The Angry Corrie 10: Dec 1992-Jan 1993
I am writing with reference to Neil MacAlpine's letter in TAC7. I would have written sooner, but I have spent the last two months sitting on the Clisham ridge waiting for the clag to clear.
Neil makes two points. First, Munrobagging is a satisfying alternative to yet another traverse of the Sarf Dahns and is therefore A GOOD THING for those unfortunate enough to live furth of the border, whereas those of us who live in Scotland have it easy. Fair enough, but tough. It is his next point which I wish to take up, which was that the list of completions 'grows alarmingly' and that there should be a separate list for those who do it on 'Shanks' Pony and public transport - the car makes it too easy'.
This suggestion raises a number of issues. Firstly, the list would be shortened considerably if Hamish Brown didn't hog about half of the entries himself. Secondly, what about Munros which you can go up BY public transport? A broad interpretation of public transport would allow for Cairngorm, Aonach Mor, The Cairnwell, Aosda and the Black Mount to be completed in this way, and you could just about get a bus up to the summit of Bheinn Ghlas.
On a more positive note, perhaps the idea of having separate categories for those who complete the Munros by abnormal methods has some mileage. I don't like the idea of having to use public transport which sounds like a form of cruel and unusual punishment, but I have some suggestions of my own.
How about a separate category for those who complete the Munros by pogo-stick or space-hopper? I myself am nearly half way to completing the Munros wasted. Once I have finished I should like to invite Neil to join me on a round of the Munros drunk. Or perhaps he would rather stick to goalkeeping like his elder brother.
Yours without prejudice,
Ed - Triple malts and Munros all round!
Sad to note there was no mention in TAC of the premature passing of Graham Tiso. Others besides myself must have bought their first boots and cagoule from that great emporium in Wellington Place, and thus clad ventured forth to discover the untold pleasures and pains of tramping the hills.
No mention either of the charity event 'Climb for the World'. Did anybody else out there climb a summit, bag a top etc, last year or this, on behalf of the United Nations Charities?
On the subject of money, why, if the cover price is 50p, is it £1 to subscribers? Are we subsidising Murdo's 1993 'World Tour' or is it to be spent on the latest in erotic hillwear, 'Mellor's toeless socks' - I think we should be told!
Ahem. National Curriculum Arithmetic., 50p mag + 36p stamp + 4p envelope +1p sellotape = 9p profit = cheap holidays in other people's misery! - Ed. with well-washed face.
'Woolly talk' from the Cairngorm Working Party 'smells of fudge' to Hugh Tooby. (See TAC9) To me it stinks like the putrefying carcass of a stag killed by malnutrition on a grossly overstocked hill.
Since I climbed my first Cairngorm peak about 45 years ago I've come to know virtually every inch of the area and I've seen it sliding into commercialised chaos typified today by the crumbling ruin of the Aviemore Centre.
On the other hand I know little and care less about the members of the Cairngorm Working Party. Is Magnusson a member? I am aware that he knows as much about the hill as I know about the backside of the moon. I also know that CWP certainly does not stand for Communist Workers' Party.
Any outfit that 'does not advocate a radical cull of deer' destroys its own credibility at a stroke.
And the way it ignores the question of public ownerships brings to mind Catch 22's brilliant description of how the USAAF simply 'disappeared' people and issues it didn't want to confront. (The last is a highly successful ploy developed into a fine art by every Government minister all the way up to Major Major himself.)
Of course I'll go on writing to nonentities and placemen about how the Cairngorm ski complex is the world's worst, apart maybe from New Hampshire's ravaged White Mountains. I will be sustained by my favourite fantasy which, with a little imagination, can be modified to fit the Aviemore situation and the CWP. It is this:
A couple of times I tuned into the telly too early and found myself watching the end of Dallas - the bit showing South Fork, that grotesque habitation of gruesome people - and I savoured the vision of a cloud of braves charging across the prairie to wipe place and people off the face of the earth.
