Saturday, May 12

Hamish's Mountain Walk & The TGO

"The TGO Challenge is an annual self-supported walking event across the Highlands of Scotland, west coast to east coast. It started in 1980 and was the brainchild of the well-known writer and mountaineer, Hamish Brown" the TGO website duly informs me.

So it only seems right that in a spirit of solidarity with fellow 'packers' out in mixed conditions over coming weeks, that I'm sat here, dry and warm, slowly working my way through Hamish Brown's "Hamish's Mountain Walk". An account of the first non stop crossing of the Munros in 1974.

There's also a sense of karma involved here. I picked the book up last year when browsing in a charity shop & put it to one side for later. Since then it's just been one of a largish pile to get through. Sometime.

Looking for my next reading fix last week, this one just fell to hand.

At the time I had no idea of HB's outdoor links, and only a vague awareness of his literary output. But based on this I'll be seeking out more in future.

For Hamish can communicate his deep appreciation of the land he passes over, and despite being written 30 years ago, the book has hardly aged in its core values. A love of the hills.

Each time I return to the book I find myself nodding as some phrase of his chimes with my own experience or emotion.

Compared to the last walk/tour book I read, Nicholas Crane's "Two Degrees West" Hamish's is a sheer delight. Whereas Cranes took me the best part of four months to complete; Picking it up, getting bored, and putting it to one side. More a litany of local TIC information leaflets, and pass-thru interviews IMHO.

Two books. Two authors. Two viewpoints.

I'd recommend hunting down a copy of Hamish's book if you haven't come across it already.

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Chris Townsend suggested I interview Hamish some time ago; his books certainly warrant it. I found myself sitting next to Hamish at a TGO event a couple of days ago and plucked up the courage to ask him. "I never give interviews; I've never given an interview" he replied. Sad that!
your never going to give up that easily surely?
I'll dropyou an e-mail
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