This land is your land...
- Always on the lookout for fine examples of Bagspeak, we are pleased to include a gem overheard recently on Meall nan Tri Tighearnan, the far from insubstantial 890m peak separating the Munros of Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor. Party has slogged up to within sight of the cairn when one member quite reasonably cries "Ah, the top!", only to be swiftly rebuked by her colleagues: "Don't be stupid - there's the top" (arm extended towards still dim and distant GBM). Now, becoming fixated with the 3000' contour is one thing, but denying the right of any lesser peak to call itself a hill at all?! Strange days.
- There have already been more than enough column inches given over to Sir James of Saville's proposal to place park benches at intervals on the Nevis pony track as an aid to weary and wayward tourists. Hence we merely restrict our own comments to wondering whether the idea might not be taken a stage further. Could the cigar-wielding medallioned one rig up a safety net in Gardyloo Gully? Or a handrail across Tower Gap? Or even recruit his beardy pal Rolf Harris to draw a panoramic hoarding encircling the summit area by way of compensation for the lack of a view when the mists come down. After all, you can never be too careful.
- Our spy in the JMCS camp continues to keep us abreast of scandalous goings-on in clubland. This time it transpires that at the most recent SMC annual dinner, the honoured guest from the junior club was - you've guessed it - of the non-betesticled variety. How could this have happened, when the JMCS constitutionally agree that women cannot be members? Apparently outraged mumbling was heard around the diningroom. Disenchanted mutterances from the bearded fraternity. Retribution is being sought. But more to the point, as our flyonthewall remarks, who really gives a toss?
- Worth a mention in passing is the walker-unfriendly sign at the west end of Ardchullarie More-Edinample right-of-way above Loch Lubnaig. "Keep to path", it pompously proclaims, "No access to Ben Vorlich". Now forgive us if we're wrong, but quite apart from the possibly illegal blanket ban this attempts to impose on all-season hillgoers, the whole notion that people would attempt to climb only Vorlich from this side is strangely misinformed. There's a small matter of Stuc a'Chroin standing in the way, for a start. The sign might as well read "No access to Liathach", or even "Bugger off all you Matterhorn baggers". It would make just about as much sense.
- Tmesis corner. All good hillwalkers with nothing better to do on the dark winter evenings were eagerly tuned into Did you see? to watch Muriel "Peroxide Pixie" Gray get tore into Brian "Mr Creosote" Blessed's Galahad on Everest hokum. This was fine and dandy, yet equally amusing was the introductory spiel by the programme's handsome host, Jeremy "Quizzical eyebrows" Paxman. By knowledgably asserting that Munros were "Peaks in Scotland over 4000 feet", the striking coiffured one showed that, whatever other sobriquet he may have acquired, it would seem not to be that of "Thinking woman's...er... climber".
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