The braves would be of the Tow-ee-ahge. They were the rightful owners of that part of Texas and they were known to the white barbarians as the Pawnee Picts. I kid you not.
Isle of Seil
NB - The Pawnee Picts are not to be confused with the Platte Pawnees who lived 1000 miles to the north until smallpox, whiskey and the soft-nosed .44 wiped them out.
In TAC9 you referred to the use of mountains for more than just ticking off in Shuggie's tables. Obviously we have now been sussed so we may as well own up.
A couple of years ago our group was established to investigate what might be described as 'peaks of pleasure'. We soon found that the dress required for both tasks of getting up were mutually exclusive. Climbing a mountain in sexy underwear, fish-net tights and high heels was found to be very difficult, even for the girls. Conversely the damage potential of heavily laden rucksacks, water bottles and 'jangly bits' makes 'jogger's nipple' seem totally insignificant. Interestingly the use of ropes is common to both activities and beards have not proven to be much of a problem, on the whole. (Not so sure about that - beardie Ed)
It was found that the climbing equipment had to be put to one side once at the top, hence our name, SMISG (Sex in Mountains Involves Shedding Gear). Needless to say we quickly found another meaning for this acronym lest the inquisitive noticed our, exclusive, tee-shirts.
Members of our society can also be detected by the fact that we wear two watches when on the hill, thus ensuring that we will always have both the time and the inclination should an opportunity arise.
Now that we have been blown, so to speak, I feel that our sport will soon attain the same cult status as 'Munrobagging'. I must therefore point out the basic rule in 'Ben-Bonking' is, don't forget the botty (surely 'bothy'? - Ed.) when splashing on the factor 15.
Mike 'if you come here quick I will show you something' Madden
PS - Perhaps you could help us with one, long standing, problem - how many ropes do you need to have safe sex on the In.Pinn.?
PPS - If, as the Angry Corrie becomes more popular, you decide to start your own Distribution Company, would you then be AC/DC?
My hostel, of which I have been warden for 20 years, stands on Corrour stalking Estate, and we are totally dependent for our existence on the goodwill of the Estate owner. The Mountain Bothies Association maintain a large number of bothies, with landowners' permission, for all and sundry to enjoy. The bothies usually stand on deer stalking estates.
The red deer of Scotland have no natural predator, so a percentage of them have to be culled. Surveys and censuses are conducted by the Red Deer Commission, a government body, advice and recommendations are given, and the various estates then cull the recommended number in a humane and skilful manner for the good of the environment and for the red deer themselves. To pay for this, people pay to accompany the stalker and to shoot the beast which he indicates having manoeuvred the guest into position. Old, sick, or malformed beasts are always chosen when possible.
In TAC9 you published two pages of inane drivel entitled 'The Great Stalking Con(troversy)'. It is an insult to the mentality of your readership to offer such childish rubbish as any form of journalism or to expect us to find it of interest or educational or amusing. It is obvious to any sensible person that anyone penning such childish nonsense cannot be the full shilling and mental derangement is to be pitied. But there is no excuse for the editorial staff (who they? - Ed.) of your magazine to include such junk in your publication.
The writer uses the nom de plume 'PROSPECT'. I don't see much prospect for the sales of your magazine if we are to be expected to pay 50p for the privilege of reading such verbal diarrhoea.
Ed. - Two points spring to mind. Firstly, surely what most folk object to re. stalking is not the necessary culling of deer, but to this being done by a load of BMW-driving, Barbour jacketed rich bastards with much less love of and commitment to the hills than the ordinary walkers and climbers to whom they deny access in the name of 'sport'. Secondly, as the writer of the article is himself involved in maintaining hill accommodation of a type not a million miles removed from that run by Mr Rigg, accusations of 'mental derangement' are sad to hear coming from one who has worked so hard and earned so much respect amongst the hill-community.