Hill Walking – Why bother

I made it on to the first summit of the ridge just south of Cluanie Inn and looked along the range of hills to the next top and thought, “Well, it’s going to be much the same there as it is here really and what will I see when I get there, more hills.  Why bother.”  With that I turned and headed for the glen and was back in my car before 2pm heading for home.

On the way home I reflected on how lucky I am. Living in Inverness I’d left the house just before 8.00 am and was pulling my boots on beside the 87 a couple of miles past the Cluanie Inn just after nine having sped along the empty roads.  A couple of hours later I was on my first summit and feeling lazy left for home.



It struck me how easily we take things for granted.  I am suffering from motivation fatigue.   Most folk would have to drive for hours just to reach the hills whilst I get there and can’t be bothered making a proper day of it.  That’s the luxury of living in Inverness I suppose.

Now to be fair I moved to Inverness many years ago to be closer to the hills I so doing I forsook the joys of city life.  The theatres, the bars, and the huge variety of life that cities can offer are lost to me.  In those days the hills were my great passion in life and all else was insignificant.  As the years have passed other things have become important to me and Inverness, fair as it is, sometimes feels small and parochial.  Once you’ve wandered around Inversneckie for half an hour you have pretty much done the place and I’m not sure I’m that keen to do it again.

Ah how cynical I have grown over the years.   When I first moved to the Highland capital I felt as though I had arrived in paradise.  The whole of the Highlands was my playground and, like a child with a new toy, I couldn’t wait to explore it.  I think I must have become a grumpy old git, when did that happen?

Scotish hills

More Hills

Now perhaps I have a problem.  You see I’ve never been a Munroist.  I’ve never seen the point of ticking lists of hills and bagging them like trophies to put on my mantelpiece.  I’d need a hell of a big fireplace for one thing.  For me the hills are an escape from manmade rules and, now the tickers reading this might be shocked, but the 3000ft contour does not exist, it’s a made up fiction.  Poor old Sir Hugo, deluded anal retentive that he was, should have left things alone, as soon as he created a list others were sure to follow.  If I were on my fourth round, with a few Corbetts on the side, I’d have a reason to go on to the next summit and could happily return home, whip out my little pen and tick off a couple more, satisfied with my efforts.  Not being a ticker forces me to do hills because I enjoy them.  What a strange concept that is.

I have, however, decided that I shall avoid such idleness in future.  It is a shameful thing.  To be able to roll out of bed and a few short hours later to be standing on top of a hill is something that many people would envy.  For this reason alone I must enjoy it, even if I can’t be bothered.