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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Book, 17 Jan. 2013
By 
T. S. Rimmington (Sheffield) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Great Mountain Days in Scotland: 50 Classic Hillwalking Challenges (Collections) (Paperback)
Finally, a Scottish hillwalking guidebook that does far more than the clichéd Corbett and Munro trade routes. GMDS is a book with real ambition and imagination, and the author's love for his subject jumps off every pithy, well-written and lavishly photographed page. Here is a treasure trove of epic hillwalking testpieces, from all over Scotland. Practically all the best hills are covered, and if you did all 50 of these routes instead of working slavishly through your Munro tick list you'd end up with an amazing knowledge of the Scottish hills. These are proper challenges, generally taking in multiple summits and plenty of remote and hard terrain far from the well-trodden paths. There might be some scrambling; you could find yourself approaching the hills by bike or even sea kayak; you might treat the routes as winter mountaineering `expeditions' (I use the term advisedly); you could very well end up taking a full weekend over them and sleeping in a bothy or bivvy bag. Brilliant stuff! If that all sounds like a great adventure then you're in good hands here.

The route selection is a mix of the must-do big names and connoisseur's gems. Classic well-known trips like the Cairngorms 4000-ers stand shoulder to shoulder with stuff you'd probably never thought of (I hadn't) like the nifty link-up of the Beinn Odhars with the Rois Bheinn range in Moidart - all done in a single testing linear excursion that's accessible by train. That's one I'll look forward to trying. Some of the 50 routes herein take you places other walking guides wouldn't dare, linking what most people would consider to be two or even three separate day trips into a single mega round. These are massive days - ranging from 20km to over 40km - but as Dan Bailey himself asks in the intro, `why climb one peak when you can do several?'. Take walk 28 as just one example (albeit a toughie even by this book's standards). This is a circuit of the whole Glen Coe skyline: Aonach Eagach end to end, the Big Buachaille, the Wee Buachaille, and the whole Bidean nam Bian range. It's quoted as 41km and 4200m ascent, plus of course the scrambling on Aonach Eagach. This'd be four separate days out, if you believed the Munro guides. But Dan Bailey does the lot in a single chapter. Sound mad? Well you'd have to be a fell runner or a very tough walker to fit that little lot into a single day out, but luckily the author hasn't been prescriptive about timings and in fact he positively encourages you to spend nights out on the hill. It's all part of the fun, he says. Every chapter includes notes on the best camp spots or nearby bothies. Dan also makes a concession to the less ambitious by detailing the most obvious short cuts in the info section of each walk, in case the weather craps out or things ever start looking a bit too much. Other useful chapter-by-chapter route info includes public transport, accommodation, the type of terrain encountered and any major considerations you should bear in mind if there's snow on the ground (does that scrambling ridge become a graded winter climb? Where are the renowned avalanche black spots?). It's all detailed, authoritative stuff.

The scope of GMDS is huge, and it's probably fair to say that the author expects his readers to have a bit of hillwalking ambition too; to get the best out of Scotland's amazing mountains you've got to be willing to push yourself a bit, he seems to be saying. Then again you could just as easily spend many happy evenings in the armchair poring over the hundreds of stunning evocative photos and planning your next big adventure, or reminiscing about epics enjoyed in your past. This is a must-have book for all lovers of the Scottish mountains. I suspect it's probably got the makings of a classic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent -though with impossible walks!, 29 Dec. 2012
By 
Mr. Ross Maynard (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Great Mountain Days in Scotland: 50 Classic Hillwalking Challenges (Collections) (Paperback)
"Great Mountain Days in Scotland" is a beautiful book and a must for any keen hillwalker. It is lovingly written, with good route descriptions, and gorgeously illustrated. My only gripe is that many of the walks are impossible as single outings for the mere mortal walker. The uber-fit twenty-something might be able to match these "challenges" but not the forty-something like me. To give just one example of many, he covers ALL the Munros in Glencoe (both sides of the glen) in one trip - impossible! I suppose the upside of this is that there are far more than 50 walks here.

