/ "Britain's finest mainland mountain"

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johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Apr 2013
http://www.guardianbookshop.co.uk/BerteShopWeb/viewProduct.do?ISBN=9781843235743

Blimey. Spectacular claim, even by the Guardian's standards. Or is Scotland no longer part of Britain?

jcm
Eric9Points - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I'd be hard pushed to come up with one particular mountain (well hill actually, there aren't any mountains in Britain) but Snowdon wouldn't be on the list. Fine hill though it is.
Tom Last - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Presumably Perrin's claim?

What criteria should a mountain need to fulfill to be considered? Bit of an absurd accolade for any mountain really. I'd have thought a bloody great railway to the top and a cafe once you get there certainly puts Snowdon out of the running though.
muppetfilter - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: If you want to see hoards of fat scousers in football manager coats carrying two plastic bags full of Pepsi and packets of Quavers...

Tryfan is better.
drunken monkey - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Got to be An Teallach for me.
GrahamD - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Southern Man:

Depends on your definition of 'fine'. Some (many) people would see the accessibility of such an iconic mountain as contributing significantly to its 'fineness'.
Pursued by a bear - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: The things people do to get sales.

There are a large number of hills in Scotland both higher and lower than Snowdon which would be further up such a list; even though, as has been noted, Snowdon is a fine hill.

T.
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to drunken monkey:

Yup, An Teallach is in the number one position, with Liathach very close second.
Tom Last - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Southern Man)
>
> Depends on your definition of 'fine'. Some (many) people would see the accessibility of such an iconic mountain as contributing significantly to its 'fineness'.

I suppose if it went to the vote, Snowdon would be up there purely by dint of the sheer numbers who'd been up it - but no other mountain.
The Lemming - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to drunken monkey:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously) Got to be An Teallach for me.

Either that or Sulivan, Stac Pollaidh or Blencathra.

lummox - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming: Another vote for An Tealach- with Suilven a runner up just for the views...
UKC Forums - on 10 Apr 2013
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MikeTS - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Snowdon has a cafe on top?
johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

An interesting field to speculate on what should be the winner. I have an idea they did some poll once and An Teallach was indeed the winner, although I think A'Mhaighdean would have a claim, especially if I could spell it properly.

jcm
The Lemming - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to UKC Forums:

Drumming up trade for hilltalk?
LakesWinter on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Can't argue with that, but which would make up the top ten, that is the real question. Here's my stab, mainland only...

3. Ben Nevis
4. Suilven
5. Buachaille Etive Mor
6. A' Mhaighdean
7. Pillar
8. Cul Mor
9. Braeriach
10. Ladhar Beinn
In reply to The Lemming: Not really; it just fits better
CurlyStevo - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to lummox:
I'm a big fan of the NW hills myself, but I think if glen coe was positioned up there 10 miles from the nearest road either bidean nam bean or the buchaille etive mor would win hands down. Also the N face of the Ben in winter is something else IMO!
The Lemming - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:
> (In reply to The Lemming) Not really; it just fits better


That is debatable, especially while your average Joe Blogs and the media claim that most people who ascent Snowden or Ben Nevis have climbed it rather than walked up it.
In reply to The Lemming: Eh?
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Just to continue the list (mainland, remember): Ben Nevis comes in at no.3 (because of its extraordinary north face, with no equal in GB... except perhaps ... ) Meggy in no.4 (sorry, can't be bothered to look up how it's spelt!. Suilven comes in at no.5, despite its low stature. And then, probably, Buachaille E M, then probably, Ben Cruachan. Then probably Bidean N B, then probably, Ben Alder, then probably, Ladhar Beinn, then probablu Slioch, then probably Stac Polly, then probably ... Snowdon ...
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Gosh, our posts crossed. I hadn't looked at yours at all, I was too busy compiling my own ..
The Lemming - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Am I the only one to stand up for a Lakeland fell?

We all know that England has mountains while Scotland has hills.

:-)
Douglas Griffin - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Beinn Eighe would make my shortlist too - if only for Coire Mhic Fhearchair.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I wonder why they restricted it to the 'British mainland': maybe there's a mountain on Skye that they have to concede is better than Snowdon.

What would be Britain's finest mountain if Skye was included?
Douglas Griffin - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> An interesting field to speculate on what should be the winner. I have an idea they did some poll once and An Teallach was indeed the winner, although I think A'Mhaighdean would have a claim, especially if I could spell it properly.

