For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Sunday, 19 April 2020

How to Climb a Mountain and The Raistricks

The media is full of people inventing bizarre ways at home to combat  lockdown. I seem to have a routine that occupies most of  my day and often find myself running out of time at the end of the day to achieve my quasi OCD requirement to have my evening meal ready exactly in time to watch the Six 'o Clock News.

As soon as I realised I would not be going for long walks for a long time I decided to walk a modest local distance every day from home and also to do a ten times repetition up and down my stairs and I have now done that since 25th March.

The stairs were my own idea from the start, but I now find other outdoories have also adopted the staircase challenge and converted it into virtual ascent of their favourite mountain and I now have commenters here suggesting I do the same.

I'm not sure if I have a favourite mountain but I reckon Ladhar Bheinne by Mirror dinghy with outboard from Kinlochhourn to Barrisdale Bay and then the ascent from sea level must be the most likely qualifier, especially as the measured ascent from sea level is unequivocal.


Ladhar Bheinn - 1010 metres  = 3314 ft. rounded up

My stairs: 8ins. rise x 10 = 800 ins. = 67ft rounded up

3314/67 = 50 days rounded up.

I prefer to work in feet, I suppose because that is how I first started looking seriously at OS maps back in the 1950s, and then of course it is the basis for defining Munros.

The revelation that it would take me 50 days to do what we probably did in five or six hours has done little to allay the possible onset of Lockdown Lassitude - ah! a potential new acronym: LL.


If you are still full of optimism and planning new projects for The Resumption have look at a new book/list I  discovered:

Raistricks and Other Hills Over 1000ft. in the Yorkshire Dales by Bernard Peel.

This is a self published  monumental labour of love. Bernard is a retired civil servant and he has identified 242 hills that match his parameters as indicated by the title. The amount of work involved must have been huge with a result to be proud of. There are comprehensive tables, photographs, suggested routes and much more. Even if you do not intend to take on the challenge the book is well worth ever penny of its £10. I obtained it by emailing Bernard direct and doing a bank transfer.



  1. Can you safely guide your dinghy to the bottom of the stairs?
    Are you going in by Coire Odhair and up the ridge to Stob a Choire Odhair? I presume the time includes coming down, you may need to bivy at the summit.
    Whilst you are up there have a look at the views to Rùm to answer Gimmer's question.
    Bonne continuation.

  2. Sir Hugh - I think you’d have to include the ascents of Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe. You’ll have plenty of time. Oh, and take photos of all that glorious scenery.

  3. i think that faced with running up and down stairs ten times a day for 67 days, i'd take a chance on persuading the police that I was on an errand of extreme urgency and importance - wearing my mountain rescue anorak and having the walkie-talkie crackling the while - and driving by night once more ! Not sure about the watery section, so it would have to be along that rugged path - probably more worn by now.
    (ps you won't get the answer in or from Knoydart - too stony: another clue, perhaps)

  4. BC - I haven't been able to get the Mirror in through the front door, but as I often say,"there is always a way." As for descent I intend to pack a paraglider so the time involved is hardly worth considering.


    afoot - I did those two much later - a walk in from Kinlochhourn and a night in the Barisdale bothy.


    gimmer - I would have some doubts about facing that vertical grass wall these days. I have a vivd memory of a rapid non-stop descent and walking across a field at the bottom my legs turned to jelly and I went down. That had never happened before nor since.

  5. I feel I should be doing the visual equivalent of putting my fingers in my ears and am chanting 'la la la', for fear of you drawing me into another hill list! That said, the Yorkshire Dales is a lot more accessible than any of my remaining Marilyns in Scotland...

  6. (except at the moment, obviously, when it's not at all accessible!)

  7. Fifty days of stair climbing! 🤣
    I climbed the stairs to my 6th floor apartment yesterday for the first time since I contracted the virus four weeks ago. It was the first time that I felt I could manage it. When I had the virus I couldn't have managed more than three steps so it's a big improvement! 👍😊

  8. Gayle - chance would be a fine thing!


    Paul - I suppose you are at least thankful to be able to be there at all? It's good to have you back on this blog circle.It sounds as though you're doing pretty well on the flat with your canal adventures.