Hello all,

This week is our birthday at Hillgoers! I’d like to send a huge thank you to everyone for your support so far! I’ve had a fantastic time over the last year, meeting many of you, hopefully inspiring outdoor adventures and building your love for our beautiful land.

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In the last year I’ve also been on a journey, walking over new hills and returning many times to my favourite places. Going into the mountains and observing the changes in the seasons, discovering new things and learning from others. On Sunday I spent the day with Nigel Williams, head of training at Glenmore Lodge for many years. It’s a privilege to learn from the masters of their trade. I also recently had a great hour with Adam Watson, a true Cairngorm legend.

Over the last year I’ve been fortunate to teach some of you navigation skills. Hopefully this has built your confidence and you’re now using those skills when needed. I’d love to know how you’re getting on so please let me know! I’ll be running more courses and ad-hoc sessions throughout the winter and the indoor sessions at Bennachie will start again in April. I’ll also be offering more National Navigation Awards in 2018. These sessions are a great way to embed the learning, stepping through the stages of navigation. See https://nnas.org.uk/

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The Lairig Ghru charity walk was very damp but still very enjoyable, we also bumped into the Braemar Mountain Rescue team which was an added bonus. I’m pleased that Hillgoers has been able to support our local Mountain Rescue teams this last year, thanks to all who donated.

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Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you all next year, if not before. If you’re heading out over the winter season stay safe! I’m optimistic for some real snow this year.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” – John Muir

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