telling you earlier that I have a theory about
hillwalking. I do this quite often, and
enjoy it allot. You can get fresh air,
exercise, see some fantastic views, and meet nice
people, and all at the same
time. I would recommend it to
anyone reasonably fit and equipped. But
this is not my theory!
One day, while on the hills, I began to think that hillwalkers, or at
least most that I have come across have a particular interest with the
tops of hills. Rarely will a hillwalker go around a
hill that is in his or her way. So I began to think,
what is so special about the tops of hills? Is there
some special reason for going to the top each time? I
have not got an answer yet, but I do have a theory!
In my theory, there is a reason why the hillwalker has to go to the
top. In fact, it could be any one of a number of
the hillwalker may be in COMPETITION
with the hill which must be overcome. The hillwalker may
even be in competition with other hillwalkers who are also
competing with the tops of hills!
the hillwalker may be on a voyage of SELF
DISCOVERY to seek enlightenment, believing,
for some reason, that it is to be found at the top of a
the hillwalker may have a feeling of INSECURITY
being in continual doubt that there is a top to the hill!
the hillwalker may have some kind of SUPER-EGO
generating a drive to overcome all physical, emotional, or
spiritual obstacles, particularly those represented by the
tops of hills! I came up with this
possibility after observing the condition of some
hillwalkers in a pub after their encounters with the top
of a hill
the hillwalker may be looking for SOMEONE
OR SOMETHING SPECIAL that is waiting at the
top of some hill somewhere, only it is not known which
hill! Or could the hillwalker be hoping
someday to find something different on the top of a hill?
the hillwalker may have surrendered to some kind of mass COMPULSION
requiring that all hills have to be
climbed to the very top!
the hillwalker may be seeking wealth or a crock of gold to
make his/her FORTUNE,
(the end of the rainbow having failed to deliver).
I've been told that money and wealth is
a greater motivator, but what would I know about such
the hillwalker may be in search of the FOUNTAIN
OF YOUTH which he/she thinks is to be found
at the top of a hill somewhere.
Continued thorough research, and extensive
global investigations have led with the help of
cyber friends to the development of additional
(from A. G.
/ ANXIETY could be the reason if s/he doesn't
go to the top of the hill, the hill may grow and grow,
eventually overwhelming the walker (that is her/his fear).
A. G. Cummins) REACHING
FOR HEAVEN: That one of these times, at the
top of the hill, will be the 'golden staircase' or
'spaceship' -- a way to transcend the mundane and achieve
eternal happiness. (This has similarities to the 'FORTUNE'
Randy Nichols ) SENSE OF COMPLETION
you are at the top, you don't have to go up anymore.
You can finally enjoy resting, without feeling there is
more to do, up ahead -- unlike adult life, where you
always feel there is more to do. So what we really
want in life is a deserved rest. Also, let's face it
-- the top is where the view is. Great place to eat
lunch. But the main thing is, you are done with the
hard part and can take an enjoyable break.
Randy Nichols ) SENSE OF
Not that you have really accomplished
anything. But hikes where we go halfway up a
mountain, turn around, and come back, don't have a sense
of accomplishment (although you get good exercise, and
maybe if might be unadvisable to go to the top absolutely
every time). It feels good to set a goal and
accomplish it. So the top is a clear goal. You
could set a goal half-way up, but it is a fuzzy goal.
It's a pattern recognition thing -- we need a clear
pattern to set a goal on. The top is clearly
identifiable. In fact, some people hike into
canyons. You keep going until you get to the river.
Sort of an inverse top.
Randy Nichols ) ASCENDANCY.
It feels good to be up looking down. You don't feel
the world is pressing down on you. You also are at a
point of maximum potential energy -- meaning, easier to
accomplish things ahead.
Randy Nichols ) SOMETHING
TO DO WITH DEFENCE.
Military strategy is to take the high points. Good
visibility, and saps the energy of attackers coming up.
So we feel more secure on top. Nature won't roll
rocks on you either -- no, scratch that; people
historically settle in hollows for shelter -- although that may be
for easier access to bottom land for farming.
SEEING IT DIFFERENTLY
The Hillwalker could be seeking a new view -- a
world view. However, what is seen depends on what is
inside the viewer. Once,
on topping a high hill in Michigan we discovered a sea of
green under a huge blue dome. My acquaintance said in
disappointment, "All you can see are trees".
I'll be interested to find out how many hillwalking 'hits', if
any at all, this theory will get! Perhaps I
should theorise about something else instead
you want to find out more about hillwalking, hiking, or mountains generally
you could start by learning some of the necessary buzz words . . . and here
I have just what you need!
The O'Byrne Files © Hillwalking Slang and Jargon Dictionary!
to join the research?
Could there be other
Could the hillwalker just be in need of constant re-assurance
that the top of a hill is just that, the top!
Perhaps I need to go to the top of a hill somewhere and
contemplate this one further!
time to time I'll have some information from the
(a Dublin Based hillwalking club) here. For
the moment - just The Blackstairs Walk [May 17th 2003]
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The Hillwalking Taxidermist
A guy dressed in the latest designer hillwalking gear walks into a
remote bar in the Wicklow Mountains and orders a white wine. The
conversation in the bar dies down and everybody sitting around the bar
looks up, expecting to see some posh Dublin blow-in.
The bartender looks up and says,
"You ain't from around here, are ya??? Where ya from, boy?"
The guy says, "I'm from England."
The bartender asks, "What the heck you do in Wickla?"
The guy responds, "I'm a taxidermist."
The bartender asks,
"A taxidermist? Now just what the heck is a taxidermist?"
The guy says nervously, "I mount animals."
The bartender grins and shouts out to the whole bar, "It's okay boys, he's
one of us!"