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  1. Circa 1950, my father, grandfather and I climbed Goatfell on the Isle of Arran in the Clyde estuary. This year, I climbed it as the grandfather with three of my four grandchildren, having climbed it in the interim with both my sons and my eldest grandson. (I've also climbed it with my sister and both daughters-in-law).

    As my grandfather was born in the nineteenth century; I was born in the twentieth century and my grandchildren were all born in the twenty-first century, this family experience spans three centuries - and I am the link. I was so keen to complete 'the set' and most grateful to Isobel, Morven and Alfie for agreeing to climb it with me. (Alfie, aged seven, didn't actually agree. As a boy, he was given no option!)

    Goatfell is just under 3,000 feet and therefore is not a Munro - but so what? One climbs every single foot of it from sea level whereas in some Munros the climb begins at a much higher altitude (1,400 feet in the case of Bienn na Lap). Goatfell also offers one of the most spectacular views in Scotland, which is not obvious from the main road. I love it. It is my holy mountain.

    Grandchildren GoatfellGoatfell view

     Goatfell FGTx2Angus Goatfell

  2. My elder son is not actually prodigal. He just happens to work abroad and forgets that his Old Man is in fact an old man, but I am not yet about to surrender my place as the alpha male. So, when Richard announced that we were going to climb Ben Narnain, one of the Arrochar Munros, in foul weather, I was not going to admit defeat. Thus we set off in the rain, remained in the rain, saw nothing at the top except rain and returned in the rain, but it was good to see him (through the rain).

    Greetings, my son 1Greetings my son 2