Life Nature

By Chris Jaffray


This stomach-churning drone footage shows a daredevil hiker scaling the terrifying peaks and ridges of the highest hills in the UK – all without using footpaths.

Alan Gregory has been into dangerous hillwalking for more than a decade – but only decided two years ago to film his efforts.

The Rolls Royce worker, from Briercliffe, Lancs, does not take recommended routes up and down the hills because he wants to really explore the areas, instead using GPS and route planners to find his own way in and out of places.

Despite this he, insists he never feels fear during his treks – despite having trekked up 1,326 metre Liathach, 1,114 metre Slioch and 982 metre Foinaven in the Scottish Highlands – all with his £1,500 drone in tow.

Alan said: “Some people on the hills ask me what I am doing but I don’t think I have had any bad comments.

“A lot of people just stick to the recommended routes and they’re just determined to get up and down, they don’t really take in the hills.

“I like to show that there is a different way of doing them by going on a different route, it is a bit more exciting doing that.

“I never get scared on the hills.

“You have got to plan ahead and make sure you have an escape route, the weather can change or you can get lost so I always carry a back up GPS system.

“I did get lost two years ago in Meall Horn in Caithness, I had a £1.99 compass and I didn’t know where I was, all I knew I had to do was head south east and I kept doing that up and down hills for five miles.

“I prefer walking in the Highlands but I’ve also done the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales – Idare couldn’t say how many miles I’ve done in total.”

Alan has climbed 152 ‘munros’ – Scottish hills higher than 3,000 feet, 80 corbetts, which are at least 2,500 feet high, and 50 grahams, at least 2,000 feet high.

He has also shared his trips on his Youtube Channel AlanGregoryAdventures where thousands have watched his expeditions.

But his journey was not plain sailing, as the first drone he purchased ended up being crashed, it went backwards into a cliff.

He said: “There were two reasons why I started filming – a lot of people can’t see from the roads, there are things you can’t see if you just drive past.

“Another reason is because of the bad press that drones have got, because of all the incidents at the airports.

“I am really interested in the hills of the Highlands, it’s like going into a different world.

“At first I was a bit shaky, but my footage got better.”