The Height of Bliss

Those who have not tasted the delights, the adventure, the discomfort, the challenge, and sometimes the tragedy of the high hills, can never understand. But the utmost height of bliss is stepping along some sharp ridge in sunshine, wrapped around with a great blue sky, after climbing up out of that care-ridden fleapit of earth thousands of feet down there in the purple depths.

John Wyatt The Shining Levels


This blog is not often about high hills, nor is it likely to be. But reading this passage recently has had me daydreaming. The book that it comes from is not about hills either. John Wyatt was head of the Lake District National Park ranger service for many years. The Shining Levels is an account of a year spent living and working in a wood on the slopes above Windermere. It tells of his relationships with his neighbours and co-workers and with the nature around him, particularly with a roe deer buck that he adopted. I’ve had it on my shelf for a while, but only just got round to reading it. In parts it is fascinating and informative, whilst some sections of the book are hilarious.

The photograph shows a panorama looking across the Chamonix valley to the Mont Blanc Massif. It was originally five photos which have been cunningly melded by Autostitch free downloadable software which I was put onto by BG and Martin of Summit and Valley.

This photo, taken on the same trip, is from the summit of the Aiguille du Tour looking, I think, towards Monte Rosa.

The Height of Bliss

4 thoughts on “The Height of Bliss

  1. “Wow” That is some view on the panorama. BG is a diamond finding Autostitch. I’m glad you cover so much more than just the high places, as It shares other aspects of the countryside to be enjoy.

  2. Funny how at this time of year one’s mind rolls back to ‘Summer in the Alps’.
    Our Canon cameras came with stitching software, but for displaying panoramic images I’ve resorted to using the width of a regular web page like this one:
    The narrow blogger layout just doesn’t seem amenable to showing panoramic images to their best advantage (not that mine are much good anyway – you can clearly see the stitching – but I like them, and that’s what counts).
    Or you can upload them and put a link to the slideshow, to display them better than the letterbox format you’ve achieved above. Nice try, though!

  3. beatingthebounds says:

    Thank you both.
    Nice idea about the slide show.
    My Alps photos are here:
    The panorama is the last one – and the 5 original photos are in there too. Click on the icon in the bottom right corner for full screen shots.
    The photos of Torridon are excellent and bring back lots of memories. It’s even longer since I went there than since I went to the Alps. I climbed Liathach on my 27th Birthday. When the kids are older….
    Now that you mention it I think that my camera has some kind of Panoramic facility. If I ever get round to reading the CD manual….

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