Yes, today, being the last day of January means that there is two weeks till the dreaded St Val’s Day, a day designed to take as much money off you as possible and, unlike Christmas, is there for people who are in relationships…… Bah humbug!!!
Due to my hatred of this day I am very, very tempted to take the day off, treate it with the respect it deserves (ie – none) however, I realise that such an attitude might get me in trouble. Therefore, I’m going to ask if others think that I should make an effort this year and take St Valentine’s Day as it’s supposed to……
But enough of this; something that I’ve noted in the past, and especially this weekend while looking in the library was a lack of books for hikers, or rather a lack of books with hikes in them. Now I know that people might disagree with me there, but as a hiker (though one that hasn’t got the time at the mo to get "out there") most of the hikes that "they" have in books are rubbish…… They are incredibly basic, unimaginative routes designed for people who can’t read maps but still want to be able to say that ‘I’ve been there’.
What I want is a book that has hikes, proper hikes, where you have to do more than just follow the path. Where you do have to be able to use a compass and read a map. Use your head a bit…… (which, technically speaking, makes these hikes a bit harder for some of those that I know do hiking….. but no-one’s perfect, just see above)
I mean, if you look in any book on hikes in the Lake District and look up Scafell and Scafell Pike, they will be on different hikes, one from the south, one from the north…. I have even heard it said that they can-not be done on the same hike due to the climb at Micklemore. If you look at the map even you can see that there is a path, down Broad Stand and then up a gully who’s name passes me by….. but it’s something like Foxes Gully.
And that’s just the start of it… there are plenty of hikes through-out the Lakes, Peaks, Snowdonia, the Beacons, Dartmoor, Scotland that don’t get put into books, because they appear too hard for the average imbecile, who expects that everything should be nice and easy.
[I’ll appologise to anyone now who feels that I’ve called them an imbecile, I’m sure that you’re not, but it’s just sometimes I do despare!!!]
I’ve been out on the hills and mountains, often by myself (and yes, I got in trouble for that when I got home), but what is scary is that I can go out and know that I’m better off than groups of people, not only on experience but in skills out on the hills and equipment. That and my ability not to get lost.
It’s one of the main reasons that I’ve stopped hiking in groups I think…. there have been a couple of times now where I’ve (and not just me) been told that I’m wrong and that we don’t want to go in a certain direction, only for, after a few minutes as the "leader" struggles with the map to decide that the direction that we do want to go in is…… (can you guess???)…… the one I’d (or who ever) said that we’d wanted to go in, in the first place.
Now I realise that you might say that not everyone can be good at everything, and I agree….. if someone is new and is learning to map read I’ll happilly give them a lot more latitude than someone who’s experienced and is the leader…. While being the group leader might mean you have responcibilities about the group, it’s also reconising where you’re not good and that there might be others that are better, and to use them. The art of delegation I think it’s called. I’ve had to lead groups (in things as well as hiking) and things go much smoother when everything goes well, and not so when you’re getting stuck over the same thing and you all know that others can do the job better…..
But the topic I was going to say (before I got sidetracked, again) was that I’m sorely tempted to write this great book, take the pictures, put in the map references and stuff……. and see if I could get it published….. and if not… well, it’s a very useful book with some damned good hikes in it. I could certainly use it for myself and I’m sure that I could pass copies to friends and the like……. maybe my own internet site??
Of course, all this speaking of being "out there" has made me want to strpe on my boots and go for a wander….. I know it’s getting dark, but that doesn’t bother me. I have a torch and in all fairness, it’s the hike that’s important!!!
But I shall have to dash now, or I shall be very late, so Bon Voyage, and I shall catch you soon!!!