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"Very like a Whale"The temptation for me Simon, as of course you know, to be drawn into a debate with you, is virtually irresistible but fortunately only virtually.
Much in your post has little to dislike but far from all of it. If you imagine the mountain prefix Meel to have anything to do with ants or whales it is hardly surprising.
Next, it's entirely redundant if you think that mountainviews is not an authority. Everyone else does. That is a responsibility and it behoves you to get it right. Trying to get it right and your "guidelines" zzzz will not defend you.. It is disappointing that you think they will.
The great thing about getting something wrong is it gives you the opportunity to get it right. Trust me: I have spent my whole life doing it - and it is very rewarding.
You write that "Place naming in Ireland is never going to be an exact science." Well actually I disagree but if I did agree, we certainly could do better that hill of the ants/whales/pekenese.
... and your history lesson ref language. C'mon big lad.
Academic sources. No no no no. This is at the very heart of the problem. The only way as you suggest although, self-evidently very unwillingly, is on the ground local knowledge. If you, I or anyone can get a critter local to the Meels More and Beg not to choke on his scone when you tell him his hill is something to do with ants or whales and that academics can prove it, I shall eat my head with chips.
I could pick up on your point about phonetics, how the word Meel sounds - but honestly.
Lastly, should I get antsy about your comment ref flying by the seat of my pants? I shan't but I will smile though. My degree is in English and French; I have conversational Italian, a Spanish O level and wait for it . . a foinne in a Irish. I have inhabited the mountains of Highland Scotland and Ireland for 35 years.
Mountain words, language and seat of pants? Could be. Could be not.
Now just go and fix it would you ever and stop being such an unconscionable stick in the mud.
The perpetual antiAh BleckCra we do miss your commentary expressed as always eloquently and amusingly. You have excelled yourself in double entendre with regards to Slieve Meelmore on this occasion. We thank you for the chuckle. (For newcomers to MV, do have a look at BleckCra's founding of the Meelmore High Club at mountainviews.ie/summit/138/ )
But the persuasiveness of the substance depends on a willingness to proceed very quickly from the particularly humorous ants to the general where MV's ".. translation of Irish hill names .. remains ridiculous".
Where has MV, a hillwalkers' website, ever said MV is ".. the authority on and source for all things mountain in Ireland ". Take a look at our various guidelines, all online. Doesn't say that.
On the other hand while not claiming to be the Authority we do try to get things right. This isn't the first occasion BleckCra picked an example to try to imply the website is ridiculous ( if memory serves me right it was in connection with some border summit near the Dublin-Belfast road - Faughil perhaps ). Some time after that we introduced the public correction system. Yep, we fully accept we haven't got the data right for many summits or other places which is why MV has the "Propose Places Database Change" button. Since it was started in Nov 2014, over 300 corrections have been proposed. Many of these are about names. Almost all corrections have been accepted with a tiny minority lacking evidence or corroboration being rejected. Given we have had 300 corrections in 3 years we are quite sure we need to make hundreds more for the over 2200 places we list.
Place naming in Ireland is never going to be an exact science. History as a colonised country and the 19th century OS approach to establishing names using an Anglicised spelling ensured that. Various efforts to correct this from the official Logainm.ie with only partial coverage to various cartographers and local historians of uncertain academic vigour are only partly successful. So what to do? MV tends towards using official sources. We are also indebted to Paul Tempan for a serious academic approach to the issue. We also do various other things: allow up to 3 names per place each identified by language, and secondly allow users to choose to what extent they want Irish or English names where either are available.
As for the ants in our pants: Here are the notes for Slieve Meelmore: "The word míol, although often used of ants and other insects, is a generic term for animals of sorts. It can be applied to beasts ranging from grasshoppers to whales, though it is usually qualified by another word in these cases. Slieve Meelmore and Slieve Meelbeg, further north in the Mournes, have a similar origin."
Something not correct in your view? Feel free to "Propose Places Database Change". Your proposal will be reviewed. Most will be accepted or sometimes added as an alternative.
