UK Mountains Walking, Mountaineering and Equipment Reviews

11th July 2024

Our lives are a journey, some are long, some sadly quite short, there are good times and bad times, there are experiences along that journey that stay in our minds forever.

In 1967, my Uncle and Cousin took me on my first Youth Hostelling weekend. We walked through the Forest of Dean to St Briavels Youth Hostel, an ancient Norman castle which is still a Youth Hostel today. I can still remember the smell of the coffee from the flask, the water dripping onto my head from the trees as we took shelter from the rain, the joy of arriving at the Youth Hostel, the taste of the Sausage and Mash that became our Youth Hostel dinner on many occasions. That was the beginning of my love of the outdoors. I grew up in Birmingham and that weekend really opened my eyes to the countryside and the world outside of the roads, cars, buildings, high rise flats and bustle that goes with a big city, no one talking, no one caring to pass the time of day with a stranger. The following year we went to the Peak District where I climbed Kinder Scout and Mam Tor, I was ten years old. That was the defining moment where I fell in love with the mountains.

I have been climbing them ever since, both in the UK and much further afield. Last year, 2023, I completed all of the mountains in Wales. This week, fifty six years after climbing my first, I completed the final mountain in England which means I have climbed all 442 defined mountains in England and Wales. I can now join the rather exclusive Nuttalls Club, a club that has fewer members than the Everest summiteers club, but that wasn't the reason. I love the mountains, I've had easy, sunny, glorious days which I wanted to go on forever and I've had miserable, cold, wet days that seemed to go on forever! I've had days when I've had to back off from an ascent, which just increased my resolve to get it next time. I've had days when the climb seemed to be over too quickly and I wanted to do it again. Some mountains have become good friends and I've visited them time and again, never tiring of ascending, always finding something new, always enjoying the experience, others I did not enjoy and will never climb again, but until you do, you just don't know.

Along my journey I've met and made new friends, some have lasted, some more fleeting. In 1977 I walked the Pennine Way, I met a girl who became one of my best friends, 47 years later we are still great friends, keep in touch and see each other when we can and as recently as last year I had a trip to Turkey to join a team climbing Ararat, the highest mountain in that country, we had a reunion earlier this year in Scotland where we enjoyed a weeks winter mountaineering. I am sure our paths will cross again over the coming years. Whether I walk solo or with friends, I love it, there are always people to talk to along the way, share stories with or just pass the time of day before moving on. Walking alone gives me plenty of time to think, put the world to rights and clear my mind.

Our lives are like climbing mountains, there are days when everything is perfect and you wish it could go on forever, there are days so bad that you wonder why you bother, but you do, you put it behind you, pick yourself up and look forward to a better day tomorrow. There are friends that come and go, they are in your lives for a while, enrich it, then you both move on along your path, maybe the paths will cross again, maybe they won't. With some friends and perhaps estranged family, you live in hope that your paths will once again converge to those happy times you shared.

My mountain journey hasn't ended. I plan to climb some of the more enjoyable ones again, find new challenges to enjoy, just like in life. I plan to see friends and family as often as I can, perhaps share a walk, perhaps climb a mountain together, bonded closer by the effort and perhaps short-lived discomfort, knowing that a shared experience will add to both of our lives and a new memory created.

If I've walked with you, climbed mountains with you, ascended rock faces or even just chatted in a bar, cafe or on the mountain, if I've cycled with you, scuba dived with you, rode a motorbike with you, I thank you for enriching my life and I look forward to our paths coming together again soon.

Mount Artos, Turkey
Mount Ararat, Turkey

Walking Logbook

I have enjoyed walking in many areas of the UK and abroad. My Walking Logbook lists those walks with a brief summary of the day. The majority of those walks are described in greater detail in the Previous Expeditions pages.

Mountain (Nuttall) Logbook

For many years I have been climbing the mountains of England and Wales. There are a number of categories of mountains, one of which is the Nuttalls, named after John and Anne Nuttall who have published guides to those mountains in two excellent volumes, one for England and one for Wales (Nuttalls). A Nuttall mountain is one that rises at least 2,000 feet (610m) and has a drop of 50 feet (15m) on all sides. This logbook page shows my progress towards completing them all. Mountain (Nuttall) Logbook

Mountain (Marilyn) Logbook

In addition to the Nuttalls, there is another category of mountains, the 'Marilyns'. These are any hill or mountain with a drop of 495 feet (150m) on all sides. Obviously a number of Nuttalls qualify for inclusion in the Marilyns list and vice versa which does mean that climbing a mountain can result in a tick in two boxes. This logbook page shows my progress towards completing them all. Mountain (Marilyn) Logbook

Inaccessible Pinnacle, Skye
Howgill Fells, Cumbria

UK Mountains

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