Your desert island peak?

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 Lankyman 23 Feb 2021

I was just pondering this and came across Chris Townsend's recent UKH article where he outlines his choices. It would have to be a big island as he lists several (including the whole Cairngorm plateau). When I used to lead groups, people would often ask me what my favourite walk was. I could never really answer - I can enjoy a flat walk in the fields as much sometimes as a day in the hills. However, your ship is sinking and you have to choose. If you were limited to ONE mountain or hill only, what would you choose? Why?

My choice would be Ingleborough - the whole massif. It has crags to climb and caves to explore including Gaping Gill, big enough to hold York Minster, some still to be discovered. A selection of interesting routes to a grand plateau summit with added archaeological interest and superb all-round views. I think I first climbed it aged 14 by train from home to Clapham station (miles from the village!) and was hooked. I must have been up dozens of times, including once in a wetsuit after potholing.

 cb294 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Monte Rosa

 Babika 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

The Roaches

In reply to Lankyman:

Pillar.

Lovely thread idea. Thanks 👍

Post edited at 16:30
In reply to Lankyman:

Here's mine.  It's even already in a desert.


 Wainers44 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Suilven.  Cant really put my finger on a single reason why. That's the point really I guess.

 Harry Jarvis 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Stac Pollaidh. 

 Sam Beaton 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Suilven is my choice too. Miles from the road and committing. A scrambly ridge with splendid pointy bits. And there is something otherworldly about the round grassy summit with no linking ridges to other hills, just convex slopes dropping away into space giving an extraordinary feeling of remoteness. I felt like I was flying.

 wercat 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Well I think I'd take Skye, Liathach, An Teallach and the Wetterhorn please

In reply to Lankyman:

Some may deny it's  a peak, but it boasts a trig point so I'd like my favourite crag,  Roaches Skyline. I love it up there, looking out over the plain, with the wild moors at my back. Happy to solo, boulder or rope up with good mates. Great for a ridge walk in its own right or as part of a big circuit taking in the whole grit escarpment.  I'd like my ashes chucked off it. No doubt the wind will blow them back into the scatterer's face, so I'll finish up being washed off into Doxey's Pool, sharing eternity with the various sprites who dwell therein. That'll do me.

 Tom V 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Andy Clarke:

For similar easons I might pick Shutlingslow: then my burnt ashes could mingle with the approaching storm  clouds and form wolf shapes with ravening maws to scare the shit out of posh kids from Alderley Edge.

 Lankyman 23 Feb 2021
In reply to wercat:

> Well I think I'd take Skye, Liathach, An Teallach and the Wetterhorn please

Only one on your island - Sklianlachorn?

In reply to Tom V:

> For similar easons I might pick Shutlingslow: then my burnt ashes could mingle with the approaching storm  clouds and form wolf shapes with ravening maws to scare the shit out of posh kids from Alderley Edge.

You might find yourself spending posterity in an Alan Garner novel.

 kend 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

The one I live on, Birnam Hill.

In reply to Lankyman:

Sgurr Alasdair 

 RobAJones 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

The Matterhorn, but mine is made of Gabbro. 

In reply to RobAJones:

> The Matterhorn, but mine is made of Gabbro. 

Maybe you could ship it over to Skye while you're upgrading. It would be a lot more aesthetic with some proper lochs around it, rather than the odd weedy see.

In reply to Lankyman:

I got asked by UKH to pick mine https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/features/desert_island_peaks_toby_archer-13310 I probably went a bit too climb-y for UKH editor Dan's taste, but he let me get away with gabbing on about doing the climbs on the hills I picked - which was very sweet of him. 😀

Helvellyn

Garnedd Ugain

Ben Nevis

If I had to pick just one it would probably be the Ben.

only after I had written my bit did I see that Chris had picked a non-UK hill, of I had known that I might have picked something in Norway, although the big things I've done there I've only done once so that's maybe not in the spirit of the exercise.

Post edited at 19:58
 NathanP 23 Feb 2021
In reply to TobyA:

It would have to be Ben Nevis for me too. Mountain routes for every season, cragging at Polldubh and a distillery. 

