Beautiful Madness

Below is my article, ‘Beautiful madness,’ on the Glen Coe Skyline, published in the Scotsman magazine. @MuirJonny

Alpinism meets mountain running: the inaugural Glen Coe Skyline

Midges clung to the perspiring face of Emilie Forsberg as she caught her breath. Forsberg – an extraordinarily talented Swedish ultrarunner and girlfriend of the equally extraordinarily talented Kilian Jornet – had spent the previous eight hours running across towering summits and precipitous ridges in the Highlands as skyrunning came to Scotland for the first…

Running the summits of the Inner London boroughs

Doctor Andrew Murray is at it again. Not content with running from Scotland to Morocco, galloping up Mount Kilimanjaro or jogging to the North Pole, he has this week announced that he is going to run the 10 highest Scottish mountains in one day. This is why: ‘We are doing this because we had a…

What is Alan Hinkes up to at the moment? … and other questions

Traffic – is that the right way to describe people? – to this blog arrives via a plethora of web searches. Handily, WordPress lists these terms. Many are questions: some are perfectly logical, others make me question the sanity of the human race. However, according to the web search questions, people do not want much….

Two out of three ain’t bad…

Having survived my altercation with the ghost of a Jacobite in Glen Shiel, I ventured east, first to Inverness, then to Moray. I had a three-day Bank Holiday plan. Day 1 – The Glen Challenge, a 10-mile trail race that forms part of the Glenurquhart Highland Gathering and Games in Drumnadrochit; Day 2 – Ben…

Knoydart 3

‘Land of the giants,’ a running friend remarked when I announced I was Knoydart-bound. Knoydart is a wild, west coast peninsula suffused in the mythology of the outdoors: a place of extremes, a place of dreams. The Rough Bounds – as Knoydart is also known – have also been over-described as Scotland’s ‘last wilderness; that…

Reviews for The UK’s County Tops

Reviews continue to come in for The UK’s County Tops. Good ones, I hasten to add. The most noteable is from Grough‘s Bob Smith, who calls the guide a ‘fascinating little book’. Meanwhile, there is a write-up on a walking blog, My Pennines. And there’s also an extract of one of the featured walks (Cornwall’s Brown Willy)…

Outdoors Magic reviews The UK’s County Tops

Outdoors Magic has given an early welcome for The UK’s County Tops (the ‘ideal step’ for anyone weary of the usual hill lists), published last week. I’ve copied the text below – or click here to see the real thing. Just arrived is a new book from Cicerone, The UK’s County Tops by Jonny Muir,…

Munro-bagging becomes a little easier, again

My Munro-bagging efforts have been lacklustre in 2011 (and, for that matter, 2010). Living in England hasn’t helped. I managed 38 in 2009 (at a time when home was Inverness). My Munro count plummeted to a miserable one in 2010 (not including repeat ascents on the bens Nevis and Wyvis), although the one was at least a good…

A view from Ben Wyvis… at last

I’d never climbed Ben Wyvis on a clear day. A vast tract of the wild north that I knew must be visible from the summit plateau had been elusive during my previous four forays, hidden from view by obstinate walls of mist. Furthermore, life on the plateau had a habit of being wind-blasted and breathtakingly cold, even…

Loch Lochy Munros

I’d forgotten how hard Scottish hill running is. My last outing had been the Ben Nevis race last September; memories of the anguish of the grassy bank, the relentless of the slope, the desperate tiredness of the road, had ebbed away. It took a wander over the Loch Lochy Munros to remind me how brutal…