This year has been something of a low point as far as the ‘blogging’ is concerned, but it’s not like I haven’t been writing – I’ve just been publishing it elsewhere.
Historically everything has gone onto the blog simply because that was the only outlet available: if I went on a trip, I’d write about it; if I took a photograph, I’d publish it. Things have changed a little bit in that respect, as I now have the good fortune of being employed by UKClimbing – thus have another outlet (and one that reaches a much larger audience).
In 2016 there have been several articles I’ve been particularly please with, the first of which are the destination articles I’ve written for the Orkney Islands and Lundy. I’ve always gained a lot from reading articles both in print and online over the years, and in recent times it’s become part of my holiday ritual: go somewhere interesting and write about it. Doing so has always been an enriching experience, as it gives you time to reflect of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. I’m no poet, nor am I an artist, but I think I get the same satisfaction from writing articles such as these as they do creating their writings/drawings. Integrating my own photography means you can portray the mood of both yourself, your trip, and the place (or maybe I’m reading too much into it all).
Another piece of writing that brought a smile to my face was the Top 5 E3s Routes in the UK? article, which – as these things always do – created ‘lively discussion’ (read: raucous debate) regarding the routes that both were and weren’t included. Whilst the Forums are usually a place of anarchy, this is where they shine through: they are a great place for sharing ideas. From the feedback/comment that ensued I have raised a number of venues, most notably Sron na Ciche on Skye, well up my priority list.
On the note of the ‘priority list’, I always joke about life’s never ending tick-list. There is no way you’re going to do it all, but some things/places rise up the list quicker than others – you’ve just got to roll with it. A recent example of this in action is the sudden promotion of Bovey Woods and Lustleigh Cleave up ‘the list’, which came around after a few sample chapters from the forthcoming Climbers Club to Dartmoor came my way (courtesy of author James Clapham). This is a place I’d wanted to go for years, but had always remained low on the list due to a misconception it was impossible to find without a local to guide you around. This is partly true, insofar as it would have been pretty tricky to locate without the aid of the new guidebook, but still – the guide gave me the necessary impetus (and that’s the point I’m trying to make). Without it, I’d have never gone. The same goes for why I write the destination articles, to encourage people to go places.
And on that note, here’s a few photos from in/around the woods…