Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Munro: Mountain Man

Note: the little Sony Cybershot developed an intermittent fault so some of these pics are not as good as they ought to have been.

Mulloch Fraoch-choire

I watched 'Munro: Mountain Man', presented by Nicholas Crane, for the second time last night; this was quite a U-turn for me, given that I declined to watch it when it was first broadcast on BBC4.

 No, I decided,  I'll look after my blood pressure by not listening to the inevitable factual inaccuracies about Munro, the Munros themselves, The Tables and why Munro's initial list should be sacrosanct, a subject sure to get a heated debate going with a friend who's done them twice including all the tops!  No, previous experiences of such outdoor programmes had warned me off!

But said respected friend had watched it first time round, and proclaimed he'd enjoyed it, so when I noted that it was to be shown on BBC2 last week I resolved to put all prejudices aside and settle down to view - and what's more, tape it.

Spring in the Cairngorms

It was easily the most interesting hill programme I have seen in recent years. Crane's natural style and his enthusiasm for his subject was obvious from the opening shots and he spoke to knowledgeable people too:  Robin Campbell of the SMC, Graham Little and Alan Hinkes; and it never seemed to lose its focus like some recent offerings, staying true to its subject matter. The filming was also superb, especially of the North Face of Ben Nevis, the cliffs of Bidean and of course the Cuillin, although it did flatter the Inaccessible Pinnacle, showing it to be a soaring needle at one point, rather than the blade of rock that it is. I do not denigrate though because I love it, and everything about the Cuillin. Dearly.

Sgurr Mhic Choinnich, Sgurr Thearlaich, top of Stone Shoot
and Sgurr Alasdair

It was also a pity that, having established that A E Robertson was not in fact the first person to climb all the Munros, Crane did not mention Ronald Burn, a hardy and tough walker who, if AER's claim had been dismissed, would now occupy that spot. Still, AER completed the list as it stood then and you can't really ask more than that I don't think. Or maybe you can.

                          Sgurr Dubh Mor and Sgurr Dubh na Da Bheinn

These two points are of course mere nit-picking, a fact which would have met with Munro's approval! Those who want to make programmes of this nature could do worse than watch this and learn - oh and ask Nicholas Crane to do them; he was sheer joy.

                                                Light cloud on Ben Nevis

And it's given us an idea for a long walk in 2011. An obvious one which we ought to have done years ago and something that would take us over and through the very best of Scotland's hill country. Planning has started (just) and when ready I'll put details up here. We'll blog as we go, so hope some of you mobile bloggers out there can advise on, for example, whether there is much to choose between say a BlackBerry or iPhone, and any other associated problems. Thanks in anticipation.

Stob Coire Sgreamhach



Phreerunner said...

I enjoyed that programme first time around, and could echo your comments.
I've found the basic Blackberry Curve (Orange) to be fine for blogging across Scotland on my last two TGO Challenges (see - but you may need a few minutes). A spare battery is needed, though, if you are going to be several days between recharging points. I've also used the same phone successfully on a 2 month trek in the Alps. You can see the results (IBR Route) on our blog - if you have the time!
I'll also be using it in a few weeks between Aberfoyle and Fort Ag, when I join Markus the Austrian for part of his high level ('Caledonan Trail') trek from Edinburgh to Cape Wrath.

afootinthehills said...

Thanks very much for that. I had a look online at the Blackberry Curve and thought it might be suitable, but there is really no substitute for hearing from someone who has first hand experience. I do have the time(!) so I'll enjoy exploring your blog and I'll come back to you, if you don't mind, if I have any questions. Enjoy your Aberfoyle to Fort Augustus trip.

Phreerunner said...

I've made a note to do a posting about the Blackberry when I get back to the UK, so keep your eye open. Gayle ( is now using one, so her comments may be useful. Darren ( is an i-phone addict, but whilst he seems to find it wonderful, he does record occasional problems, and you can't take a spare battery for that.
There are numerous others doing mobile postings, who may be able to help with your research into what is best for YOU.

afootinthehills said...

This is all very useful. Thanks. I'll look out for your posting, but I suspect that if the Blackberry works for you in Scotland, it will suit my needs. Are the pics you posted on your Alps trip taken with the Blackberry?