Author Archives: James

Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn) [Munro #9]

I went up Ben Vorlich, on the south bank of Loch Earn with the Dundee Mountain Club (DMC) and a few others yesterday. There are two Ben Vorlichs, the other one is further west. Planning Ben Vorlich This is the first one that I didn't plan personally. Instead I joined in a club walk. That said I did look at the map, confirmed the start point and plotted the route on OS Maps so that I knew where we were going and roughly how long it would take. The route is pretty straightforward, there's a series of laybys on the road on the South of Loch Earn next to a stone bridge. From there is a path heading North that goes all the way to the top of Ben Vorlich. There are no side paths or junctions. On the top…
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Poetry

Air a’ bheinn / On the Mountain [Poetry] [Write Club]

Air a’ bheinn / On the Mountain was written for Write Club's January 2024 meeting in response to the general prompt for poetry. I thought I’d write something about the pleasures of walking in the mountains, given that’s one of the things I enjoy. It turned out to be a wee bit harder than I thought, and my second thought was to write something a bit shorter, and use my 800 day streak in duolingo learning Scottish Gaelic to see if I could write something that showed that I was as fluent as a bard (I don’t think I’m anywhere near that). Anyway, here's a short poem that looks a bit like a bottle on its side, and serves as a little bit of mountain advice for those that enjoy both the water of life and being out in the…
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exodus

Opening Chapter “Ambush!” – Excerpt from Perfects

'Ambush' is probably the (very short) opening chapter of my novel, which will be edited professionally over the winter. I'm also thinking about re-titling the novel to avoid confusion with the original novella that it was expanded from. Ideas accepted in the comments. Ambush Pandora’s driving scared the hell out of all of us, but the simulator couldn’t lie. She was way safer and faster than any of us, even me. We didn’t buy that though, given how scary she was driving on manual, so I got Han to compare her real driving performance with the simulations. She was slightly slower and safer when we were actually in the car with her, but still faster and safer than any of us could do in the sim. So we reluctantly agreed that she should be the driver. Two Police Cars in Liverpool…
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Glas Maol [Munro #8]

The large layby on the A93 just south of Glen Shee ski resort (Photo: James Kemp) Glas Maol sits close to several other Munros in the southern part of the Cairngorms National Park. Alexander and I parked in the layby just south of the Glen Shee ski resort and walked over Meall Odhar to the summit of Glas Maol and then down the back to the associated Munro top of Little Glas Maol. Including stops for lunch and to chat to a couple of students about what we could see from the top of Little Glas Maol (the North Sea amongst other things) it took us just over five hours from setting off to being back at the car. Planning for Glas Maol Planning on this one was straightforward, I'd been looking at all the Munros, tops, Corbetts and Grahams…
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Scouting

Tarmachan Ridge from the North [Munro #7 & two tops]

We got another day out on the hills to walk the Tarmachan Ridge from the North, taking in Beinn nan Eachan, Meall Garbh and Meall nan Tarmachan. Meall nan Tarmachan looking East from the Western part of the horseshoe shaped ridge (Photo: James Kemp) Planning Tarmachan Ridge Route onto the Tarmachan Ridge We approached Meall Garbh from the west along a fairly narrow path with a drop on either side. (Photo: James Kemp) The walk was in 100 Best Walks in Scotland, and instead of starting in the Ben Lawers car park it started on an unnamed patch of tarmac due North of the horseshoe shaped ridge. The route was to walk up the North-western end of the horseshoe, and along the ridge, taking in Beinn nan Eachan (Horses Mountain), Meall Garbh (Rough hill) and then Meall nan Tarmachan (Ptarmigan…
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