It is a fabulous book, and a great inspiration for walks - highly recommended for the mountain walker. Just be realistic about what you can achieve and split the walks into chunks.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last!!, 5 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Great Mountain Days in Scotland: 50 Classic Hillwalking Challenges (Collections) (Paperback)
Finally a book of real mountain challenges covering Scotland.
Instead of your regular Scottish mountain guide books which always give the same old routes up each individual mountain, I find this one gives so much more. The challenges cover multiple summit days, multiple summit overnight challenges, and long days to remote mountains. Like Dan Bailey's previous guides it's fresh, he's once again found the challenges no one else thinks of.
The fantastic cover shot basically shows you what type of days to expect from this book and having done 3 of the challenges so far myself I can say they're top drawer.
I found the maps and descriptions very simple, informative and excellent for planning. The whole book is full of Dan Bailey's photography with plenty of cracking pics on each challenge that really do inspire you through the planning stages.
Get this book and you'll definitely visit wild places you haven't stepped in before.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration to go and climb some hills., 29 Dec. 2012
By 
Dr. Peter Davies (Halifax, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Great Mountain Days in Scotland: 50 Classic Hillwalking Challenges (Collections) (Paperback)
This was my Christmas book from my wife. I read it on Christmas Day in Halifax and with a cold. This book cut through all that and had me wanting to go and chase round its routes.

This is another excellent production by Dan Bailey and Cicerone. It describes 50 long and challenging routes in Scotland that walkers who know Scotland will want to do. If you don't yet know Scottish walking then this is a good introduction to the terrain, but you'll need to be fit to do the routes, and you'll need some decent route finding finding ability and mountain sense about weather and conditions. These are not comfortable or short walks- they're for people who are committed to their walking.

The key for me about this book is that its choice and balance of walks is excellent, and that the descriptions of routes are clear and accurate. The routes are not merely described, but he knows the routes and mountains well enough to give some flavour and texture to the bare facts of times and distances. I can see myself being able to achieve some outstanding objectives of mine more easily as a result of this book.

If you like the Scottish Mountains this book will have you wanting to get up there again. It's a useful addition to Scottish mountain literature, and if you like walking these hills then this book is the current star.

It will sit well alongside previous classics such as Hamish's Mountain Walk (Non-Fiction) Scotlands 100 Best WalksThe Munros: Scottish Mountaineering Club Hillwalkers' Guide The High Mountains of Britain and Ireland: A Guide for Mountain Walkers The Big Walks: Challenging Mountain Walks and Scrambles in the British Isles (Teach Yourself) Exploring the Far North West of Scotland: A Walker's Guide to the Hills, Glens and Coastline of Wester Ross and Sutherland Dan Bailey seems to be becoming the Richard Gilbert of our days. These old books are good, but I have to say the improved production of the newer guides is an improvement on what has gone before.

The inspiration to climb the mountains remains, and Dan Bailey's writing encourages it further. Highly recommended to others.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Photos and Maps, 13 July 2012
This review is from: Great Mountain Days in Scotland: 50 Classic Hillwalking Challenges (Collections) (Paperback)
This is a terrific book by the author of other excellent guides including 'Scotland's Mountain Ridges' and 'The Ridges of England,Wales and Ireland' as well as Pocket Mountains guides.

Dan Bailey's latest book, which can also be purchased as an e-book or on kindle, includes beautiful photos taken by the author as well as many practical tips for your hill-walking excursions North of the Border.

It is fully informative and helpful with useful contacts and websites included, as well as a Walk Summary Table and an Appendix on Key Summits and ranges, and useful maps.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book!, 4 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Great Mountain Days in Scotland: 50 Classic Hillwalking Challenges (Collections) (Paperback)
bailey's latest confirms my impression that he is now the u.k.'s number 1 hillwalking writer. as the years go by, i find i refer less and less to my "guidebooks" and more and more to memory, as repeated experiences grow mountains of scottish hill terrain in the minds eye. the books i still find myself occasionally perusing - ralph storer's " 100 best routes " ( cos its good ) and mcneish's "the munros" ( cos all the munros are there ) are now firmly supplanted by bailey's "great mountain days " and its predecessor "scotland's mountain ridges". not only does bailey supersede storer's little gem, he has helped reverse the recent trend i had become vaguely conscious of, whereby i had gotten into ( an admittedly enjoyable ) comfort zone of repeating favourite old routes from memory. bailey's creative and uncontrived linking of routes that i had often hitherto regarded as separate days has this year got me thinking. allied to often superb photography and lucid mapping, i have been recently inspired to "curse the author" in much the same way as i often did with storer's book nearly 25 years ago. this book is a good motivatory tool. most of us need that from time to time.
if you were to own one book on scottish hillwalking then this should be it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant guide to the scottish mountains, 3 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Great Mountain Days in Scotland: 50 Classic Hillwalking Challenges (Collections) (Paperback)
This is a great tool for those of us who love the Scottish hills.

