There is more to see than you could imagine amongst the high peaks. Take your feet to the high hills and breathe. The air is free there – untampered with, blowing straight from the heavens.
Though God did not give man the ability to fly, He has given him the ability to soar above the world into the skies by climbing to the tops of the mountains He has provided. Every fellwalker knows the exhilaration of flight, and the fulfilledness he knows from his journey.
In the unfrequented tops, a man may be completely alone, in world that might be his alone, and what contentment there is in that. It may be the only place left we can be alone, away from the ultra-connected, cheek-by-jowl urban life that pervades even the country town and the internalised crowding we impose upon ourselves with beeping plastic instruments, that do us no good. Within the fell country the man-made world is left behind. You can feel your own smallness in the wonders of creation and your own brevity in the timeless mountains: then you can know how wonderful it is that for all your apparent insignificance, you can be a unique force distinct out of nature. Then you can endeavour to climb beyond the everyday world into the real world beyond it. You do not conquer a mountain: you conquer your perceived limitations.
Sydney Smith wrote sagely:”
THERE is moral as well as bodily wholesomeness in a mountain walk, if the walker has the understanding heart, and eschews picnics. It is good for any man to be alone with nature and himself, or with a friend who knows when silence is more sociable than talk.
It is well to be in places where man is little and God is great—where what he sees all around him has the same look as it had a thousand years ago, and will have the same, in all likelihood, when he has been a thousand years in his grave. It abates and rectifies a man, if he is worth the process.
Are you “worth the process”? For myself, “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills; from whence cometh my help”.
Of the variety of hills
Describing the variety of hills in the British Isles without filling the page with a treatise of all the length and fascination of an academic paper is a challenge. We are building here a resource about mountains and hills, and the briefest of summaries must be supplemented by individual pages and blogrolls, and outside links to dedicated pages on Wikishire.
For now, enjoy the pages we have under the heading of “Mountain walks”, and more material will appear here, when the writers get home and can be persuaded to sit down to write.