The Angry Corrie 12: Apr-May 1993
Crag Rat Chat
Every weekend I find myself carrying huge amounts of empty whisky bottles from once beautiful bothies. Apparently this phenomonem was unheard of before good old Hamish and Tam, amongst others, foolishly wrote about the location of these various peaceful spots in numerous books and newspaper articles.
Also, much to my disapproval, I find TAC complaining of these unsuitably numbered groups of pissheads that crowd out bothies. Jack Wills even goes as far as claiming I need my head examined??? By mentioning bothies in TAC youse are only making these matters worse. I am not in favour of secretive organisations, but if TAC wishes to join the fight to curb this increasing problem then action must be taken. Unfortunately there is only so much I can do, but everyone can do their bit by keeping quiet about bothies. (About what? - Ed.)
Also to set the record straight, in TAC8 in a letter by Simon Waddicor, "Mad Martin" is described as a "bothy user". This is somewhat incorrect and should read "bothy abuser". Although many cases of his reckless behaviour remain unproven, it has been certified that he did burn an armchair and a sofa from a certain bothy situated on a west coast island. Subsequently every time he is spotted in the vicinity of the bothy he is forceably removed by the local police. Last of all, I request of all readers that they give bothies the respect they deserve and memorise my poem:
If you need to do a shite,
Ed. - Do I hear the rustle of hidden agendas? Your logic evades me somewhat in the 2nd para, but doubtless Jack Wills will write in with clarification.
Could I make an appeal for sanity in the deer-stalking debate now raging out of control twixt Tom Rigg on one side, "Prospect" et al on the other. If TAC is to play a useful role in this debate, the insults will need to be replaced by rational (albeit radical) and constructive comment. Mudsling no more!
PS - I have to agree with Ted Eames (TAC6) on Councillor Leadbeater - what a tedious old fart.
A previous issue of TAC suggested setting up yet another list, this time, of Munro-viewing football grounds. One of the best must be The Douglas Superbowl, home of my own idols, AC Hamilton, more generally known as The Accies.
On a clear day, there can be seen from the stadium Ben More (not the Mull one), Ben Lomond, Ben Vorlich (not the Perthshire one) and Beinn Namain, plus Earl's Seat in the Campsies and The Cobbler. Even the football club manager is a Munro! (Iain.)
To enjoy this panorama, you have to stand on the grassy summit-ridge of the end accommodating The Accies supporters - I have often remarked on the view to the other guy. At the other end, a big brick dyke will deprive you of the Munro baggy-eyeing and you will be forced to watch the match. Not only Rangers put visiting fans in the worst part of the ground.
Celtic, I hear, have high hopes of building a stadium from which supporters will be able to see more Munros than from any other ground in Scotland. Will this be the new Celtic View? Is this the way to become table-toppers? Hard to say. For, like Labour's Scottish Assembly, the new stadium will NOT be along in a 'Tic!
Ed. - Always knew TAC would turn out to be an academic journal. And I've heard it said that Celtic have a mountain to climb.
The comments in TAC11 "This land is your land" regarding the hillwalker who was packing his "piece" of 24 Jacob's Club biscuits has prompted me to write and let you know of the following.
Last March some Scout Leaders and I had taken a group of Scouts up Ben Chonzie. Some were experiencing their first Munro, some their first steps in hillwalking. About half an hour after setting off, one of the younger Scouts was obviously having difficulty keeping up and was steadily getting redder and redder in the face.
My wife felt sorry for the young lad and offered to take his rucsac for a while. They struggled to get it off his back and it dropped to the ground like a ton weight. When we demanded to see what the excessive weight was, out came his "piece", viz:
1 dozen filled rolls
Needless to say having been relieved of most of the items by the others he eventually made it to the top.
All the best,
Dear Beardie Editor,
Although TAC is without doubt the World's Greatest Hillwalkers' Fanzine (Ta v. much - Beardie Ed.) it does tend to keep its head in the clouds - above 1000m - a lot of the time, which is why I was glad to see David McVey's piece on the Campsies (TAC11, ppl6-17). We've got thoosands of folk keeping a lookout for malpractice in the lofty realms of the Munro-baggers while hardly anyone comments on drove roads, coffin routes and other ancient tracks.
And let's not forget, that's where all the action was throughout history, where most of the remnants of our natural forests lie, and where the worst excesses of modern development are found.
In the old days, only crazy military men like Montrose and Alasdair MacColla ventured above 500m to achieve some fait accompli. And pretty pissed off their men were too. Father McBreck who accompanied Montrose north after the Argyll raid of 1644-45 described the Glencoe hills as being permanently shrouded in smoke (mist), places where only eagles could reach. The fact that it had rained for three days and nights and that the wine had run out hadn't helped the good cleric's morale at all.
About six years ago in Argyll - rich in said drove roads, coffin routes etc - I found many tracks blocked, mostly by frenzied tree planting, some by landowners. A few words with the Forestry Commission sorted it out with truly astonishing alacrity. Landowners were a little slower.
So next time you or one of your disreputable readers stands, triumphant, on top of a 1000m slagheap, don't just show off by naming all the peaks around. Look down into the glens where all sorts of vandalism might be in train. Even better, take a hike on some of these tracks.
Isle of Seil
Jenny Davidson - an expose:
Remember "Perversions of the Scottish Hills No.2 - The open-air shite", TAC8? Well, it transpires that there is more to Jenny's hankering to relieving herself (what can you mean? Ed.) in the hills than the seemingly innocent one-off jobby witnessed by thirty children climbing the Cobbler. Tragedy has struck again.
While cycling (on a recent charity venture) through the 'Coe, just past the gorge, our intrepid mountain wo/man felt a burst of flatus creeping up on her/him. Being something of a cycling whiz, s/he wisely stood up on the pedals, knowing the pain of a sitting fart, but!!! horror of horrors, too much drink and too little fibre reaked havoc with her/his lycra shorts and padded chamois, and it was a shy and smelly cyclist some readers may have spotted skidding to a halt near the loos in Big Ian's establishment some time later.
This disaster hot on the heels (gads that's disgusting! - not-easily-shocked Ed.) of a first go at rock climbing on the Cioch when s/he was heard to cry, "I can't wait to get back on dry land! " Maybe we should have checked her/his breeches before retiring to the tent.
Last but not least, why isn't Jimmie MacGregor representing the fight to save Leuchars search-and-rescue helicopters, and who is Captain M. Madden for christ's sake?
All the best,