Skip to main content

Robert MacFarlane in the Cuillins

Starting later today is a new two part series on the Cuillin Hills of Skye. It is presented by Robert MacFarlane. It will, of course, be excellent, especially given the involvement of the three musicians that he mentions here.


In this two part series, we accompany the writer and mountaineer Robert Macfarlane on his attempt to complete the Cuillin Ridge. This expedition marks twenty years since his first book 'Mountains of the Mind' in which he tries to understand the human fascination with mountains. Along the way, he muses on the ways in which these particular mountains have been explored imaginatively and in reality. The reality for Robert is both challenging and wonderful.

The Cuillin Ridge of Skye has long been a source of fascination and wonder for climbers, geologists, writers and artists. Its 22 peaks offer the most extreme alpine climbing in the British Isles and includes the much revered Inaccessible Pinnacle, a very exposed shard of rock protruding from the ridge. To cross the Ridge ordinarily involves a two day expedition of skilled mountaineering with a bivvy overnight. However, it is no easy feat to complete and the majority of people don't make it on their first attempt.


Two modern works are weaved throughout Robert's journey. 

The words of the great late Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean who knew these mountains intimately and wrote of them in his long poem, 'The Cuillin'. 

And the more recent musical work of fiddler and composer Duncan Chisholm and his album 'Black Cuillin'. We also feature brand new music from Duncan Chisholm and Gaelic Singer Julie Fowlis. Plus a song with lyrics by Robert Macfarlane based on his experience of the Ridge.

I was fortunate enough to meet Sorley MacLean on a previous visit to Skye - a place I used to visit regularly to climb in the Cuillins and elsewhere.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Coastwise in North Norfolk

  One of our local papers had a story on a project called Coastwise. There is more detail on the project here. A video explaining the scheme, which is described as a coastal transition. Over the next 100 years, it is predicted that over 1,000 homes will be lost to erosion in North Norfolk. Erosion will impact whole communities by threatening businesses, roads, footpaths, and utilities such as sewage, water and electricity. It will also affect our wellbeing, beach access and heritage assets such as churches, lighthouses, listed buildings, and much more. The consequences of erosion are profound and require advanced planning to transition to being more prepared. Coastwise will involve working together in North Norfolk to develop nationally useful practical actions, plans and policy, funding and finance options. Action needs to be taken now to explore how local authorities, communities, individuals, and national government can best work together to prepare and plan for coastal erosion. Th

AQA Pre-release 2022

I was told yesterday that the AQA GCSE pre-release  material for the 2022 summer exam season was based in / or mentioned Ely , so I asked for a copy and discovered that it was based on an application by Amey to add an incinerator to their existing waste management park near Waterbeach / Denny Abbey to the south of Ely, along the A10. The scheme was controversial, although the benefits were clearly stated by the company. A protest group was set up, and commissioned a report on the impact of the proposal, which included mention of the chimney which would be taller than Ely Cathedral and spoil the view towards it from Madingley (a place of geographical significance). Interestingly, for a pre-release where students usually have to weigh up whether a planned development should go ahead, the decision has already been made in that the scheme was .... spoiler alert .... turned down in 2020. I tried to add some local contexts - newspaper articles, campaign group reports, local landscape char