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2009-02-09 17:56:47
Walking in scanties
PDTempan's quest for an Irish crossing by Hamish Brown got me tempted. I presume it's Hamish's Groat's End Walk - in fact I see Mad Frankie says it is - and I expect it involves him doing the Furth Munros (a patronising Scottish term for the 3000 feeters outside Scotland but within the isles.) AS MF says, you might want to check up on Hamish's Mountain Walk, his account of the first single journey ascent of all the Munros. It took him 112 days, using only ferries and a bicycle as mechanical assistance to climb the 277-odd mountains. The record's now under 50 days and held by someone who gave up on ferries, just swam from Mull, swam Loch Lomond and swam to Skye (took the bridge back, the sissie.)

It's a fascinating book but Hamish is clearly a few rocks short of the summit cairn. His religiosity is annoying and you have to worry about his habit of walking in his underpants reading his bible. His confession to a single sexual fantasy on the journey while refusing to give details is just teasing. While he celebrates access to the mountains, his attitude to other walkers makes me seem inclusive. Brightly coloured jackets or tents are out. A real walker he calls a gangrel body but only bestows this accolade once in the entire trip.

But laying that aside, if you're hooked on the Scottish hills (PD's right, we have a lot of trouble with calling them mountains and the couple I can think of called Mount are pathetic specimens), it's a book with a lot of virtues.
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