As you drive down to Edale this is one of the first views you see. The road drops down on the left and Mam Tor is above here to the right. It’s a delightful moment. I vaguely remember the first time I had the experience which is always the best. Hill walking days are punctuated with these times of joy: because that’s what they are.

Seeing Pic du Midi d’Ossau in the Pyrenees. Seeing it again, and again, on two more trips. Seeing an enormous mountainscape open behind the Schilthorn in the Swiss Alps. My first view of Torridon expanded over the next few days walking spiky Alligin and majestic Eighe. Wonderful sea views from the Rhinogs and Cnicht. Two special moments in the Lake District I will never forget: seeing the Ullswater valley unfold, driving down from Dockray; seeing a magnificent hill before me as I climbed to Great Moss not knowing it was Scafell Pike. Days of fairy tale happiness.

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, the song says, you can always go downtown. When you’ve got worries, she sings, all the noise and the hurry seems to help. Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city, linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty: and apparently you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares. Not so. Downtown is the problem, not the solution.


Shape of Edale Hills

Saturday February 27, 2016