 RobAJones 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> Maybe you could ship it over to Skye while you're upgrading. It would be a lot more aesthetic with some proper lochs around it, rather than the odd weedy see.

I found that, when on it, it was the surrounding peaks that drew the eye, but for the campsite/approach view it's a good point. The lack of fixed gear would also be a bonus along with the solid rock allowing you to go slightly off route in order pass slower parties in a civilised manner.

 Welsh Kate 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Great idea for a thread.

My desert island peak is Slioch, because when I was 11 we moved house and I had my own bedroom for the first time with faded floral wallpaper put up decades earlier by the previous occupants. To hide it I stuck up lots of maps that had come from a colleague of my dad's who took National Geographic. The one I looked at most - because it was by the washbasin, a hugely coveted amenity in a house of 7 people with one bathroom so I studied the map as I was cleaning my teeth - was of Wester Ross and I became fascinated by the geography, the villages and settlements and the mountains, with Slioch being the most interesting looking one. I was 11. Some 35 years later on a long weekend in Gairloch with some walking buddies we went up Slioch in perfect conditions. Stunning views from the top to fulfil a decades-long ambition.

The maps had instilled in me a life-long love of cartography (I adore the Harvey's Munro maps book!) and a fascination with the top-left hand corner of Scotland.

In reply to Lankyman:

Bowfell....

You can thank me later.

 TechnoJim 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

This is a good thread. An Teallach, only it's always a bluebird winter's day and the rhododendrons are under control.

 mike123 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumori

when asked to draw a mountain as an 8 year old I pretty much drew pumori , despite never having seen it . 

In reply to Lankyman:

Beinn a'Bhuird

 Tom Last 23 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Bit ostentatious, but I'll have Fitz Roy please. I'd probably get up it eventually. 

Post edited at 23:12
 SenzuBean 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stawamus_Chief

Stawamus chief. Just full of climbing from paths to cutting edge, plenty of new lines to be done, and a decent hike as well (the kind that you could get used to going up once a day for your whole life). There's even some hard sport routes, and I'll be claiming all the boulders at the base too.

 SouthernSteve 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

The Carneddau for me.

 Myfyr Tomos 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Got to be Rhinog Fawr - the first mountain I see every day. Life would not be the same without it.

 Lankyman 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Welsh Kate:

> Great idea for a thread.

> My desert island peak is Slioch, because when I was 11 we moved house and I had my own bedroom for the first time with faded floral wallpaper put up decades earlier by the previous occupants. To hide it I stuck up lots of maps that had come from a colleague of my dad's who took National Geographic. The one I looked at most - because it was by the washbasin, a hugely coveted amenity in a house of 7 people with one bathroom so I studied the map as I was cleaning my teeth - was of Wester Ross and I became fascinated by the geography, the villages and settlements and the mountains, with Slioch being the most interesting looking one. I was 11. Some 35 years later on a long weekend in Gairloch with some walking buddies we went up Slioch in perfect conditions. Stunning views from the top to fulfil a decades-long ambition.

> The maps had instilled in me a life-long love of cartography (I adore the Harvey's Munro maps book!) and a fascination with the top-left hand corner of Scotland.

Yes, it was maps that got me going as a kid. I used to look at road maps and ponder over all the names and places. I could see Winter Hill from the junior school I was at so that's where we first headed on our bikes. I remember seeing Ingleborough Cave on a map and got mum and dad to take us there. Incidentally, the cave used to be the only one that had its underground course marked on the OS maps.

 RobAJones 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Myfyr Tomos:

> Got to be Rhinog Fawr - the first mountain I see every day. Life would not be the same without it.

The weather in Wales must be better than I remember  We cold just about see next door yesterday.

 Andy Johnson 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Sgùrr na Cìche, for the location and just the beautiful shape of the thing. Although I am rather fond of Fairfield too.

 GrahamD 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

I might plump for Snowdon (the massif).  Take away the crowds and it really is a beautiful hill from all aspects.

