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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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)
We descended a st.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
The Annalong track.. by BleckCra   (Show all posts)


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Summit Comment
Ben Dash: One of my earlier attempts
TommyV 4 days ago.
Ben Dash was one of my earlier attempts at hill bagging, back in the days when I had no gps and didn't believe I needed a map. I went through some bog that people had bagged turf on before I found...

  
Summit Comment
Slieve Foye: Not bad.
shanks a day ago.
Excellent if introduceing new walkers reasonably well signed but was a little overgrown in spots and path really close to wire fencing at others. Apart from that ☺

  
Summit Comment
Knockardakin: Bag it as part of the cliff walk
TommyV 4 days ago.
I technically haven't bagged the summit of this hill as it wasn't listed on MV when I did the Ciiffs of Moher walk, but it would be a very small detour to bag it. I was no more than 50 meters from...

Summit Comment
Clifden Hill: Didn't bag it
TommyV 4 days ago.
I drove as far as the point mentioned by Jamessheerin. Nice views over Lough Inchiquin, the drive trhough the trees only add about ten mentres of elevation and lots of briars so I got back in my c...

  
Track
Wicklow Coastal Walk
Onzy 2 days ago.
Route from Pennycomequick Bridge to Brittas Bay.Not to be taken lightly - the stretch around Mizen Head is blocked by fi walk, Len: 9.2km, Climb: 104m, Area: Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland)

  
Track
La Gomera- Unfinished Business - GR132
GSheehy 3 days ago.
Maybe the height gain above is correct. Maybe it just felt like one of the hardest things you?ve done. Maybe the cumul walk, Len: 56.3km, Climb: 3018m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()

Summit Comment
Cloontohil: My nearest MV hill
TommyV 4 days ago.
This hill is only a few kilometers over the road from my home house. However without Mountain Views website you would scarcely know it's a hill as it is situated in an area of high ground anyway s...

  
Summit Comment
Knocknalarabana: A quick drive.
TommyV 4 days ago.
More of a drive than a hike. Well worth it for the views.

  
Track
Pouy de Hourmigué
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 17.9km, Climb: 1379m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

Summit Comment
Devilsbit Mountain: Get a bit of the Devil in ya!
TommyV 3 weeks ago.
After a day of bagging some of the more unremarkable summits in North Tipperary, Devilsbit was a delight. There is designated parking at S06115 73178. Follow the waymarked path all the way to the ...

  
Track
The Laugavegur (Hot Springs) Trail, Iceland
mcrtchly 2 weeks ago.
Listed as one of the top twenty best treks in the world by National Geographic, the Laugavegur Trail (The Hot Spring Rou walk, Len: 56.6km, Climb: 1414m, Area: Iceland, South ()

  
Summit Comment
Cooneen Hill: Very average
TommyV 3 weeks ago.
Nothing to add to simon3's directions. Like quite a few of the hills in North Tipperary, this one is through a Coilte forest track to begin with and then the tough push through some horrible groun...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 22 Next page >>