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Mountain Literature Classics: The Ridiculous Mountains by GJF Dutton

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Among mountaineering books, there are some that are fun – but only a select handful that are actually funny, says Ronald Turnbull. This send-up of Scottish hill-going captures the 1970s, a time when the era of genteel gents with beards and nailed boots was giving way to a less stuffy age.

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 Mick Ward 14 Sep 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

On the one occasion I saw him, he did indeed come across as a very nice man. As his photograph suggests, he was wry, ironic, witty, with a fine sense of the ridiculous.

Mick

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I was three chapters in before I realised it was fiction 😊

 Myfyr Tomos 14 Sep 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

A classic, which I often return to. It is always as funny and ridiculous as it was the first time. Wonderful. 

 ganthercage 14 Sep 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

he is 98 years of age ?? 

 Doug 14 Sep 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

trivial point but he was a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh rather than a Royal Academy of Edinburgh (don't think the 2nd exists but may be wrong).

I used to look forward to them appearing in SMC journal year by year before they were published as a collection but wonder if today's younger climbers still find them as entertaining ?

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

This might include a spoiler.

Does this include the one about collecting limpets to use as footholds?

In reply to Rog Wilko:

Yep. A classic.

Both The Ridiculous Mountains and Nothing So Simple as Climbing are easily, to my mind, funnier than The Ascent of Rum Doodle. 

The wordplay Dutton uses is second to none and and so much of what he writes about will be instantly recognisable to climbers and walkers of today. 


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