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Post details Post   (Expand pics)
CaptainVertigo
2015-08-26 01:30:50
"The Mullaghnattin Horseshoe" from CaptainVertigo Expand pics
The Mullaghnattin Horseshoe (Expand pics)
Turn Back Until You Are Ready
I think that tamjk and his friend did something very sensible and commendable the other day on Mullaghnattin: they turned back because they did not feel safe. Each of us is responsible for his own safety on the mountains and that means working within the limits of his experience and capabilities. Knowing your own current limitations is a vital part of this exercise. Mountainviews is a community of the interested who share enthusiasms and information in a very open way but subject to the constant caveat that members must take responsibility for their own safety. Because I treasure the wild unfettered places and long to be there, I place a great value on the shared knowledge that can be found on this site. But the medium is the message: I take more notice of the measured reports of a long standing contributor than the perhaps less considered remarks of a new arrival. It is my neck, after all, that is at stake.

My admiration for tamjk's prudence in declining to expose himself to unacceptable risk does not extend to his somewhat peevish analysis of the surrounding facts. Instead of simply noting that the mountains he chose to walk the other day were beyond his current experience, he has contended that Mullaghnattin is somehow objectively unsuitable for hillwalkers. Yes it has steep sides. Indeed the maps show the rest of the ridge to be the same. It is true that it will take most of us longer than some of our most athletic members to reach the summit. And, as with many of this beautiful island's best mountains, you may not meet a soul all day. All of these facts simply underline the absolute necessity for walkers to gain experience and expertise (preferably as members of hillwalking clubs) before they undertake the country's finest routes. Experience and expertise means becoming "seasoned" and gradually increasing the level of challenge : it does not mean taking "the four peaks' " or similar outings and then pronouncing oneself fit for purpose. I am not suggesting that tamjk falls within this category. On the contrary, I look forward to reading his list of summits when he has time to upload it. And I will accept his bona fides as regards that list, and hope that he will accept the bona fides of longstanding members who report on route times etc. It is not acceptable to challenge the honesty of contributors here or elsewhere without solid evidence. Finally, my enjoyment of the mountains is never diminished because there are good folks on this site who have achieved much more than me, going higher, faster and further. These people are not my opponents tamjk: I am my only opponent, as you are yours.

And No, this site does not actively or passively encourage a cavalier attitude to safety. Anyone who engages with the site will see the constant warnings. The mere fact that experienced members may express delight in certain achievements is never an invitation to others to "have a go" without training or knowhow. I have found the achievements of my friends here to be inspiring, and I have waited years to reach some of those goals. There is no reason why you should not eventually head up Mullaghnattin and reach the summit. But you need to serve your apprenticeship first.
Originally the pre.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
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