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My tip regarding c.. by murraynolan   (Show all posts)
It is good to have.. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
Imagine my delight.. by maclimber   (Show all posts)
A few months back,.. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
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.
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Track
Central Dingle Quartet from Anascaul
Bunsen7 a day 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 5 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 >>