Welcome to MountainViews
If you want to use the website often please enrol (quick and free) at top right.

General Whatever you want to say that doesn't fit under the comments about mountains or another forum.
Sort by >

More controls

<< Prev page 1 .. 189 190 191 192 193 194 .. 367 Next page >>
Post details Post   (Expand pics)
The discussion on .. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
It is important to.. by mcrtchly   (Show all posts)
kernowclimber
2011-03-04 23:00:19
Cra-zily paved...
Cra’s recent point about the on-going path work in the Mournes ‘changing the complexion of the area forever’ is the crux of the issue. The problem as I see it, is one of perception. Our lives have become divorced from the countryside as we move into towns and cities to live. Most folk who visit the countryside from urban areas have a cherished vision of what it should be like, driven by the media. But dichotomies have arisen.

The concern for the care, and increased protection of, the countryside and upland areas in particular, stems from a perception of these areas encapsulated in quaint phrases such as ‘Wild Britain’ and ‘Unspoilt Ireland’. These environments are ‘the other’, the very antithesis of cities, the last bastions of ‘wilderness’. They must be protected. Large swathes of our countryside now fall under a raft of legislation.

On the other hand, there is mounting encouragement, and government funding for, schemes to introduce the countryside to a wider audience, for recreation, education and health benefits. Hill walking is seen as a pursuit that combines these to good effect. And herein lies the rub. More access means more footfall and that sometimes results in badly eroded pathways and ‘environmental degradation’.

For whose benefit is path ‘maintenance’ undertaken and on whose authority? Is it done to salve the guilty consciences of those who sally forth into the countryside, the very presence of their Vibram-soled boots inadvertently damaging the landscape they claim to cherish? Or is it policy driven, with the ultimate aim of making access easier for even more people? Watching a group of ill clad and shod Asians struggling up the path from Wasdale to England’s highest peak in atrocious weather last summer, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Wainwright lauded Scafell Pike for its roughness and ruggedness - attributes he felt were necessary for England’s highest mountain. That paved route, deceptively dangerous to the ill-equipped and inexperienced in foul weather, decimated those attributes. Wainwright would have turned in his grave if his ashes hadn’t been scattered on top of Haystacks.

Some maintained trails don’t improve safety and people are not sticking to them. Others, such as the wooden walkway of Wicklow’s Spink are far more environmentally sensitive and do their job well. Maintained pathways are not universally welcomed by hill walkers. Some are hard and unpleasant to walk on and they undermine the very sense of ‘remoteness’ that is the raison d’être for most folk taking to our hills.

In our increasingly cluttered islands, maybe we have to accept that some routes up the most popular mountains will have to be ‘sacrificed’ to allow access where there are other alternatives. But at the end of the day it’s foolish to think we can encourage more walkers to our mountains without them leaving a trace. And I’d sooner see a load of muddy footprints up a hillside than a crazy-paved pathway.
Just a follow on t.. by mcrtchly   (Show all posts)
I recently bought .. by Dessie1   (Show all posts)
I'm not going to g.. by brenno   (Show all posts)
With regards to a .. by dhmiriam   (Show all posts)
I have been watchi.. by kernowclimber   (Show all posts)
As a learner walke.. by emp123   (Show all posts)
Have these poles a.. by Dessie1   (Show all posts)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 15 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Farbreague: from Arderin
ewen 5 days ago.
Walked to Farbreague from Arderin. There is a track that some kind soul has marked with sticks and ribbon. When I say track, it is really a worn down trough in the bog.The multicoloured pipe at th...

  
Summit Comment
Tonelagee: Fore!!!
ewen 6 days ago.
Did from the Wicklow gap car park following track 2378.This starts immediately opposite the top entrance to the car park next to the main road. 5 days before there had been snow but now the path w...

  
Summit Summary
Robber's Pass Hill: Minor heathery lump. Overcivilised and underwhelming.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 3 days ago.
This oddly named hill is more a very minor heathery bump incorporated into the system of tracks laid out by the Wicklow Mountains National Park. It can be reached from any of the western car-parks...

Summit Comment
Brandon Hill: Grand on Brandon!
MountainBoy a week ago.
Me and my Dad climbed this from the farm track off the Graiguenamanagh-Instioge road on 26/11/16. Right after we got out of the car, we were faced with the dilemma of whether to go straight ahead ...

  
Summit Comment
Croaghmoyle: Easy walk up to great views
Fergal Meath a week ago.
Low lying cloud/mist/fog discouraged me from putting the effort into going up Nephin today. On the way home I parked at the start of the Croaghmoyle service road and followed it past a wind turbin...

  
Summit Comment
Ben of Howth: Loop walk starting from Howth Harbour
Joshua3 a week ago.
There is a nice loop walking signposted from Howth Harbour taking in the cliff path, summit and going close to the top of the Ben. The Black Linn walk is about 8 km and comfortably completed in un...

Track
Binnian-Lamagan Loop
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 23.1km, Climb: 1364m, Area: Wee Binnian, Mourne Mountains (Ireland) ...

  
Forum: General
Slieve Binnian - more track work ?
gernee 5 days ago.
Revisited Slieve Binnian for the first time in years on Friday - frost underfoot, blue skies and rolling mist contributed to a great walk, despite disappointment at seeing some of the track work u...

  
User profile
ewen
ewen 5 days ago.
Now living furth of Scotland and getting to know the Irish hills. If you come across a Scottish hill Walker with dodgy knees and walking sedately, stop and say hello.

Track
Spelga Loop
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 12.7km, Climb: 739m, Area: Pigeon Rock Mountain, Mourne Mountains (I...

  
Summit Comment
Carrigroe: Sea of cloud
Kennyj a week ago.
Unusual low cloud today heading towards Carrigroe

  
Track
Donard-Commedagh ridge walk
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 14.6km, Climb: 1160m, Area: Slieve Donard, Mourne Mountains (Ireland...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 15 Next page >>