The Angry Corrie 20: Oct-Dec 1994

Rambling rhetoric (letters)

Dear Messrs,

Might I write a serious letter to TAC? Aw, go on!

In TAC19, there is a reference to a bellowing landowner in the Kilpatricks being difficult about access.

Please, please, can such people be named, with details of place and date? Can a formal complaint then be lodged with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the Scottish Landowners Federation? Can the details be published? There is such a thing as therapeutic publicity. A recent Scottish Natural Heritage report contained access comments by individual landowners, but they were not named. Why not? The rest of us who care passionately about responsible access do so in an open manner.

Let's get all this out in the open and identify, name and publicise the culprits and participants.

Yours sincerely,

Rennie McOwan


Ed. - Basically agree totally. The problem with identifying this Kilpatricks chap was his refusal, in time-honoured fashion, to give his name at the time. However, TAC21 hopes to name several of his compadres - including a guy out near Dalmally who allegedly smeared human excrement on the windscreen of a car parked in a layby near his house...

Dear Sir,

As it is now the stalking and grouse shooting season, has anyone considered the effect of the Health and Safety at Work Act on these pastimes, and on the general public's access to the hills? A legal friend points out that the landowners are responsible for the safety of all members of the public on their premises or land, and that a few notices warning of deer culling between mid-August and February are not satisfactory when people are creeping round the hills with high-powered rifles. Precautions necessary, I am advised, would have to be on a par with army rifles ranges, with warning notices, sentries, red flags etc. It would be interesting if any of your readers have any comments on this.

Keep up the good work,

Jonathan Whitehead

A very flat bit of Albion

Dear TAC,

Recently, my lady friend presented me with a copy of TAC19. She'd travelled all the way to her home town for the Edinburgh Festival, but according to her it paled into insignificance beside your Art Special.

I was certainly impressed by the range of contributions. Only Lord Clark of Civilization was missing (presumed dead?). However, the "Bolt-On(tm) Fracture Repair Kit (p12) seemed a more convincing example of Cubism than Picasso's "Dance" (p3). It rather reminded me of the early work of Malevitch. Maybe you could ask John Berger to make a pronouncement on this issue. He lives well above Munro level in the French Alps these days, which automatically makes him a superior art critic.

You might also ask Berger - German for "mountain dweller" - to help you raise the level of essays on mountaineering per se. For what is all this talk about Donalds, Corbetts, Munros, Marilyns and "19 other tops between 2000'-3000' missing" (from some book)? Can't you leave that sort of stuff to post-stamp collectors? It won't get you anywhere with women either, Marilyns excepted. (I know, I know... - sad Ed.)

Maybe you should pop over the border for a bit of fresh air. There are about 19000 tops between 2000' - 3000' missing from the mountain guides for Norway, Switzerland, Austria, etc; instead of worrying about this, or about Ducktown categories, the locals just enjoy their mountains (admittedly, this is not evident from the Norwegian version of "The In Pinn".)

Finally, if I were a Climber & Rambler in Betws-y-Coed, "Lesser Albion" (p2), I would feel mortally offended. Stabbed in the back by a fellow Celt! At Betws-y-Coed they've probably got more Munro-type mountains in their backyard than there are in all of England, and more speakers of a Celtic language than in all of Scotland.

I shall now hide in the cupboard while my lady friend reads this letter.


Paul Hesp,

Vienna, Austria

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