Recently I have been doing a trawl through the blogs and twitter feeds of qualified mountain guides. This is a bit of un-scientific but necessary background fieldwork connected with my current research to get a feeling for what kind of professionals are out there advertising their services but also how they talk about what they do and the environments they work in.
I am struck by the complete lack of communication about a connection with their environment they may have. There is a lot of chat about weather and climb/hill conditions but virtually zero on a sense of place. I found one blogger who is occasionally clearly moved by aspects of landscape and light they encounter in amongst their descriptions of gear placement and weather, but this is rare.
Conclusions to be drawn could be that the type of mountain professionals who blog are likely to be white male and maybe more task focussed than the the type of reflective eco-centered guide who doesn’t feel the need to share online? Or we could conclude that all mountain leaders/ guides can’t articulate themselves in this way, after all we can’t all write like Jim Crumley but maybe there is a happy medium. Cameron McNeish for example (although not a professional mountain guide as such) writes articulately and passionately about the landscape he deeply cares for, but its not overly literary.
I do not think I have ever met a mountaineer or climber who does not care about their environment so why are those that are ‘leaders’ not being more vocal about that care?
Any pointers to mountain leader / mountain guide blogs / twitter feeds that can articulate a sense of place as well as a sense of adventure – please send me a link.