The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday 9 February 2015

Omitted Summits

A few weeks ago I decided that I needed a new spreadsheet. Thus far the only consolidated record I’ve kept of hilltops I have visited has been via an app on an iGadget. It’s a very good app, but I’d be a bit lost if I was somehow to lose access to the data contained in it, and it struck me that I could make more use of the data (e.g. produce fabulous graphs!) if it was in a spreadsheet.

It was quite an arduous process, purely because I decided to fill in all the missing ‘date climbed’ information whilst I was at it. With much searching of my blog, of my pre-blog write-ups and of my walking stats spreadsheets, I was able to fill in the dates for all but 4 hills. Those 4 (three of which formed a single outing) pre-dated my records* and I can’t find any photos either.

As part of this process there were a few incidents of kicking myself when tops that I previously had ticked (in the belief that I had visited them) had to be unticked as a result of finding statements, written by my own fair fingers, like this:

“Brandreth turned out to be horribly uninspiring. If we ever find ourselves with 213 Wainwrights under our belts, we will have to go back to go to the summit proper, as we couldn’t quite find the enthusiasm in the bleak greyness to detour over to the summit.”

and this:

“By the time we reached the top [of Pavey Ark] there were so many people crammed onto the highest point that we decided not to add our sweaty bodies to the jam, so made do with a bit of ‘oohing’ at the view from a few paces away before heading on over to Harrison Stickle.”

and this:

On our way we discussed whether to detour over to the third top [Loft Crag], but decided to give it a miss.

(I was actually able to re-tick Loft Crag when I read further and found that it did subsequently receive a visit.)

I think it’s quite probable that never again will I get within paces of a summit and made a conscious decision not to visit it!


(* Many hills pre-dated my records, but I’m ignoring childhood ascents and only counting ones that I either have recorded or clearly remember.)


  1. That is a problem I have faced but my records are less thorough than yours in terms of dates ascended.

    There are two websites where you can tick and save your own list against the master, and they have the advantage of being interactive, so if you tick off a Munro that is also a Marilyn it ticks you off on the Marilyn list (as well as any other applicable lists).

    This is fine on:

    But on: you are obliged to enter the date of ascent. I only discovered Hillbagging after I had entered all the Munros on HaroldStreet, many without exact dated, but Hillbagging is much more user friendly, but I would have needed to start over entering all the Miunros (and Marilyns) one by one again and putting in nominal dates to satisfy the system, so I am stuck with Haroldstreet. I am now listed as number 79 in the overall list of all hills on their site with 505 ascents. As you say, if that site goes down all wll be lost, but the thought of entering 505 summits on a new spreadsheet at home is too daunting. By the way I am having problem typing comments on various Blogger blogs. When I go for new paragraph the cursor jumps me back to the top of the blog page, and in many cases has deleted the comment I have been making when I return to the comment box - very frustrating. Hence my spacing etc is not as I would like to have it here for fear of loosing the whole thing for the third time running.

  2. Hence, Mount Keen is on my route. (Not that I clearly remember the decision to go around)