Nothing like Mountain Walks for a healthy high!

My first hill-walking was in 1957 at the Outward Bound Sea School in Aberdovey, North Wales. A relation kindly paid for me to go there at the age of 15 as I had decided to join the Merchant Navy, which I later did. The OBSS is an excellent organisation. Although everything was strange to me and facilities were very basic and Spartan compared with today's Outward Bound I loved every minute of the athletics, sailing and hill-walking programme.

Hill-walking is a challenging sport which gives me and countless others great satisfaction through achievement and sheer enjoyment of the outdoors. In adult life I've walked in the North Yorks Moors, Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania, on Dartmoor, in the Yorkshire Dales, the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia and the Lake District. In 2005 I started walking in the French Alps. In May 2007 I walked in the mountains of Gran Canaria for the first time including climbing its second highest peak Pozo de las Nieves, avoiding the slightly higher Pico de las Nieves and the risk of being run down by tourist's buses and cars!

I've had to do several walks solo in recent years therefore my route preparation and navigation notes have to be comprehensive and detailed. Using a 1 : 25,000 scale map, after research I first decide on a route, then scan the route's locality for printing A4 size. Next I mark the route and appropriate waypoints on a printed copy of the scanned map. I then build a spreadsheet detailing waypoints, grid references, compass courses, distances between waypoints, estimated times, escape routes and emergency contact details. I take one copy of the marked A4 size map and spreadsheet with me leaving duplicates with somebody who could raise an alarm if necessary. Others may find useful the information and route photos published on this site.

For accommodation in the French Alps click here
You will find an excellent selection of maps at
Expert advice about walking in the Canary Isles Gary Rosson's Canary Islands Website