For something like this suggested change for Slieve Meelmore that directly contradicts an existing and researched name derivation it would be a good idea to quote academic source(s) or locally knowledgeable Irish speakers (preferably more than the one that you can find that agrees with you). Not sure simply asserting however humorously that Meel or Miol phonetically sounds like Meall etc really cuts it. Upping the Ante: Less "flying by the seat of your pants" please.
Only 2 weeks to goMountainviews Members Meet on Saturday 7th October will be a hike around the the Corranabinnia/Glendahurk horseshoe in the Nephin Beg mountain range in Co Mayo. If you are interested in joining us and would like more details about the walk and meeting points etc contact Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org
a man's wordAidan thanks. Good to hear from you. There's a kind of accuracy in your translation even although there isn't. Still, it's close and ants aren't.
There are essentially 3 titles for hills in Irish.
Sliabh/Slieve which is generic. Bheann/Ben/Bin/Pin a hill with a peak. Meall/Mweel/Maol/Meel a featureless and literally, bald hill, from Irish, unsurprisingly maol.
If you go to http://www.focloir.ie/ you will see how close it all is to the map.
I wish mv would pull up its raggedy socks on this. It's kind of cringey.
PS no club back yet at the Fair of Ormond?
Welcome back CráThis Forum has been a dull place for a long time. Great to have Crá's passionate and well written views.
www.logainm.ie is a fine website dedicated to Irish placenames. Maybe it doesn't cover the north. It suggests maol translates as 'flat topped hillock'. Crá knows the Mournes far better than me. He can say if this is a reasonable description of Meelmore and Meelbag.
in yer pants ....I turn my attention to mountainviews.ie. So much for focus.
I see that its English translation of Irish hill names remains - and in remaining, (for the Mountains of Mourne at least) .... , remains ridiculous.
This is not to take a potshot at mv but to highlight its conflict with the most basic rule of human survival ie - that a man says it, does not make it so.
Mountainviews and its advisers have not concocted these translations with a lot of beardy strokey, biro in the eary, specs on the nosey contemplation. On the contrary, it has drawn on the authority of existing sources. And so now itself becomes the authority - ergo that a man says it, does make it so. Not.
Some time back I prepared and presented a paper to mountainviews with my thoughts and proposals on the matter. That did not license the work to be considered but it did license me to have the courtesy of a reply - which I never got. Mountainviews doesn't much like to have its protocols probed. A right good probe in the protocols wouldn't do it any harm.
Anyway I shan't labour the point and simply present the most glaring example. Meelmore.
According to mountainviews.ie Meelmore in English means Big Hill of the Ants; on the premise that miol in Irish is ant in English.
You don't need to be an historian, a geographer or a linguist; if your highest academic achievement is a failed O level in applied farting you will still know there is something wrong here.
Why? Because ......
Meall a' Bhuiridh, Meall Buidhe, Maolan Bui, Meall a' Coire Leith, Meall Corranaich, Meall Dearg, Maol na Damh, Knockmealdown, Meall Garbh, Meelbeg, Maolan Mosog, Mweelrea, Slieve Meel, Meall nan Tarmachan .... etc, etc.
And not a nip of formication in sight.
So come on mountainviews. You can do better than this.
It's not an option. You are and will increasingly be the authority on and source for all things mountain in Ireland. It's your responsibility to get it right so that the next man doesn't get it wrong.
As for Meelmore, it's a bit like a joke in a Carry On movie. It's not that the joke's funny. It's that they had the audacity to get away with it.
Go easy on GatesPlease be conscious of damage that may be caused to farm gates when climbing over them. I recently met a very friendly and hospitable farmer who welcomed my rambling over his hills despite him having had fences and gates damaged in the past by careless and unthinking hikers. He showed me a gate which he had repaired after it had been broken by hikers climbing over it. Last week I came across another example of a gate badly damaged by hikers accessing a mountain, photo attached. This gate is always unlocked yet it had been badly damaged by people climbing over it.
I suggest that, if possible, please open the gate rather than climb over it. If you can find another way to proceed without climbing the gate or damaging a fence then please take it. If you are left with no option apart from climbing the gate then please take off your rucksack to reduce the weight and stress on the gate. Also, large groups of hikers (or small groups of large hikers) should make an effort to avoid routes that involve climbing gates.
