I like to compare and connect my hill walking days together. Scotland is very different to the Peak District. Snowdonia is very different to the Lake District. The Alps are architecturally distinct, Corsica very different to the Pyrenees. Every places has its own character. I have my favourites but it’s all variable.

The Peak District is most tame of all such that I don’t wild camp there, but it’s lovely for day walks. Beyond that I’d find it boring. The Lakes are supremely beautiful but unavoidably touristy. For the last two years I’ve preferred Snowdonia where it’s easy to find solitude and a sense of wild peace. Scotland is world class in good conditions but you don’t get that very often. Summer is often dreich and the midges make it unbearable.

I didn’t like Corsica because it’s unrelentingly rough. Some of the photography however is superb. The Pyrenees are probably my favourite. A perfect blend of good weather, spectacular views, marvellous long distance hikes and, if you want it, wonderful day walks. A few years ago I was staying at a site called Camping Vignemale at Cauterets. I was setting off the next day for Vignemale then over to Bujaruelo in Spain. I had companions for the evening in the tent beside me. They were taking food, wine, and books into a valley. Marcadau is idyllic for that but they were driving around exploring, and may have gone elsewhere.

Mountain walking is about movement, direction, and space. Space comes first, distinct from the cramped concrete city. The beautiful hills fill the space. You walk up, down, across and through that space over rock and under skies. It’s partly a matter of feeling, but in relation to navigation and paths.


Path Over Moelfre

Saturday February 13, 2016