 Myfyr Tomos 24 Feb 2021
In reply to RobAJones:

Peering through the rain and the gloom, I can just make out the lower slopes. I'm sure things will improve later and Rhinog Fawr will be revealed in all its glory.😂  though, looking at the forecast...

Post edited at 10:22
 coldfell 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Blencathra, on my doorstep and with so many great routes to the summit and memories of the many friends/family expeditions.

 wercat 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

What a fantasic idea - I might try thinking of the place as I go to sleep - where's Slartibartfast when you need him?

In reply to TobyA:

> If I had to pick just one it would probably be the Ben.

I don't think I've ever actually been to the summit of the Ben; never been there when there was anything to see and always in too much of hurry to get back down again!   

 alan moore 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Kinder Scout.

Not much of a peak but it would provide a lifetime climbing and aimless wandering. Not to mention grough-flopping, curlew watching and, of course, world class ice climbing.

In reply to Lankyman:

Cader Idris

 DaveHK 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Beinn Eighe would be pretty high on my list, provided my island got both summer and winter conditions. Heaps and heaps of high quality routes in both seasons.

 DaveHK 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> I don't think I've ever actually been to the summit of the Ben; never been there when there was anything to see and always in too much of hurry to get back down again!   

I must be getting close to 3 figures for the Ben including 4 times in one day!

 DaveHK 24 Feb 2021
In reply to TobyA:

> If I had to pick just one it would probably be the Ben.

Thinking about the Ben, I'd never have named it as a favourite hill, not pretty from some angles, busy, obvious.

And yet it has been a part of my life in various ways for 35 years or more. You could see it from my grandparent's front window, I first climbed it in 1988, I had my best ever day on skis on it, some amazing climbing days summer and winter, some great running experiences including reaching the top at the start of my Ramsay Round and being filled with joy at how strong I felt and the sudden, unshakeable conviction that this would be a good day and that I could do it. And last summer, feeling a bit low I needed a nice day out so I did the Ben and CMD in the gathering dusk and it worked.

So maybe the Ben after all.

In reply to DaveHK:

> So maybe the Ben after all.

Ben Nevis is many things, but I just can't think of it as lovable. I would want to love the mountain I am stuck on a desert island with.

A bit like if I had to pick a desert island animal, it wouldn't be a crocodile, however magnificent.

Post edited at 13:48
 Lankyman 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Ben Nevis is many things, but I just can't think of it as lovable. I would want to love the mountain I am stuck on a desert island with.

Love is blind. I quite often love just being outside looking at things. That doesn't usually require a particularly grand mountain but I think complex hills are more interesting. Schiehallion was a great walk up but it is relatively simple in design so wouldn't make it to my island. Having said that it does have an interesting history (contours and mass) and there are limestone caves on it. If I was local I'd definitely explore more.

 DaveHK 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Ben Nevis is many things, but I just can't think of it as lovable. I would want to love the mountain I am stuck on a desert island with.

I think that's part of what I'm saying. I'd never have named it as a favourite but I've had a lot of good times with it over the years. Maybe it's like an arranged marriage, you can't really avoid the Ben in a lot of ways, having days on the Ben is sort of inevitable but after years you come to recognise it's charms...

In reply to Lankyman:

> Love is blind. I quite often love just being outside looking at things. That doesn't usually require a particularly grand mountain but I think complex hills are more interesting. 

That is partly why I chose Beinn a'Bhuird. It has many varied attributes.

In reply to DaveHK:

>  Maybe it's like an arranged marriage, you can't really avoid the Ben in a lot of ways, having days on the Ben is sort of inevitable but after years you come to recognise it's charms...

Or come to be bored and annoyed by it.....

In reply to Lankyman:

In Scotland: Sgurr nan Gillean (just ahead of Sgurr Alasdair and Clach Glas).

In the Lakes: Pillar Rock

In Snowdonia: Crib Goch

In the Peak: Thorp Cloud

 PaulJepson 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Does High Neb count? And yes, I'm including the whole escarpment. 

If you can guarantee good weather on this desert island then Sgùrr Alasdair with SNC would be good. 

 Phil Lyon 24 Feb 2021
In reply to PaulJepson:

Mount Tryfan would get a look in for me, including seagulls.