You were nearly right - space after A', i.e. A' Mhaighdean.

If I had to pick just one, it'd be An Teallach for me as well.
Douglas Griffin - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

It'd still be An Teallach for me. Bla Bheinn would make my shortlist though.
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> Beinn Eighe would make my shortlist too - if only for Coire Mhic Fhearchair.

Yes, indeed. It would come about next in the list I've given so far. Embarrassingly I missed out A'Maighden (forgive guessed spelling) which would be about no. 4 or 5, pushing everything else down.
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:

Blaven is not mainland, Doug :) Alasdair and Gillean would be right up in the first 1 or 2 anyway.
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

I'm not quite sure where the Lakeland fells would first kick in. Because in Snowdonia we have Tryfan quite close behind Snowdon on the list, possibly next. Then loads more in Scotland like the Cobbler and Ben Hope. But in the Lakes, top of the list is most definitely Great Gable .. by quite a long way. Then Scafell (possibly including Scafell Pike). Then Bowfell. Then Wetherlam, Then Harrison Stickle. Then Pillar (only because of its Rock) Then Blencathra. Helvellyn almost nowhere. Skiddaw ditto.
Ramblin dave - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
Actually, if you take the whole massif (Lliwedd, Garnedd Ugain and Crib Goch all have less topographical prominence than Sgùrr Fiona, which we're presumably regarding as part of An Teallach rather than a separate mountain) then I think he might have a defendable position, even if I'm not sure I agree with it... there's a fairly impressive variety of interest and complexity in there.
Trevers - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Just out of curiosity- What, in everyone's opinion, makes Buachaille Etive Mòr a finer mountain than Snowdon? And how much would removing the railway and summit cafe elevate Snowdon in your esteem?
johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Trevers:

>makes Buachaille Etive Mòr a finer mountain than Snowdon?

Nothing, in my view. Snowdon's a very fine hill. It does depend on how scarred by humanity you like your hills.

jcm
Trevers - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Trevers)
>
> >makes Buachaille Etive Mòr a finer mountain than Snowdon?
>
> Nothing, in my view. Snowdon's a very fine hill. It does depend on how scarred by humanity you like your hills.
>
> jcm

Definitely- but if you know where to look, there are quiet spots on the Snowdon massif where you may see only a few other people all day. It's a large and complex range
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Trevers:

It's completely isolated from it's neighbours, is not simply on the side of a pass; it's just one big main summit with a rather trivial spur. It's much steeper all round, having nothing as gentle as the Llanberis side of Snowdon taken by the railway. You'd have a job putting rack and pinion railway up the Buckle. Overall, it's a superb pyramid, and the view of it as you approach across Rannoch Moor is one of the most thrilling visual mountain experiences in the UK. OK? ;)

PS. It has great climbing that ends very close to its summit. On Snowdon it's all a lot more spread out, with Cloggy and Lliwedd both a long way from the summit.
johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Trevers:

Yes, but if quiet spots where you may see only a few other people all day are what you like, then there are many hills (A' Mhaighdean, for example) where you can achieve this and at the same time savour the best of the mountain's scenery and other attractions. You wouldn't put Snowdon at number one for that quality, let's say.

If on the other hand the human history of places appeals to you then one starts to see how one could rate Snowdon highest - the mines, the Gladstone Rock, yes, the railway, the Watkin path, Cwm Hetiau, etc. Few if any hills in Britain are richer in that regard, *if* you regard it as a plus (as I rather suspect JP does).

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

On the other hand, the regular path up BEM is a hideous eroded mess at the top of that corrie whose name escapes me. It's another - to me - whose place depends on the view you take of humanity's interactions with it, though it's a fine view across Rannoch Moor to be sure, as you say.

jcm
Trevers - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Don't get me wrong, I'm not attacking The Buckle, it looks stunning as you approach across the Rannoch Moor, it has fun climbing at all grades, and finishing up on the Crowberry Tower is a special experience. I'm just trying to point out that I think a lot of climbers disregard Snowdon because of the tourist aspects. If you look at the importance of some of its crags in the development of climbing, few British peaks can rival Snowdon. It's climbing history and the tourists swarming over it are really two sides of the same coin, that being its accessibility.
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> On the other hand, the regular path up BEM is a hideous eroded mess at the top of that corrie whose name escapes me. It's another - to me - whose place depends on the view you take of humanity's interactions with it, though it's a fine view across Rannoch Moor to be sure, as you say.

