Wednesday 11 August 2010

Highly Recommended

I'd been looking for ages, on and off, for a copy of "Hamish's Mountain Walk", Hamish Brown's account of the first ever continuous round of the Munros. For such a landmark, popular book; one credited with sparking off the whole Munrobagging-as-pastime thing, it was difficult to lay hands on.

By lucky happenstance however, it's now been republished. Or indeed - reimagined! By even luckier happenstance (or happenstancier?) the day after I found out about that, I found the book itself in Go Outdoors in Coatbridge.

All I can say is that it is, genuinely, a classic. It's not just about the hills, it's about the camping, the flora, the wildlife, the landscape, the history, the language and - I don't know how to describe this - the ability to absorb, and be absorbed by your surroundings entirely, if you have a sufficient love of what you're doing.

This is a snippet he writes under the heading "The First Hundred Thousand":

That was the footage total by the day's end. I was now thoroughly fit, and deeply content. Not since childhood had I so relished a spring season. The magic of the sun almost swallowed me whole. It no longer burnt. Perhaps the whole joy lay in being untrammelled; for we so seldom know that freedom these days. Just opening one's eyes, and ears, first thing in the morning, became important. How familiar the sound of water; the erratic burble of grouse. Man is so often an alien in his own country.

I found the book inspirational. In numerous ways. Find it, buy it, luxuriate in it - that's my advice!

(Oh, and Sandstone Press look like they might have other stuff worth investigating as well.)



  1. Oh I fancy a read at that! Its on my list.

  2. It's a tremendously good read. I keep meaning to actually buy my own copy. Well reminded.