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Hillwalkers' Self-Analysis Questionnaire

It's long overdue. You know you've been waiting for it. Here at last is the CUHWC Self-Analysis Questionnaire. Now you can find out what type of walker you are...

  1. Why did you join the CU Hillwalking Club?
    1. Because your Mum told you to join some societies
    2. Because you are a failed crag-rat, and got fed up with the CUMC
    3. Because you enjoy collecting train numbers - you call yourself a "railway enthusiast" - and you also do Physics
    4. Because it enables cheap & regular visits to your beloved hills
  2. As what do you see the purpose of hillwalking?
    1. To convince your parents that you're doing something worthwhile in Cambridge
    2. To get you from A to B - B being a rock face, normally
    3. To tick off the mountains in your book
    4. To enjoy the atmosphere of the hills; to get out of Cambridge and to gain spiritual solace
  3. On a walk, what are you wearing?
    1. Jeans, a T-shirt, and Granny's knitted gloves & jumper, as well as your Peter Storm waterproofs
    2. Rohan, Berghaus, Gore-Tex, etc. from head to toe, and axes, rope, crampons - in the middle of summer
    3. Corduroys, an anorak, and your college scarf
    4. Your tatty trackies (which you also wear in Cambridge), weather-worn fleece and faded leather boots - and, of course, your Club T-shirt
  4. How would you describe Sharp Edge on Blencathra?
    1. The most scary thing you've ever done, but even better to talk about afterwards
    2. Disappointing; a Grade I, not even a Diff. - why aren't there more HVS climbs in the Lake District?
    3. A long and difficult way to bag an important Wainwright
    4. A stimulating walk up a fascinating mountain
  5. How do you see Wainwright?
    1. The old bloke who wrote all those books that Mum & Dad have got at home
    2. An author of interesting guidebooks, but he walked on his own, didn't have the right equipment, and worst of all, couldn't even do Broad Stand!
    3. A blinding white light that everyone must follow
    4. A hypocrite, because he, like you, liked to have the hills to himself, but has encouraged all those tourists to your favourite mountains
  6. Which publications do you subscribe to?
    1. Country walking; well you don't really, but Dad does and he sends you articles on good walks you've done
    2. High; because you're a member of the BMC and get gear offers, new routes, and occasionally some hillwalking articles
    3. Motive Power Monthly; because it tells you which trains are out of service and which ones are being introduced
    4. Nothing; you can't capture the essence of the hills on paper (or, for that matter, on film)
  7. When on the hills, how do you prefer to be?
    1. With lots of people; you know walking in too small a group is dangerous, and anyway, you're not sure how to use a map and compass
    2. With one other person - on the other end of your rope
    3. Alone, because that's Wainwright's way
    4. Alone, because you need time to contemplate, dream and sift over life's problems on your own - the hills, after all, are your companions
  8. Why do you visit the top of a mountain?
    1. So that you can take a photo of yourself on the cairn, and show it to all your relations and your friends in College
    2. Because you have to - it's the only way to find the top of Blank Gully
    3. To tick it off in your book
    4. To enjoy the panoramic view (and to explain it to everyone else)
  9. What is enjoyable about the last long horseshoe walk you did?
    1. It was featured in this month's Country Walking
    2. You often encounter a variety of conditions, allowing you to show off all your new gear
    3. You can bag lots of mountains in one go
    4. It offers a ridge walk, airy views, a variety of stunning mountain and valley scenery, and a fulfilling day
  10. How fast do you walk?
    1. Slow; you have practised by walking to lectures, but now your feet are killing you!
    2. Fast; because it's boring until you get to the crags
    3. Fast; because there's lots of other peaks to do
    4. Slow; you want to savour your day out in the hills
  11. On your return from a walk, how do you feel?
    1. Knackered - where's the pub?
    2. Exhilarated; you pioneered a new scramble - HVS, maybe even E1 ...
    3. Knackered - but you did twelve Wainwrights
    4. Exhilarated - as you do after any day in the hills
  12. And finally, when you get back to Cambridge, what do you do?
    1. Phone your parents and tell them what a wonderful trip you had, and promise to send them copies of your photos
    2. Nip into Open Air to see if they had that new bit of gear you saw in Fisher's when you "popped in"
    3. Pore over your Wainwright guides, tick off the summits, and get back to that knotty Physics problem
    4. Get depressed (again), go around to see other like-minded hillwalkers, buy a Club T-shirt, and write wistfully in the Unofficial Trip Book looking toward future trips

The verdict - which category did you answer most often?

a. You are new to hillwalking, but your parents are very keen for you to get involved. You're very enthusiastic but rather naïve on the hills.

b. You are a crag rat! A rock jock! A gear freak! Possibly a Natsci, an engineer, or a geographer, you prefer grappling with rock rather than simple hillwalking, and like to think you are at the "top end" of the club, showing others how it's done, while boosting your ego (it got rather battered in CUMC). You see yourself, in fact, as a "mountaineer" - and one more likely to be found in the gear shop than in the pub.

c. You are a trainspotter! A peak-bagger! A list ticker! Very probably a Natsci (particularly a physicist), your best day out on the hills was when you did 12 boggy Wainwrights on a miserable day to complete your Central Fells.

d. The true hillwalker? You are moody and depressive, but love the lonely escapism of the hills (just as well, since you have no friends); you have no favourite walks. For you, it is just being in the mountains that counts.

(If you enjoyed this, see also Peter Bell's What Type of Club Member Are You?)

James Blake