Occasionally, i.e. whenever I can find a willing accomplice, I enjoy a hill-walk over the vast open Scottish mountains.
Not only do I enjoy the exercise of the climb, the companionship, but I find it very calming, even humbling to stand at the top of a mountain, looking over the surrounding hills, lochs and the lines of distant hills as the highlands fade into the distance.
In the past 10 years, I’ve managed to climb some 30 Munroe’s, classified as mountains over 3000 feet, that’s individual Munroe’s and not double counting the more accessible mountains such as Ben Lomond which I’ve climbed on more than one occasion.
My favourite climb so far is the Aonach Eagach ridge, which forms the complete north side of Glencoe as it runs east-west before heading north to fort William.
The walk begins with a vertical climb of around 3600 feet, then continues for the next 3 miles over contains 4 individual mountain tops, only 2 of which are deemed as Munroe’s because there has to be a specific assent and distance between tops for them to be counted individually.
This walk is famous for being the narrowest ridge walk on the mainland UK and second only to the Chuillin mountains on the isle of Skye. My favourite part of the walk is the “Crazy Pinnacles” which is a stretch of around half a mile of pinnacles of up to 100 feet with sheer drops of the full 3500 feet either side.
Quite scary but I loved it and it was my favourite days in the Scottish mountains and I’d love to do it again.
This weekend, I had a fairly quiet weekend, so watching tv sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning it was quite interesting to come across a programme on the Scottish mountains and in particular The Chuillins of Skye.
Would you believe and this really defeats me, some Laird, ie landlord appointed historically by the English crown claimed ownership of these pieces of national heritage and attempted to sell them to the highest bidder?
How dare he?
I find this land ownership debate petty-minded and like fleas arguing about who owns the cat .. land and particularly the natural, national treasures such as these mountains should be owned by the people.
Fortunately, fortunately .. hhmm .. this greedy money grabbing aristocrat cut a deal to gift the mountains in return for his castle being upgraded at a cost of 6million from the public purse.
Personally, he would have been told that they weren’t his in the first place and took the castle of him as well.
Now if you read my recent post on Scottish Independence, I’m in the NO camp, basically because if I’m buying into something I want to know what I’m getting and I’m not convinced at the moment with the deal on offer, just because Alex Salmond says it will be okay doesn’t mean it will be so.
Frankly I find the man to be a lying, manipulative little shit, but hey he’s a politician so aren’t they all.
But watching this programme really brought out my nationalistic tendencies.
With just under 6 months until the referendum, just wait until they start broadcasting about the Highland Clearances and Braveheart is on the tv every weekend.