tomorrow for the Cairngorms, the mountain range beloved by Nan Shepherd.
Elise Wortley on her 2018 adventure following in Alexandra David-Nel's footsteps. She will set off tomorrow for the Cairngorms, the mountain range beloved by Nan Shepherd.
Share this article
0
Have your say

Scotland and the rest of the world seem to be slowly waking up to Nan Shepherd and the wonder that she managed to find in Scotland’s mountains.

Her book The Living Mountain was published in 1945, more than 30 years after it was written, but despite the passage of time, this masterpiece of nature writing still has the power to inspire many of its readers.

Now adventurer Elise Wortley plans to follow in Shepherd’s footsteps in the Cairngorms – dressed in tweed clothing, eating war-time rations and equipped with a wooden backpack and canvas tent.

READ MORE: Adventurer to follow in footsteps of trailblazing nature writer Nan Shepherd

She will climb the six highest Cairngorm peaks and spend a further 12 days “just living in the mountains” on a trip that will raise money for Scottish Women’s Aid.

In this world of sometimes bewildering technology, there is much to be said for returning – at least occasionally – to a simpler time and seeking out the kind of tranquil joy that can be found in the simplicity and beauty of the natural world, if not in person, then through the beautiful descriptions of writers as skilled as Shepherd.