The great internal mail issueAfter many space time units of not writing anything on MV I was poking around and suddenly discovered the internal mail
...and worse..people had sent me messages and I had not only not replied but had never read them...so apologies to anyone still waiting for a reply PWalker Wicklore DHMiriam and others...the site is still brilliant and an excellent resource well done to all
HOLIDAY IDEAS:PYRENEES - ANETOAneto ( 3404m ) is the highest mountain in the Pyrenees.
Of course here there are a few options to reach the top.
One of the most popular starts form Refugio de la Renclusa (2.140 m) where you can sleep and start walk in early morning. Going through glacier to the summit and back. This trial is quite popular and there were many people when I was there in early September. The track is marked by pile of stones.
So i reach the top via mentioned above standart route and then I went back through Barranca Lake and then through rocky gully. Here there was nobody. After passing the glaciar (one of the main dificulties), here the route itself can be tricky as you are seraunded by huge stones and the way dawn is not always clear. But overall I believe it's much more quicker then standard track though Refugio de la Renclusa - at least in September. In earlier months you might have a snow here and than I wouldn't recommend that track.
I lost my camera there (Cannon G9 - please send me the memory card if you find it ) and I climb back to Aneto through that gully. I believe this is much faster route then through refugio. I cannot post my own gpx track as they are not complited due to lost conection... But there are in Internet (Wiki) if you need and that's what I used.
Anyway my plan looked like below:
1 Arriving to Refugio de la Renclusa (2-3h)
2. Climbing Aneto and back to Benasque (11-12h)
- DIFFICULTY: I would say MORE than MEDIUM because of steep glacier slope kind of 40-45º just near Corrona Pass, cervices and short part of ice and rock. Also there is a narrow pas close to summit.
- GEARS: basic winter equipment - and rope tight to experienced climber if you have little experience in climbing steep slope
- DISTANCE: 15 km around (10-11h)
- When: they say the best months are June –July as snow still cover the cervices. I was in early September.
Some general info:
Getting there: Zaragoza Airport
PUBLIC transport: bus / trains lots of options
NEAREST TOWN: Benasque
Getting to Aneto climb start point: take a scheduled bus from Benasque
Aneto climb info:
Refugio de la Renclusa website:
HOLIDAY IDEAS:PYRENEES GR11 -BenasqueHOLIDAY IDEAS: PYRENEES GR11 -Benasque Area
Benasque area is the ideal places for many sports. The village itself is surrounded by high peaks including Aneto peak 3404m, therefore not ending possibilities for walks, hiking and cycling. I was here twice and still want to go back as there are so many beautiful places here. And therefore I want to share with you the idea for hikking holiday in that area.
So I would reccomend GR11 hikking in that part of mountains so kind of circular around Benasque – kind of hut to hut trial. Trial is well sign (painting on stones or small pile of stones) Maps can be purchased in nearly each shop. There are lots of gpx tracks in internet. My tracks are not complited as phone was loosing connection constantly, therefore I don't post any tracks. I bought garmin recently so I will have tracs next year!! :)
day 1. Eriste (1.300 m) - Ángel Orus mountain hut (2.148 m) Distance: 3,5 km. (2-3h)
day 2. Angel Orus mountain hut (2.148 m) - Ibones de Batisielles - Estos Hut (1.890 m). Distance: 14 km. (6-7h)
day 3. Estós Hut (1.890 m) - Puerto de Chistau or Estós (2.700 m) - Biadós Hut (1.740 m). Distance: 12 km. (5-6h)
day 4. Biadós hut (1.740 m) - Forqueta de Eriste Hill - Ángel Orus hut (2.148 m). Distance: 15 km (7-8 h)
day 5. Back to Eriste (2-3h) or Benasque 12 km (5-6 h)
Some general info:
Getting there: Zaragoza Airport
PUBLIC transport: bus / trains lots of options
NEAREST TOWN: Benasque – fine touristic town / Eriste – a very small village
GR11 info: http://www.alberguesyrefugiosdearagon.com/circuitoen.php?id=1&c=3&id_ruta=38
MOUNTAIN HUT Reservation (English language can be chosen while booking)