Yes, Coire na Tulach (however it's spelt). But Snowdon would be a lot worse if it wasn't for the fantastic work that's been put in by the path builders. The latest version of the PyG Track is an astonishing piece of work, on a face that was once disintegrating because of the network of paths and shortcuts.

Full moon addict - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: an teallach definitely top of the list for me. I'd also add in Bidean (including subsidiary peaks) in the top ten.
IainRUK - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric9Points: I think it would be.. magnificent architecture, sprawling ridges, fine lines, great crags, secluded cwms.
subalpine - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: fineness is a function of topography and surroundings (views)..
tony on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Full moon addict:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously) an teallach definitely top of the list for me. I'd also add in Bidean (including subsidiary peaks) in the top ten.

I think I'd have those two as well. Liathach and Stac Pollaidh would also be on the list, and I think I might also have to go for Ben Loyal.
prog99 on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:
I'll chip in then with Foinavon & Garbh Bheinn(Ardgour)
Douglas Griffin - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Blaven is not mainland, Doug :) Alasdair and Gillean would be right up in the first 1 or 2 anyway.

Aye, I know, but it was in response to the question:
> What would be Britain's finest mountain if Skye was included?

Douglas Griffin - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Trevers:

> Don't get me wrong, I'm not attacking The Buckle

You bloody are, by calling it "The Buckle" for starters!
tony on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Mike_Watson_99:
> (In reply to tony)
> I'll chip in then with Foinavon & Garbh Bheinn(Ardgour)

I need a trip to Garbh Bheinn. Looked at it often, never been up it - a big gap.
Nicholas Livesey on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: I haven't read the thread yet (will later) but if you're talking about the whole massif then I'd agree, Snowdon's No1 ;)
LakesWinter on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Yeah it's a task that requires some time and thought. It looks like some hills we agree on. I almost put Quinag and Ben Mor Coigach as well but then that would be a big Assynt bias.
LakesWinter on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
>
> I'm not quite sure where the Lakeland fells would first kick in. Because in Snowdonia we have Tryfan quite close behind Snowdon on the list, possibly next. Then loads more in Scotland like the Cobbler and Ben Hope. But in the Lakes, top of the list is most definitely Great Gable .. by quite a long way. Then Scafell (possibly including Scafell Pike). Then Bowfell. Then Wetherlam, Then Harrison Stickle. Then Pillar (only because of its Rock) Then Blencathra. Helvellyn almost nowhere. Skiddaw ditto.


I know this will sound like heresy but Pillar is much more of a mountain than anything in Wales. The situation above Ennerdale is almost Scottish in wildness, the climbing quality in summer and winter is superb and the whole north side is a rugged and wild place. In comparison Tryfan is a theme park. Great Gable is fantastic as well, as is Blencathra (if only the southern side was repeated on the north).
IainRUK - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
>
> I know this will sound like heresy but Pillar is much more of a mountain than anything in Wales. The situation above Ennerdale is almost Scottish in wildness, the climbing quality in summer and winter is superb and the whole north side is a rugged and wild place. In comparison Tryfan is a theme park. Great Gable is fantastic as well, as is Blencathra (if only the southern side was repeated on the north).

No chance.. some of the Carneddau cwms feel very wild..
Douglas Griffin - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

> I almost put Quinag and Ben Mor Coigach as well but then that would be a big Assynt bias.

Not really, since Ben Mor Coigach's not in Assynt (of the hills you've listed so far, only Suilven and Quinag are).
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
>
> I know this will sound like heresy but Pillar is much more of a mountain than anything in Wales. The situation above Ennerdale is almost Scottish in wildness, the climbing quality in summer and winter is superb and the whole north side is a rugged and wild place. In comparison Tryfan is a theme park. Great Gable is fantastic as well, as is Blencathra (if only the southern side was repeated on the north).

Agreed re Pillar Rock but not Pillar Mountain. Yes, the huge disappointment with Blencathra is the north side - it's really quite a shock to get to the top by, say, Hall's Fell Ridge and find it's just a big escarpment like the Brecon Beacons on a big scale.
Nicholas Livesey on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
>
> I know this will sound like heresy but Pillar is much more of a mountain than anything in Wales. The situation above Ennerdale is almost Scottish in wildness, the climbing quality in summer and winter is superb and the whole north side is a rugged and wild place.

