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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.
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 17 Next page >>
Track
Central Dingle Quartet from Anascaul
Bunsen7 17 hours ago.
Follow the track from Anascaul lake car park northwards up onto the mountain plateau.Track leads northwards from lake... walk, Len: 15.8km, Climb: 949m, Area: Stradbally Mountain, Central Dingle (Ire

  
Summit Summary
Seefin Mountain W Top: Bog and rough ground.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: melohara 2 days ago.
Car park space at R66276 16811. Over or around the gate and head uphill on a good track that crosses the hill near the summit of Seefin Mountain East top.Follow the track on downhill from the cres...

  
Track
Pic du Midi d'Ossau
David-Guenot a day ago.
The idea came from my 60-year-old, freshly retired neighbour, as we and some other members of the local badminton club m walk, Len: 16.2km, Climb: 1353m, Area: France, Nouvelle-Aquitaine ()

Summit Summary
Seefin Mountain E Top: Up the old bog road.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: melohara 2 days ago.
Car park space at R66276 16811. Over or around the gate and head uphill on a good track that crosses the hill near the summit.On the crest of the hill the summit cairn is over a wall to your right...

  
Summit Summary
Seefin South-East Top: Seefin South East Top is easily visited
Collaborative entry Last edit by: melohara 2 days ago.
Seefin South East Top is easily visited from the track leading to Seefin Mountain East Top and Seefin Mountain West Top which starts st R66276 16811. Just follow the track to R65202 17892 from whe...

  
Summit Comment
Carnaween: The visitors book box near the summit
Aidy 6 days ago.
Just wanted to show the brilliantly constructed little box which contains the visitors book. It was too wet and windy on my visit to take it out and risk ruining it. A few shafts of light breaking...

Summit Comment
Carnaween: Bad Weather Adding Drama To Great Views
Aidy 6 days ago.
I used the commonly taken route from Disert Graveyard (worth a visit in its own right) over ground that was alternatively boggy or pretty steep. It was freezing cold in these parts, with a strong ...

  
Track
Pic Rouge de Bassiès
David-Guenot 2 days ago.
This was the first of the two big hikes I did in the Pyrenees in summer 2016. Hiking in the summer often means a sunny d walk, Len: 16.3km, Climb: 1342m, Area: France, Midi-Pyr?n?es ()

  
Summit Comment
Corrin: A family stroll.
David-Guenot a week ago.
Climbed this hill in November 2014, with a friend who used to live in the area. Starting at the Coillte car park, we did a nice loop on the forest paths, circling around the hill in an anticlockwi...

Forum: General
MV Mountain Gathering 2017
Onzy 4 days ago.
Always a great night ... all welcome.

  
Summit Comment
Luggala: Fancy View from White Hill
davsheen 2 weeks ago.
Autumn's evening view across to Luggala/Fancy from White Hill on route down from Djouce using the Wicklow Way boardwalk section.

  
Summit Comment
Binn Charrach: The peat-hag capital of Connemara
markwallace 2 weeks ago.
The descent from Benbaun to the R344 via Knockpasheemore/Binn Charrach is hard going after a day in the Bens. The Knockpasheemore ridge looks nice and flat from below, but is boggy, undulating and...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 17 Next page >>