On mountains and great conversations: the importance of knowing a little about a lot 

Clio et cetera

As some readers of this blog might know, I am a keen hillwalker and mountaineer and I spend many happy days each year wandering over the Lake District fells, bagging Scottish Munros and scaling Alpine peaks. Sometimes I go out on my own (bagging obscure peaks is not for everyone) but more commonly I walk with others. Often these are friends whom I have known for a very long time but, particularly in my ten years in the Cambridge University Hillwalking Club, I would frequently go out with people I had never met before. And, although moments of tranquil silence are one of the great pleasures of the mountains, so too is the opportunity to spend many hours in pleasant conversation.

What would we talk about? Well, sometimes we would discuss the mountains, our route or what we planned to have for dinner in the hut that night. But generally…

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