It doesn't sound like heresy, it just sounds preposterous!

Rhinogydd, Arenigs? Much wilder than Pillar!

And no Welsh mountains on your list either...bah! ;)
Seocan - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>
>... one particular mountain (well hill actually, there aren't any mountains in Britain) ....

Eric9points,
have I been reading the wrong dictionary, I thought Britain was full of mountains
Nicholas Livesey on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Seocan:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)

>
> Eric9points,
> have I been reading the wrong dictionary, I thought Britain was full of mountains

It is...Eric's talking out of his backside!

Martin W on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

> Some (many) people would see the accessibility of such an iconic mountain as contributing significantly to its 'fineness'.

Some people (me) would see the over-use of the word "iconic" as contributing significantly to the decline of the English language...

(Sorry, it's a pet hate of mine. You can hardly turn on the TV or open a newspaper or magazine these days without finding somebody lazily labelling something as "iconic". Other adjectives which I think people might consider using instead include "striking", "distinctive", "remarkable", "immediately recognisable", "famous", "well known" - the dictionary is full of 'em. Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_icon#Media_overuse )
tony on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Martin W:

So what's your favourite mountain Martin?
FrankBooth - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
in Snowdon's defence, it's surely the most pluralistic mountain - offering more stuff to do for a greater variety of people than any other?
At least 6 paths up (all very different in flavour and experience);
Some great scrambles (Crib Goch, Parson's Nose Arete, Y Gribin, etc);
The Horseshoe circular walk - amazing on a good day;
Not bad winter routes up Trinity;
And even a bloody train'n'caff arrangement if that's your bag

I guess I'm thinkging of the Snowdon massif rather than the top bit mind you...
Nicholas Livesey on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to FrankBooth: That's my point really, it's a mountain that has everything you'd want (and admittedly one or two things you wouldn't) in a UK mountain.

Not to mention the fantastic views, ice climbing on Craig y Rhaeadr, some beautiful sheets of water and two of the most historic crags in Britain...
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bulls Crack - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Southern Man:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
> [...]
>
> I suppose if it went to the vote, Snowdon would be up there purely by dint of the sheer numbers who'd been up it - but no other mountain.


i think it's a good contender actually. Snowdon is a classic mountain shape peaks and aretes - fine setting etc

Not as impressive as An Teallach but possibly a better landscape from all directions. Liathac takes some beating but again doesn't have the lakes and corries. Brandon in S Ireland has to be a contender
Fat Bumbly2 - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric9Points: Plenty of mountains in Wales, and I am saying that quite seriously.

More flippantly, Perrin is correct - we have hills in Scotland :-) Snowdon would still make a top 20 if it were up here though.
Eric9Points - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

If I had a to choose one hill to take to a desert island I think it might be Beinn Eighe.

As a walk it's continuously interesting from one end to the other, there is top class summer and winter climbing on it, the situation is beautiful and the views from it's ridges are wonderful.

...and the geology is of some interest too.

But it's like trying to say who is your favourite child.
LakesWinter on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Nicholas Livesey: Wilder yes but more mountainous and wilder, I dont agree, then again look at my user name:)
johncoxmysteriously - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

> But it's like trying to say who is your favourite child.

Agreed; it's a distasteful exercise.

jcm
Fat Bumbly2 - on 10 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Not distasteful, many people have a favourite hill due to their own personal circumstances and experiences.

It would of course be distasteful to tell others what their favourite is/should be.
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Fat Bumbly2:

Well, sure, but to say something is 'the finest' is different from saying it's your favourite. The former is rather like telling others what their favourite ought to be, don't you think?

jcm
Steve Perry - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Liathach for me with Ben Hope an Foinavon favourites too.

I think people voting A'Mhaighean are getting mixed up between "Britain's finest ,mainland Mountain" and "Britain's finest view"
Roguevfr - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

For me It's Suilven hands down, simply for the amazing variety of looks it has depending on the direction of approach, however, I have a fondness for Slioch too.
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Not sure about the best mountain but I'm pretty certain about the worst. Bleaklow, even Wainwright hated it.