In reply to Lankyman:

Y Garn

The East and North East ridges envelope you in a mountainous embrace. Cwm Clyd is a beautiful spot and the gulley's above (when snowed up) transport your imagination to anywhere in the world!

In reply to Lankyman:

Thanks for starting this thread. In a shameless ripoff of Radio 4 we've done a series of these Desert Island Peaks articles on UKH over the current lockdown (in lieu, for most folk, of actually getting out on the hills). It's a mix of well known hill people and regular site contributors. There are a few more to come.

We didn't think it was fair to restrict people to just one choice so most have covered four or so.

Toby Archer https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/features/desert_island_peaks_toby_archer-13310

John Burns https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/features/desert_island_peaks_john_burns-13287

Chris Townsend https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/features/desert_island_peaks_chris_townsend-13306

Kate Worthington https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/features/desert_island_peaks_kate_worthington-13313

Anne Butler  https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/features/desert_island_peaks_anne_butler-13307

Cameron McNeish https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/features/desert_island_peaks_cameron_mcneish-13314

Keri Wallace https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/features/desert_island_peaks_keri_wallace-13298

A bit unfairly, I've not yet played the game myself. So hard to pick just four. An Teallach has to be in there of course. Sgurr Alasdair (edges it over the rest of the Cuillin if you're allowed to include Sron na Ciche). Be daft not to have the Buachaille. I'd pick Braeriach for walking, but Ben Macdui if that includes the Loch Avon crags. Beinn Eighe or Liathach? Tough call. The Ben makes a lot of sense but I find it quite intimidating if you're alone. Suilven already is an island of sorts, so that might as well go in. Can't forget A'Mhaighdean if you're after a leg stretch... Guess it's fairly clear why I haven't attempted it.

 graeme jackson 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

SImonside holds a special place in my heart. First 'proper' hill I walked up under my own steam (probably aged 4 or 5). First 'proper' rock climbing leads (can't really count crag point at seaton sluice).  First outdoor 'roll in the heather'.  Before I left home I'd spend at least one weekend a month wandering around the simonside hills and still find it beckonslike an old friend as I drive between Lanark and Blyth to see my folks. Besides which it's such a beautiful part of the country. 

 Lankyman 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Thanks for that, Dan. I hadn't realised that there was a whole series of articles on UKH as well as Chris's. Just glancing through the various choices the 'usual suspects' show up as well as a few oddities. I think the Ben and the Buachaille will have to be cloned to be placed on several desert islands.

 nniff 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Mount Kenya.  Enough for a lifetime and maybe the Diamond Couloir will come back into decent condition.  This being a desert island, we could of course dispense with the walk-ins and adjust the prevailing climate accordingly, which would also fix the Diamond Couloir.

 99ster 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Dent Blanche

 Tringa 24 Feb 2021
In reply to 99ster:

There are so many.

Here are just a couple -

Baosbheinn  - a fine looking hill from any angle and with an excellent view of the Torridon hills and out to sea.

Stac Pollaidh - If someone did only one Scottish hill in their life, I think it should be Stac Pollaidh.

The view north from the ridge is spectacular. Unfortunately due to the effects of erosion the path from the car park now takes you around to the north side to ascend so the visual impact of suddenly getting to the ridge and seeing the northward view is no longer an option, but it is still a great hill.

Dave 

 SouthernSteve 24 Feb 2021
In reply to 99ster:

I have very fond memories of Dent Blanche – I am thinking of changing my mind. Does the mountain come with a hut and excellent rösti? 

 Iain Thow 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Think I'd go for Foinaven, for its variety, complexity, and wild setting - all those gorgeous gneiss slabs and a lifetime's worth of obscure corners to poke about in.

Liathach comes close, for its individuality and character, and I've a great affection for Tryfan, the perfect scramblers' mountain.

Perfection would be moving those three plus Stanage and Blaven to West Penwith?

 profitofdoom 24 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Alpamayo, and Ama Dablam

In the UK - Tryfan (as chosen above)

 Ean T 08:02 Thu
In reply to Robert Durran:

> >  Maybe it's like an arranged marriage, you can't really avoid the Ben in a lot of ways, having days on the Ben is sort of inevitable but after years you come to recognise it's charms...

