Published: 15/07/2018
ISBN: 9781789013252
Format: Paperback

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About the Author

The author grew up in Northumberland in the Fifties and Sixties. At university, he studied geography and met his wife (at the Freshers’ Hop). Their first child was born in his final year and their f... read more

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Highland Journal
1. The Making of a Hillwalker
by Jack P. Harland

This book begins with a trip to the North-west Highlands. A chance conversation led to the author’s family renting an old cottage which looked over the Summer Isles for their holidays.

Jack and his son Tom began to explore the extraordinary mountains of Coigach and Inverpolly and as his attachment to the area grew Jack began to write a journal which he illustrated with maps, drawings and watercolours.

A new job led to him joining the Jolly Boys, an anarchic group of Munro baggers and to his initiation into the world of hillwalking. He cherishes the fellowship of these strong characters and the unpredictability of each of their adventures.

Jack made many mistakes in those early years but learnt by them and grew in confidence. There are milestones such as walks in the deep snows of the Highland winter using crampons and ice axe. He enjoyed every trip, whatever the weather and began what has become a passion for Scotland’s mountains.

Jack’s journal records the adventures, the idiosyncrasies of his companions, the geology and the natural history. There were tough days and hair-raising moments such as the mountain rescue on the Cuillin of Skye when he was lifted by helicopter from a summit along with his injured friend. By the end of the book he has made the transition from wide-eyed novice to competent mountaineer.

The last chapter records a return to the Cuillin with his walking friend who was injured there. The ghost of that traumatic day is exorcised in the spring sunshine and they explore the range with old hand Gerry, learning to use ropes and climbing the Inaccessible Pinnacle.

This book will appeal to hillwalkers and Munro baggers, with maps to show Jack’s route up each mountain climbed. It will also have much wider appeal and it sure to be enjoyed by lovers of adventure, good companionship and the superb landscape and wildlife of the Highlands.

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