John

http://johndburns.wordpress.com
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve Perry:

Certainly A' Mhaighdean gains from its remoteness, for those who value such things, as opposed to its architecture.

Somebody mentioned Braeriach above, which is a better call than I'd have said ten years ago. Again, it depends more on what you value than anything else; obviously if you require crags it won't score highly, but for presence it would.

jcm
Tom V - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to John Burns:
I doubt Wainwright ever had much to do with Bleaklow, certainly not enough to appreciate its finer points.
Steve Perry - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Tom V:
> (In reply to John Burns)
> I doubt Wainwright ever had much to do with Bleaklow, certainly not enough to appreciate its finer points.

Agreed, he had different people recce those sections for his PW Guide though he must have hiked it himself at some point. Navigating the peat hags on Bleaklow in thick mist without using one word of profanity makes a true hill walker.
Carolyn - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Tom V:

Plus, given Wainwright's favourite mountain hasn't made a mention on the list, I don't think he's likely to be a good indicator of UKC opinion....
Gordon Stainforth - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Tom V:

Bleaklow can hardly be described as a mountain, but it is a fascinating wilderness, quite astonishing given its proximity to Manchester and Sheffield. No real paths. Some fine very remote bouldering.
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Quote from Wainwright

"Nobody loves Bleaklow,” he wrote, “All who get on it are glad to get off it. This section is commonly considered the toughest part of the Pennine Way. It is certainly mucky, too often belaboured by rain and wind and frightening in mist.”
Trangia - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I don't think anyone has mentioned Cnicht

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cnicht

Lovely little mountain

I don't think any one mountain can be described as the "finest". That's too subjective. Britain has dozens of fine mountains.

I actually rate Snowdon highly. It looks magnificent from Capel Curig, and with snow on it and a little bit of imagination you can imagine you are in the Alps. It's also got loads of very interesting walks up it.
Tim Chappell - on 11 Apr 2013
"What is Britain's finest mainland mountain?" strikes me as a completely meaningless question. What does "finest" mean? Prettiest looking? Best for hill-walking? Best for ice-climbing? Best positioned?

If it just means "favourite", then I'd say that insofar as I have favourites, I have favourite areas, not favourite individual mountains. I'd find it much less artificial to compile a list which ran Assynt, Lochaber, the Cairgorms, Knoydart, Etive or whatever than one which ran Nevis, Bidean, Cruachan etc. But I'm not a big believer in lists in this sort of connection. It suggests that the things you're trying to list are all instances of one simple value, and some of them have more of it and some of them have less. The whole point about mountains, surely, is that you can't rank them in this way.

Incidentally, since the building of the bridge, Skye is now arguably mainland :-)
Jeremy Ashcroft - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve Perry:
> (In reply to Tom V)
> [...]
>
> Agreed, he had different people recce those sections for his PW Guide though he must have hiked it himself at some point. Navigating the peat hags on Bleaklow in thick mist without using one word of profanity makes a true hill walker.

He may well have had other people recce it Bleaklow, but to have illustrated it to the level he did he clearly will have had very intimate knowledge of it? Also he chose Hay Stacks as his favourite hill not for it's presence but for the views from it. Being small it wouldn't qualify as a mountain and so wouldn't make the list on height alone. Ironically the two main mountains that dominate the view from Hay Stacks, Pillar and Great Gable, are worthy candidates for the list, so I would say he did no a thing or two about what makes a fine mountain?
Martin W on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to tony:

> So what's your favourite mountain Martin?

An Teallach. Not very original, seeing as how so many other posters on this thread have already mentioned it, but there you go.

pasbury on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Finest or not I think if I was only allowed access to one UK mountain massif for the rest of my life (god forbid!) then I would go for Snowdon.

The variety of ridges, scrambling, rock, lakes, human interest, spectacle, botany, beauty. And I'd still be allowed on the Mot, Plexus butttress, Cyrn Las, Cloggy and Lliwedd.

But I'm only rehashing what Perrin says in his idiosyncratic but very good book.
Jeremy Ashcroft - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to pasbury:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>
> Finest or not I think if I was only allowed access to one UK mountain massif for the rest of my life (god forbid!) then I would go for Snowdon.
>
> The variety of ridges, scrambling, rock, lakes, human interest, spectacle, botany, beauty. And I'd still be allowed on the Mot, Plexus butttress, Cyrn Las, Cloggy and Lliwedd.
>
> But I'm only rehashing what Perrin says in his idiosyncratic but very good book.