> Or come to be bored and annoyed by it.....

Would you rather have the Ben or Mount Ratho?

In reply to Ean T:

> Would you rather have the Ben or Mount Ratho?

Well, if I were forced into an arranged marriage with Ben Nevis, I would undoubtedly guiltily continue a filthy illicit affair with Ratho while all the time admiring my true love of Beinn a'Bhuird from afar.

 Ean T 12:52 Thu
In reply to Robert Durran:

What about poor Ben Cleuch, you dirty devil?

In reply to Ean T:

Ben Cleuch is a sham, loveless marriage of convenience. Needs must. I would unceremoniously dump Ben Cleuch without a second thought if I had Beinn Mor Couigeach just down the road.

 leon 1 14:03 Thu
In reply to Robert Durran: Get a grip man, your slaggish behaviour demeans us all !

I rather like the unassuming Stob Coire Nam Beith for my everyday easy access peak but with Chako in the Peri Himal as my ultimate object island peak.

Post edited at 14:06
 Ben Cleuch 14:08 Thu
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Ben Cleuch is a sham, loveless marriage of convenience. Needs must. I would unceremoniously dump Ben Cleuch without a second thought if I had Beinn Mor Couigeach just down the road.

Did all those nights we spent together mean nothing to you?

In reply to Ben Cleuch:

> Did all those nights we spent together mean nothing to you?

Absolutely nothing. All the time I was imagining fondling the sensuous curves of Ratho volumes and dreaming of romantic evenings with Beinn a'Bhuird

Post edited at 14:52
 alan moore 17:30 Thu
In reply to Robert Durran:

OK. This is messed-up now.

In reply to alan moore:

DaveHK started it......

 DaveHK 19:04 Thu
In reply to Robert Durran:

> DaveHK started it......

Guilty.

 Trangia 11:07 Fri
In reply to Lankyman:

Choice between:-

Causey Pike - Lakes

Snowdon - Wales

Caradoc and The Lawley - Shropshire

Gross Glockner - Austria

Table Mountain - South Africa

If ONLY ONE is allowed, then the Table Mountain massif because it is full of interest - superb multi-pitch Trad routes in outstanding situations on fabulous rock, numerous gorges and ravines with secret passages though the cliffs and with climbing and scrambling in a paradise of a variety of vegetation, incredible views over Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula, with the cold Atlantic coast on one side and the much warmer False Bay on the other. The vineyards, the fynbos and remote walks over Silvermines, and the summit plateau. Amazing bird life and the contrast between the view over the townships of the Cape Flats, the beaches of Camps Bay,  and the World Class Kirstenbosch Gardens. When up on the mountain it's hard to believe that you are so close to one of the World's most famous cities, because of the remoteness of the mountain once away from the honey pot of the top cable car station (few tourists venture very far from this in the same way that tourists congregate near the summit cone of Snowdon - with incidentally is exactly the same height as Table Mountain).

And then there is the glorious weather for much of the year, but if the mountain is covered by the white cloud known as the Table Cloth which cascades over the main climbing cliffs only to evaporate as it falls, there is still an amazing atmosphere on the large summit plateau. And there is the Cape Doctor, the dry, almost gale force wind which can blow for weeks without pause often causing the cable car to stop running leaving the summit area devoid of tourists and adding to magic remoteness experienced by those who have climbed the mountain by one of the numerous choice of routes up it each different in character and difficulty.

To me it is the most diverse, beautiful and interesting mountain I know.

In reply to Lankyman:

For a non-UK peak I'd always choose the Matterhorn. Of all the peaks I've ever seen, I find it the most impressive - more so, say, than Ama Dablam. The former, being primarily a rock peak, is one of the most singular and subtle, isolated pieces of rock sculpture in the entire world. The Dru is very impressive, but is a satellite of the Verte. I guess, though, that Cerro Torre (which I haven't seen) would be the outright winner.


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