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