I think it would be almost impossible to honestly select one for Britain as national pride in a lot of cases will prove too strong. Jim Perrin's choice in my view reflects his passion for Wales?
Ramblin dave - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Jeremy Ashcroft:
To be honest, I'd expect there to be a bit of the opposite effect: for a lot of us, Snowdon (like a lot of other stuff in North Wales or the Lakes) is a hill that you plod up for the hundredth time because you've come to North Wales again and it's too wet to go climbing and someone in the party thinks you "ought to do Snowdon while you're there".

Whereas something like Ben More Assynt is (again, for a lot of us) inherently a bit exciting because we don't get that far North very often so the hills and the views are unfamiliar and so there's a sense of exploration and a bit of excitement that we've lost with hills south of the border, or even in the more accessible ones in Lochaber.
Jeremy Ashcroft - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: Interesting, there are a lot of influences involved but judging on past threads relating to best climbs etc I would still maintain that national pride is a big influence? I guess the answer would be to pick four peaks. I also suspect Jim Perrin limited it to mainland Britain as he knew most of the major peaks on The Cuillin would trump Snowdon? Personally I have a soft spot for Cadair Idris, and Braeriach, and being English would exercise my national pride and say the Scafell Pike (in which I also include Scafell)! Sadly I have never climbed in Northern Ireland so can't comment on their finest?
Dave Hewitt - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> What does "finest" mean? Prettiest looking? Best for hill-walking? Best for ice-climbing? Best positioned?

I’d agree with this – it’s all way too subjective and vague to be ever nailed down under the absolute heading “finest” or “best”. Often “best” tends to be used in lieu of “most spectacular”, and in those terms it would be hard to argue beyond the usual suspects of An Teallach, Liathach, Suilven, the Cuillin and so on. But, as Tim says, there are plenty of different ways of defining finest/best. I have a friend who has been round most of the main Scottish hill lists, but the hill or at least the range he appears to love most of all, and would probably opt to keep beyond all others, is the Monadhliath – he loves the sense of space, the quietness (ie the lack of other walkers, who are all on An Teallach, Liathach etc), the wildlife and so on. Yet the Monadhliath almost never feature in any of the standard finest/best lists because they’re non-spectacular and not very photogenic.

I’m similar with the Ochils – I wouldn’t for a moment try to argue that they’re the most impressive hills in Scotland never mind the UK, but I’ve been up there week-on-week for years now, by all the standard routes and by loads of sneaky offbeat ways. I wouldn’t swap them for anything, as I feel at home up there. It partly comes down to conditions, I think – there’s an argument to be made that the hillgoing world sort of divides into those who prefer visiting new places (of which there is a near-infinite list), and those who like staying local and endlessly returning to experience the subtleties and to see how “known” hills change in varying weather, light, underfoot conditions or whatever. I’m in the latter camp, and it could well be that most of the people who like spending time on “dull” hills – rather than on the Assynt stonkers etc – are similarly in this camp.
Tim Chappell - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to pasbury:
I think if I was only allowed access to one UK mountain massif for the rest of my life (god forbid!) then I would go for Snowdon.


Ah. Now that's actually an answerable question...

For me it would be the Cuillin, if that's not too inclusive an answer to count as a "massif".
Tim Chappell - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Hewitt:


the hillgoing world sort of divides into those who prefer visiting new places (of which there is a near-infinite list), and those who like staying local and endlessly returning to experience the subtleties and to see how “known” hills change


I'm in both camps. And as you are to the Ochils, so I am to the Sidlaws.
Douglas Griffin - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

If it's massifs, then the Cairngorms (proper, as opposed to the National Park designation) would be at or near the top for me.
paul-1970 - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> I think if I was only allowed access to one UK mountain massif for the rest of my life (god forbid!) then I would go for Snowdon.
>
> Ah. Now that's actually an answerable question...
>
> For me it would be the Cuillin, if that's not too inclusive an answer to count as a "massif".

The only problem with the Cuillin as a massif is that apart from scurrying around in the corries, a day out approaching the ridge, and then on it, is all up and down. If I was to have only one massif for the rest of my days, I'd want a bit of most things - rather like Glen Affric and its environs allows. A bit of craggy, a bit of sweeping glen and hill, and quite a bit of plateau to march about on and breeze merrily off at the end of a hard day.

