The Science of Hiking

Harvard physician Paul Dudley White, the ‘father of American cardiology’, believed that a brisk, five mile walk every day is as good a remedy for a restless mind as anything the worlds of medicine and psychology have to offer. Many literary notables, from Charles Dickens to Will Self, have written at length on the restorative effects of their peregrinations through the urban jungle, but as Dr. White well understood, there is something unique about walking in natural surroundings that no amount of urban wandering Read more ›

Murphy Ranch

Tangled in the undergrowth of Rustic Canyon, a couple of miles’ walk up the Sullivan Ridge fire road from the manicured absurdity of Pacific Palisades, lie the ruins of one of L.A.’s more unusual landmarks. Not much remains of Murphy Ranch these days – just a series of crumbling concrete foundations, twisted, burnt-out skeletons of abandoned buildings, and a weird atmosphere. For while the graffiti-tagged wreckage of yesterday’s industry is no rarity in the hills around Los Angeles, cradle to so many wacko cults and Read more ›

Pavey Ark

From a distance, Pavey Ark doesn’t have an immediately obvious place in the battlements of Great Langdale. In the jagged arrangement of peaks and crags cutting out into the sky it sits back, a sullen wall of black stone sunk obliquely in the mountainside high above the dale. From below it’s more a presence than a peak, standing over its neighbourhood with a quietly menacing air of dignity and calm. Up close, when it slides into view over the crest of the hike from the valley floor, its effect is breathtaking. Read more ›