Troubador Highland Journal 1

Released: 28/06/2018

ISBN: 9781789013252

Format: Paperback

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Highland Journal 1

: The Making of a Hillwalker


Jack’s love of hillwalking began with a trip to the North-West Highlands where he and his son, Tom, began to explore the extraordinary mountains of Coigach and Inverpolly. Now this experienced hillwalker and geographer writes Highland Journal, an illustrated memoir looking back on his adventures.  

Joining the Jolly Boys, an anarchic group of Munro baggers, Jack was initiated into the world of hillwalking. Highland Journal records his adventures, the geology, the natural history and the idiosyncrasies of his climbing companions. With hair-raising moments such as walks in the deep snows of the Highland winter using crampons and ice axe and a mountain rescue on the Cuillin of Skye, readers witness the author’s transition from wide-eyed hillwalking novice to competent mountaineer.  

Illustrated with Jack’s own drawings and watercolours, Highland Journal also includes distinctive relief maps of each mountain climbed. The book will appeal to hillwalkers and Munro baggers, as well as readers interested in landscape and wildlife and lovers of adventure.

You can follow Jack on Instagram - @highland_journal

Or on Facebook -

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Chris Townsend

Ullapool News

You may not be able to make it to the Highlands of Scotland, but Harland’s book is the next best thing. Follow along as he takes readers up the hills and mountains of Scotland, describing the beauty, awe, and sometimes sheer terror of his climbs. Accompanied by delightful pen and ink drawings, this would make a lovely guidebook or a way to live vicariously through Harland’s adventures

by Rosemary Smith (via NetGalley)

If you love walking in the highlands of Scotland, especially on the Munros, this book is a must. It is accessible, well organised into chapters on Harland's routes and even comes complete with quirky line drawings and maps, helping you find your way and capturing the wildlife and wildness you will encounter.

A perfect fireside read, with a dram, you can daydream about your previous trips and aspire to follow in Harland's footsteps for your adventures still to come. Or pack it in the car along with your gaiters and walking poles - it would be a wonderful companion in a bunkhouse or Bothy, reading about the mountains you plan to climb the following day or helping you plan an alternative route.

Part guidebook, part memoir, it is a celebration of the remoteness of the glens and peaks Harland explores, and the characters who haunt them.

by Kerina Buzan

A charmingly illustrated book that takes you on a series of adventures in the wild Highland mountains. I loved the descriptions of the landscape and mountain wildlife and laughed out loud at some of the exploits.

by Carrie Paxton

An obvious labour of love by the author detailing all his walks in the Highlands. Each walk beautifully illustrated with a line drawn map. A lovely book and would be of interest to anyone who loves the Scottish Highlands and their landscape. As a lover of the area great to look up particular areas and read about them.

by Anny Nolan

Just received my eagerly awaited copy of “Highland Journal”. Having read a good few chapters already, I can’t wait to follow the rest of this Journal. Written in an easy style, full of fun, but also showing a love and an endless knowledge of Scottish hills and mountains—their terrain, their beauty, their structure and so much more. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with a love of Scotland’s hills or anyone wanting to know more about them. The author takes you with him on his walks and climbs, and the mountains and the friendships formed come alive –enhanced by the hand drawn sketches throughout the book. Definitely not one to be missed!

by W Robson

This is a remarkable achievement.

by George Douglas

A delightful, and beautifully illustrated, diary of a Highland hillwalker/ mountain climber. Jack writes of his adventures with his son and other companions with enthusiasm. He brings his adventures in the Scottish Highlands (and Scafell Pike and Snowdon) to life. This book is not just about the walking, it's about the terrain, the weather, the wildlife, the companionship, the challenge, the sense of freedom and the joy of it all. This will be loved by anyone with a passion for walking or climbing. It is particularly relevant to walking in the Highlands but I've never walked in the Highlands and I found it a heart warming and fascinating read.

by Jill G

One of those that will sit on your shelf and be loved when you take it down. Jack has a way of drawing you into his walks not just with his descriptions but also the drawings and maps that illustrate it. Walkers will love this even if like me they have not walked many Scottish hills or dales. It would make a great gift for the walker or outdoor person in your life.

by Mel Scragg

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, as soon as I turned the first pages and saw the beautiful drawings I was immediately intrigued by the stories they represented. It was a pleasure to share in Jack's enjoyment of the great outdoors. Whether Jack is hill climbing with the Jolly Boys brigade, with close friends or family, or on a solo mission, his enjoyment is captivating. The attention to detail is a pure delight. The beautiful panoramas Jack describes can be appreciated all the more because of the addition of a few informative geological facts. The mention of a particular moment of birdsong or sighting of a wild animal brings scenes to life in a way that involves us entirely in the experience.

I will be taking this book with me on my travels as not only was it a good read but it will be a lovely way to identify the hills and mountain ranges of Scotland. I look forward to dipping into it again and again.

by Fiona Malkin

Fabulous book. Really enjoyed travelling with Jack on his adventures, though from the comfort of my living room in front of an open fire. Great illustrations too. Waiting for the next book.

by Patricia Mitchell

I have just finished reading A Highland Journal and it was wonderful. The descriptions of the routes, environment and wildlife were beautifully observed. The group's relationships were heart warming and the illustrations were stunning. More please.

by H Rose

A love letter to the mountains that will appeal to the amateur walker and seasoned munroist alike. The author's writing style evokes a strong sense of place, as well as providing insightful and witty character studies of his walking companions. Looking forward to reading part 2!

by Faye Rutland

A pleasant book to read. It offers sensible advice on hillwalking and on the required equipment. The drawings and relief maps are beautifully drawn and add charm to the book. It is a delightful book to peruse.

by James Birrell

An original and highly enjoyable book. Jack's perceptive and often very funny descriptions of his walking companions are complemented by a keen eye for wildlife and by really fine watercolour and pen and ink illustrations. I was able to meet Jack at the recent Peebles Outdoor Film Festival where he gave an excellent talk based on his book and illustrated by his paintings and sketches.

by Nick Down

Jack P. Harland

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 family has grown to four children and six grandchildren.

Jack became a geography teacher and had an interesting career which included working with the BBC and on national projects with the Scottish Education Department. With the help of St Andrews University, Perth Museum and Dundee Museum he developed the expertise to teach geology.

Wanting to experience something different, he spent a few years working in the Arts with a modern dance company, Scottish Opera and other bodies.

He missed teaching and returned, ending his career as a Head Teacher in Aberdeen.

As his children grew up and went off to university, he had time for trips to the Highlands to climb the mountains. Retirement in 2013 gave him the opportunity to go more often and Jack climbed his last Munro in 2015.

He has always enjoyed writing, drawing, painting and making maps and Jack has put all these together in his books about the Highlands.

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