/ Mountaineering -a unique link to our primeval past -Blog post

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John Burns - on 25 Dec 2012
Last weekend I was alone in the Scottish mountains. At one point I was high on a narrow ridge of windblown snow with no other human being as far as the eye could see. It occurred to me that if I fell at that point the chances of anyone coming to my aid were slim. It also crossed my mind that it didn’t really matter how far I was from help as the fall would probably kill me anyway. “Why do I do this?” I thought, once I was off the ridge and the possibility of instant death had receded from my mind allowing me the luxury of lonely musings.

I think there is something unique about mountaineering that places it apart from other sports, something that connects us to our primeval past. Mountaineering is, in essence, a struggle for survival in a hostile natural environment. Here, I think the word natural might be the key. No other sport I can think of brings us into such an intense, such a seminal relationship with the natural world.

I think that relationship, between us as human beings and nature, is something we are losing despite the fact that it may well be central to who we are.

Read more here http://johndburns.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/mountaineering-a-unique-link-to-our-primeval-past/
smuffy on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to John Burns: Wonderful writing and so very thought provoking.
rodw - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to John Burns: I have just received a Colin Prior print of An Tealach for Christmas from my daughter and I am reminded of the day I traversed this fine mountain and my thoughts on reaching Bidein a Ghlas Thuill and looking back and examining my thoughts now I am in total agreement with you nothing else I do gives me that priceless relationship with the natural world.W H Murray writes on his ascent of Buachaille Etive Mor via cowberry gully one winter that the silence was a song and the mountains the world and I were one (powerful stuff)
Cuthbert on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to John Burns:

You are quite right and this is why understanding of place-names on a map brings to much to an understanding of the landscape and human activity.

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