What's in a name; why the Paisley Hillwalking Club?
Why are we called Paisley Hillwalking Club? The label a club gives itself should define it, tell the world what it is, does and stands for. This club has progressed over the years from a disjointed group of self-taught bumblies to a hard core of dedicated hill-goers obsessed with uplands and highlands alike. We like to walk the hills and we go about it in small sociable groups. We do have the occasional odd-balls who want to try attacking the out-doors in slightly different ways, usually incorporating some form of mechanical device or additional hardship, but even these people have Hillwalking as the main stay of their new found activity. Their quirky approach does induce an enhanced rate of adrenalin production but can also trend toward a higher number of unfortunate incidents.
So why are we not a Mountaineering club? Simple enough. Mountains are massive scary jagged things, some times surrounded by glaciers, usually in remote areas of the globe requiring hard graft to access and need multi day expeditions to tackle. The addition of a parcel load of specialised new skills required for handling them, and a thin atmosphere, put them into another league. In short, we only have hills in Scotland. Anyone thinking differently is either deluding themselves or asthmatic.
Scotland has been known to give its humble hill-goers a hard time, even kill a few. Its reputation for severity is well founded and should always be planned for, even on the calmest of days. An apprenticeship here is regarded very highly around the world but the fact still remains even the most experienced of us can’t gain these additional mountaineering skills without practicing them in the more remote parts of the planet.
Doesn’t the Hillwalking label limit the clubs horizons? Good point, to have ambitions and see them realised is one of the greatest feelings in life. The only limit on the Paisley club’s horizon is, predictably, the sight of that next hill. I know that this all sounds like the ethos of a mountaineering club but in the Scottish context, it certainly isn’t. Whether our chosen hill is the roof of the world, in the footsteps of some bonny prince or other, or a green hill far away, these extremes hold one very defining feature, height gain from sea level. This club’s members have ranged off to the worlds higher peaks and travelling some of its finer long distance routes in far distant lands. Yet all of our members are still obsessed with walking in Scotland. None of them could have achieved any of their goals without experience gained in our own back yard.
Why Paisley and not the Renfrewshire Club? The club was dreamt up by two Paisley boys who punted the idea through the local paper and was inaugurated by them and another four Buddies soon after. The name stuck and has never been challenged.
So, what’s in a name? About one hundred like-minded souls from the Paisley area sharing their love of hills and transport to them.
Duncan Walker - A founding member.