The Angry Corrie 14: Aug-Sep 1993
WALKING TYPES No. 7a: The Large Group
TLG can usually be detected in its early stages, developing at the base of mountains where cars can be left closely parked. Identifying features are the full readiness of the individual group members combined with acute lack of movement. Absolute confirmation can be made on hearing such emanations as "Well where the hell is mij" (not his real name), and "It was his idea to start at 9.00 on the dot". (Wasn't mij Gavin Maxwell's beaver or something ? - Ed.)
Clearly you should now make your way up the hill as you have little more than half an hour start on T malevolently-forming LG. Eventually, following the arrival of mij (still not his real name), the group stride out purposely, covering sometimes as much as 100, even 150 yards before suddenly stopping for the flurry of maps and compasses. This necessary ritual proceeds noisily through the "yes it is / no it's not" stage, until culminating in TLG dissipating in various directions. Within five minutes it has loosely reformed into a ragged Vic formation, trundling in roughly the same direction whilst all chanting the mantra "See, I said it was this way". It should be noted that this consideration places a theoretical limit of 360 on any one group.
It is now time for Elevenses, a phrase which has no chronological significance whatsoever, and is based on reaching that point where the majority of the group can no longer read the registration plates on the cars. Those wishing to demonstrate their displeasure at stopping so soon are compelled, by some inbuilt instinct, to walk 20 paces ahead of TLG before sitting down. Naismith's times are strictly adhered to, ie:
(20 mins per mile + 3 mins per 100 feet) x number in TLG
Entry into mist demands that the "flurry of maps" ritual be repeated at 15 minute intervals. Contrary to the laws of probability, TLG usually attain the summit. This is, of course, its most dangerous phase. Should TLG now be approached you will find a number of cameras thrust into your hands and in your ensuing attempt to frame the entire group will almost certainly step back over an edge.
TLG is now fairly harmless as it squabbles amongst itself deciding whether to return, or bag the four other Munros which now seem so tantalisingly close. Upon return to the cars TLG is virtually a spent force. After one last disagreement over Mrs Miggins' Tea Shop -v- The Chippie, the whole group dissipates harmlessly in various directions, till next weekend at least.