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david kirk
2009-10-29 21:14:53
Getting old? Aim high!
You old(er) farts of Ireland - awake . . . !
Youve enjoyed decades of rambling and scrambling, of enjoying the good grey rock that loves the grasping hand but now, probably past 60 (or, like some people I know, past 40!) youre getting, well, not lazy exactly, but age and booze are threatening to take a toll and you find that the tracks between the mountains more alluring than the summits that used to lure you.
Big mistake! Huge! And its all in the mind. Theres a simple formula the less you do the less fit you become, the less fit you become the less you feel like doing, the less you feel like doing, the less you do . . . etc - a downward spiral that can lead tragically to spending the precious remaining time of your life watching tele-crap instead of the views from high places.
When you first recognise the symptoms act! The answer is to Set yourself an annual challenge that involves a programme of ascents which you MUST do and most importantly ensures that you maintain a minimum level of activity that keeps you fit to continue doing what you always loved.
I recognised the problem eight years ago and my solution was to commit myself to doing every 2000-ft summit in the Mournes at least once every year. There are 12 (11 actually but I declared Doan an honorary 2000-footer because its a lovely wee hill) and while Im lucky in that the Mournes offer such a challenge within easy driving from Belfast, most walkers in Ireland could devise something similar wherever they are. If you dont enjoy walking on your own, form a club with others of your age to do a monthly summit.
Its not always easy (its funny how the hills get higher every year must be tectonic activity!) but its worth it in terms of maintaining a level of fitness that enables you to continue enjoying the hills. Im 73 now and have just come down off Eagle to complete this years batch. On the way home from my last summit of the year, as an ultimate added incentive , I stop at the off-licence and treat myself to a bottle of good Scotch malt, a Laphroaig or a Lagavulan (sorry, if Ireland produced a malt fit for mountain walkers I would buy it, but . . .) which is my companion over Christmas as I reminisce over summits enjoyed - again.


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 22 Next page >>
Track
The Kentmere Round
David-Guenot 7 hours ago.
A nice, easy-going loop walk which takes in 8 Wainwrights. walk, Len: 20.8km, Climb: 1114m, Area: Yoke, Lake District - Eastern Fells (Bri...

  
Summit Comment
Carrig Island: Kerry Island.
sandman 23 hours ago.
The Island is connected to the mainland allowing for vehicle access and out from the coastal walk the island is well farmed it even has its own B/B. The high point of the island is located adjacen...

  
Summit Comment
Mweelrea: Brilliant Mountain, But Demands Respect
Aidy 4 days ago.
I found Mweelrea to be a magnificent mountain, dramatic, rugged, and with amazing views. I would definitely recommend ascending from the Doo Lough side to take in the Ben Lugmore tops and Ben Bury...

Track
The Langdale Pikes
David-Guenot 7 hours ago.
This route includes the amazing, scary scramble up Pavey Ark via Jake's Rake. A total of 9 Wainwrights bagged along t... walk, Len: 22.1km, Climb: 1117m, Area: Lang How, Lake District - Central & Wes

  
Summit Comment
Slievenashaska: Wild mountain run
Dbosonnet a week ago.
Slievenashaska taken from the Dunkerron ridge. Track 3488 for details

  
Summit Comment
Caora Bhán: Dunkerron ridge run
Dbosonnet a week ago.
Coomnacronia taken from the Dunkerron ridge. Track 3488 for details

Forum: General
Not mountains, but might interest coast lover
Aidy 2 days ago.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1cedpjs7nwId_STtX9cNIDFoyMnRHtG-I've started a wee project doing photo slideshows on the beaches in Co Donegal. It has unfortunately kept me out of the moun...

  
Track
Buachaille Etive Mor by night
David-Guenot 7 hours ago.
walk, Len: 15.3km, Climb: 1118m, Area: Buachaille Etive Mor - Stob Dearg, Loch ...

  
Summit Comment
Topped Mountain: Short & simple
Colin Murphy a week ago.
A simple little Binnion to climb (the name Topped 'Mountain' is a bit of a stretch). A gravel path & steps from a carpark will see you reach the top in about 15 minutes, and you won't even need yo...

Track
Buachaille Etive Beag
David-Guenot 7 hours ago.
walk, Len: 9.2km, Climb: 930m, Area: Buachaille Etive Beag - Stob Coire Raineac...

  
Summit Comment
Crockmulroney: Good summit for Carn-baggers
Colin Murphy a week ago.
A fine hill with a well defined summit and great views. Plenty of parking spots along the R254 directly to the south of the summit. From there it's a relatively simple 1km climb to the top.

  
Summit Comment
Oileán Mhuighinse: Galway Island
sandman a week ago.
For the walkers who may not wish to visit the summit area a photo of same.


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