The book is packed with great information, photos and indeed as it says on the tin is the best guide I have come across for "great mountain days in Scotland".

Dan's love of the hills and the depth of his knowledge and experience is stamped all over this superb guide.

Readers will find it inspirational and will find themselves drawn to the hills by this clasic book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rugged and Remote, 21 Dec. 2014
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Great Mountain Days in Scotland: 50 Classic Hillwalking Challenges (Collections) (Paperback)
The title `Great Mountain Days In Scotland' and the subtitle '50 classic hillwalking challenges' states with exactitude what the author expects his book to be about and where the action takes place. On reading I was delighted at how narrative unerringly captures the unique and special flavour of Scotland's mountains, and I empathized with the author's obvious devotion to the country. In selecting the 50 `challenges' it is clear Dan Bailey knows Scotland intimately and he has a great affinity for the mountains.

The `Introduction' explains how Scottish hillwalking offers some of the greatest mountain days to be found anywhere, yet they combine being rugged and remote with the advantage of being conveniently compact. Dan Bailey has brought together details of 50 `quality' walks from all over Scotland with 23 in the northwest highlands, 14 in Lochaber, central and southern highlands, 6 in the Cairngorms, 1 in Galloway and 6 in the islands from Arran to Lewis. An overall map of Scotland gives the location of walks, and `Great Mountain Days In Scotland' is enhanced by numerous excellent colour photographs for each `challenge' plus others to support text.

As a rock-climber I have visited most areas in Scotland where a lot of my hillwalking was a necessity to get to the crags and I did little that could be called classic hillwalking. However I feel qualified to review `Great Mountain Days In Scotland' as I have done a few of the routes identified by Dan Bailey and also I have done sections of others. For example I walked over Ben More and Stob Binnein but did not extend it to Cruach Ardrain etc., and I have walked the Ben Lawers group but left the Tarmachen ridge to another day, and I bagged Ben Hope without Ben Loyal. I admire Dan Bailey for his guts and determination but there is no way that after traversing AnTeallach I would have continued to Beinn Dearg Mor, but on the other hand I recall a most satisfying traverse of the Cuillin ridge in one go which must eclipse his challenges on Skye (this is deliberate and it is described in Dan Bailey's `Scotland's Mountain Ridges').

This is not too surprising considering so many of the 50 routes incorporate overnight stays with Dan Bailey including 2-day expeditions and notes on accommodation which in turn gives details of bothies, howffs etc. as well as presenting details of start/finish, distance, time, terrain etc. (and some uncommon approaches as mountain bike or kayak). He gives preference to tackling long rigorous expeditions (ranging from 20 - 46 kilometres and up to 4,200 metres of ascent) and perhaps that is why there is no place for Scottish favourites like Schiehallion or Stac Pollaidh, yet there are full accounts of the nearby (in Scottish terms) massive circuit of Ben Alder and Geal-Charn, and the isolated double peak round of Suilven and Canisp. After covering the usual preliminaries for a guidebook including access, weather, hazards etc. he draws attention to possible short cuts and alternative routes which are indicated on clear 1:100,000 scale maps. Readers need not slavishly follow the exact routes described by Dan Bailey - `Great Mountain Days In Scotland' is really about identifying opportunities - it is a mixture of inspiration and celebration - and it deserves a 5-star rating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great photographs and routes descriptions, 1 April 2013
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This review is from: Great Mountain Days in Scotland: 50 Classic Hillwalking Challenges (Collections) (Paperback)
Note the word 'challenges' in the title. There are some fantastic routes in this book, well described and recorded pictorially. They are no short casual jaunts, there are long serious adventures. The book is new for me, so still in coffe table mode and as yet untested. Be inspired, go ferrit.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dan Bailey, 19 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Great Mountain Days in Scotland: 50 Classic Hillwalking Challenges (Collections) (Paperback)
Dan Bailey never fails to impress with his knowledge and enthusiasm for the Highlands of Scotland. Some great ideas for quality days out. Described well and in a manner that will have you salivating at the thought of hittting the hills.
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