A simple life…

I didn’t really think about it, I didn’t consider my thoughts, or emotions, I just kind of blurted out, because I knew it was true, “I love mountains”…  Luckily my friend, caught up in the same emotions and quite used to these outbursts just nodded and said, “Me too”…

I was scrambling in the lakes, cloud clinging to the crag and swirling below us as we climbed up and up. I felt so free, so calm, so happy as I focused on nothing but the feel of the rock in my hands, and concentrated only on the movements of my body as I tried to make sure I had good grip on the slippery rock, that my weight was balanced and I wasn’t going to topple off for a briefly exhilarating flight though the clouds, followed by an extremely painful thump against the rocks at the bottom.


It was wonderfully familiar feeling – the meditative movement across rock, the mind clearing joy of a breeze on your face and an open sky above me – but more than that on this occasion I enjoyed the feeling of being utterly sure of something. There is a huge and perhaps unhealthy complexity in thinking too much. Spending all day, every day considering the environmental problems of the world not only do you realise how complex some of these issues are, but perhaps even more so how complex are the underlying philosophies of how the world should be, how do we change it, how should we change it. On this particular trip to the Lakes I was thinking back a lot on Monbiot’s damning description of the scenery I love so much in the Lakes, thinking about what conservation really is, why nature is important, why it is important to me; How I felt when seeing that someone had had a fire down by a tarn – should I tut at the scorching of the land, or smile at the imagining of someone living in the land as man has done for centuries. Should I be shaking my head at the mountain bikers cutting a swath across the Lakeland fells – or rejoicing with them in their whole hearted embracing and enjoyment of nature…

But none of this seemed to matter, because part of me just knew. Mountains are important. We need them, I need them and perhaps that feeling is more powerful that all the intellectual meandering my mind had been doing all week.


About domhall

I have spent the last 15 years juggling careers in education publishing, expedition leadership and safety training. It has involved a careful balancing act of dreams of expedition travel, a love of climbing, walking and the outdoors and the the realities of life - and the later has definitely come off worse. I've run an adventure travel and expedition training business and lived in the sometimes sunny Lake District. Having taken a year out to complete an MSc in Environmental Technology I am now working for The Conservation Volunteers, working on engaging communities in their local green spaces.
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