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Take a look at the.. by CaptainVertigo   (Show all posts)
The Irish Times ha.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
Back through the m.. by BleckCra   (Show all posts)
Anyone interested .. by simon3   (Show all posts)
The following mess.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
Go bag some wicked.. by BleckCra   (Show all posts)
Peter Walker
2013-06-12 14:49:22
Rain down...
The good Capn's lovely post made me recall another instance of the mind associating music with mountains. It's a bit of an anecdote...please forgive the indulgence.

Years ago I did charity walks. Not big, organised things, but self-devised-then-soloed routes in the Scottish Highlands. (As my sister put it: 'Mad **** in the mountains? People will sponsor you!'). This tended to focus my attention on a form of hillwalking that had interested me for years; how much can you do in a single day? (I'm sensible and I hate camping, so multi-day trips were a no-no). So in June 2003 I found myself in Glen Carron at Stupid o'Clock, stepping out into the rain.

I felt under pressure at that moment with 1500 of sponsorship to honour, but I also had my own desire to go longer and tougher than I'd previously managed. 33 miles, 4000m of ascent, river crossings, scrambling...on last day of the holiday I'd booked. It had to be today. So, over the railway, over the bridge, up the Allt a'Chonais track, towards the wilderness. Rain persisted and the clouds clamped themselves to the mountains with a limpet's devotion. I was fitter than ever but conditions were making a positive attitude a tough thing to maintain.

Alone with my thoughts (not unusual in the hills when you're from the mountain wasteland of Cambridge) I let my mind wander, and allowed my internal jukebox to settle wherever it felt like settling. It chose to settle upon a Radiohead album track called 'Scatterbrain', a song of golden guitars in minor keys, pitter-pat percussion (just like the rain bouncing off my hood), and sporting a gorgeous, ghostly vocal.

It's also a song where a man goes out in a storm and gets killed by lightning. And as I forged on up the glen, its refrains repeating in my head, I started to let situational realities infect my 'you can do it' internal urgings. After four miles of steady uphill I reached the point where the stream had to be crossed; here the safety of valley would be left and commitment would be absolute. What confronted me was a seething torrent, spanned optimistically by a two strand bridge. I've always been too gangly to deal comfortably with such constructions, and (to borrow a joke) I'm not as good a swimmer as I once was thanks to evolution.

I thought of the knife-edge sections I would have to do, slippery and cloud-blinded. I imagined teetering across those gossamer steel threads, water ravenous beneath me. My internal jukebox cranked itself up to full volume.

"I'm walking out in a force ten gale,
Birds thrown around, bullets for hail...'

I realised I was doing the wrong thing.

So, Radiohead stopped me from basically committing suicide; the opposite of what most folk think their music does. What might have happened if the IJ had selected the other album that I'd had on heavy rotation that week: Fountains of Wayne's 'Welcome Interstate Managers'? Are any insights into survival situations contained within the lyrics of 'Stacy's Mom'?
A moderately diffi.. by mcrtchly   (Show all posts)
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 17 Next page >>
Track
Galtymore & Galtybeg from King's Yard
conrad1179 15 hours ago.
run, Len: 11.8km, Climb: 670m, Area: Galtymore, Galty Mountains (Ireland) Galty...

  
Summit Summary
Camaderry South East Top: Steep climb, sorry trail, great views.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 a day ago.
There's a number of ways to reach the top such as starting from the main, paying, carpark near the Glendalough lake at around T1115 9635. Going straight up from here more or less north there is an...

  
Summit Comment
Kirikee Mountain: Kirikee from the NW.
simon3 a day ago.
From the ridge south of Derrybawn there is this NW view of Kirikee.Courtesy of siteviewer_comreg.ie we can find the owner of this mast: Three Ireland.The amusing conjunction with the cairn below t...

Summit Summary
Brockagh Mountain SE Top: Flattish height NW of Laragh with views, boggy paths a
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 a day ago.
Situated at the south eastern tip of a spur from Tonelagee it therefore commands wonderful views out over Laragh to the south east and Glenmacnass valley and waterfall to the north. Glendalough is...

  
Summit Comment
Carrickarede: Island.
sandman 3 days ago.
Carrickarede island is connected to the mainland by the world famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. One of Northern Ireland's top tourist attractions it is operated by the National Trust but unfortun...

  
Track
BRANDON HILL - THE QUICK WAY
David-Guenot 2 days ago.
A steep but quick ascent along the forestry on rocky terrain, along what I believe has been dug as a firebreak rather ... walk, Len: 5.0km, Climb: 305m, Area: Brandon Hill, South Midlands (Ireland) B

Summit Comment
Inishmeane: The concrete road thru the village
magicstep 3 days ago.
Part of the village, about 10 houses in total.

  
Summit Comment
Inishmeane: Not much to do, a tranquil place.
magicstep 3 days ago.
Visited in 2014. There's a sandy beach and a solid pier with slipway and a picnic table facing the mainland. The road from the pier all the way thru the village is a robust concrete one, but it's ...

  
Track
BLACKSTAIRS CHALLENGE 2017 - A PEAK-BAGGER'S ROUTE
David-Guenot 2 days ago.
walk, Len: 34.1km, Climb: 1629m, Area: Black Rock Mountain, Blackstairs Mountai...

Summit Comment
Inishsirrer: Deserted village
magicstep 4 days ago.
Mainland on the horizon (left and right)

  
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.

  
Summit Comment
Inishsirrer: The only building that is not a ruin.
magicstep 4 days ago.
Surprisingly Donegal islands have a very good mobile internet reception, sometimes better than in an office in Dublin.


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