You may remember the comments in the media last year about waymarking on the hills - apparently considered by some commentators as an ideal solution for helping out hill walkers who might not be able to navigate with confidence. That debate seems to have died down - although there's bound to be a resurgence when we get into the political recess this summer!
I was out last weekend on the Corryhully Horseshoe, and surprised to find some neat little directional signs had been provided, presumably by the estate, to direct walkers on to the ridge. Sure enough, the signs pointed to the start of the stalkers path up Sgurr nan Coireachan, and to the start of the ridge heading up Sgurr Thuilm, where I headed.
Talking in the MCofS office this afternoon, it occured to me that placing these 'helpful' signs will help some, but also put off others who might wish to exercise their rights of access to all parts of these wonderfull hills. While many will be content with ticking the munros others, with the bothy close-by, may wish to enjoy a different type of experience and wander off that beaten track around the ridge.
Next day, it was down to Glen Creran and Beinn Fionnlaidh. Many would consider this a dull hill, but it's a fantastic viewpoint, albeit a bit of a plod to a rather reticent summit. On the approach there were helpful signs on the tarmac road put up by the landowner (public to the left, private straight-on) obviosuly done at some expense. But there, by a brand new gate with a smaller side-gate for walkers, was a rather crinkly 'CAUTION - STALKING IN PROGRESS' poster in its own glass case!
Whilst I had a fantastic 2 days on the hill, I can't help feeling that we have to keep the SOAC and our rights to access front of mind, even after 5 years has elapsed since the land reform legislation was enacted.