So to this end, I propose the idea that I read on WinterHighland one time of the perfect UK massif: We cut the Cuillin around its base and lift it up onto the Cairn Gorm/Macdui plateau. With a bit of shaving off some overlapping sides, it should snugly fit on top. Then we've got a bit of plateau with some sweeping sides, before erupting into grotesque and awe-inspiring ridges on the tops. With the added height there should also be some stupendous glaciers running down Lota and Harta Corrie, and a world-class glacier streaming out of Coire Lagan.

Jeremy Ashcroft - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to paul-1970:

> So to this end, I propose the idea that I read on WinterHighland one time of the perfect UK massif: We cut the Cuillin around its base and lift it up onto the Cairn Gorm/Macdui plateau. With a bit of shaving off some overlapping sides, it should snugly fit on top. Then we've got a bit of plateau with some sweeping sides, before erupting into grotesque and awe-inspiring ridges on the tops. With the added height there should also be some stupendous glaciers running down Lota and Harta Corrie, and a world-class glacier streaming out of Coire Lagan.

In essence Chamonix/Mont Blanc?

ads.ukclimbing.com
Dave Hewitt - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Dave Hewitt)

> And as you are to the Ochils, so I am to the Sidlaws.
We could wave to each other.

> I'm in both camps.
I used to be, but am becoming steadily less “linear” with age. Hardly ever seem to climb any new hills these days, and as well as the relentless local-Ochil stuff I have a sort of wider circle of hills, mainly southern Munros (plus southern/eastern Lakes, due to family connections), that I keep going back to. Again it’s mainly in search of interesting routes and combinations, and also to seek out differing conditions – the more testing of which become more feasible the better one knows a particular hill or range and gets to know where the escape-route options are.

I’m just topside of 1400 Munros total, and well over half of those have been in Sections 1, 2, 6 and 7 – the main daytrippable areas from Stirling. By contrast, Munro ascents in Sections 13, 14 and 17 (Torridon, Fisherfield/An Teallach, Cuillin) stand at just 67. Very poor, I know – and I love being there when I’m there, for sure (although I agree with paul-1970’s point about the Cuillin being a bit too up-and-down – for the same reason, in the Ochils, I’m more of a Ben Cleuch man than a Dumyat one).

Everyone has their own mishmash of likings and reasons why, based on circumstance, character and so on. My own seem to be a mix of laziness, homesickness and a slight aversion to driving past hills ABC to reach hills XYZ.


Trangia - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to pasbury)
>
> For me it would be the Cuillin, if that's not too inclusive an answer to count as a "massif".

Doesn't count I'm afraid. Sky isn't "mainland Britain" It's an offshore Island!
Steve John B - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
> [...]
>
> Doesn't count I'm afraid. Sky isn't "mainland Britain"

Sky's not terrestrial ;-)

Tim Chappell - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
>

the Cairngorms (proper, as opposed to the National Park designation)


Yes, I too get mildly grumpy when I pass the "Cairngorms national park" sign half way up Glen Clova. "Cairngorms? I'm not even in the White Mounth yet."

Two ways of telling whether you're really in the Cairngorms:

a) Are you south of the Spey, west of the Ballater-Tomintoul-Boat of Garten road, east of Glen Feshie, and north of the Dee/ Feshie watershed? If not, then you're not in the Cairngorms.

b) Go to a roadside. Does it have dry sandy grit and dessicated pine-needles forming a pinkish layer at the edge of it? If not, then you're not in the Cairngorms.
Trangia - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve John B:

Whoops!!:)

Maybe I should start a thread on the Mountains of the Moon?
Tom V - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Jeremy Ashcroft:
Having "hiked" Bleaklow and knowing much about it are two very different things.
I haven't got a copy of his PW guide to hand, but which parts of Bleaklow did he actually illustrate?
I am not denigrating AW at all, merely pointing out that I doubt he was as familiar with Bleaklow as he was with his Lakeland fells.
And to say that no-one loves Bleaklow is very, very wrong. Nearly as bad as saying that no-one loves Black Hill.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 11 Apr 2013
In reply to Tom V: my last walk was to Black Hill 'summit' and I can tell you that I shall not be returning.

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