The Vault Regulars

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A sign of “The Times”maybe.

Last weekend as my last post shows Sheila and i walked the Duddon Valley or i should say a bit of it. We know the area very well and it’s a favourite place.

While we were there we came across this article by Christopher Somerville in The Times newspaper Saturday 9th July 2011.
It was a walk in the Duddon Valley from the Newfield Inn in Seathwaite.

 Can you spot the three obvious mistakes above?

No! Well let me increase the zoom. 
Spotted them now? Yes - No?
Ok for those who have given up.

1. Seathwaite has gained an extra h, where did that come from.
"Anybody can make that mistake”, i hear you say. Well yes i suppose, but this is “The Times” we are looking at here.
2. The photograph is Borrowdale and not the Duddon Valley.
How can this happen, who vetted the piece prior to it’s release to press?
And to make it worse.
3. The title on the photo is the Duddon Valley which the author goes to length in the first paragraph to emphasize that this is not Seathwaite Borrowdale but the other one in the Duddon.
My goodness who own’s this paper.

The author, at the end of the guide specifies that it is a moderate walk and boots are essential. What rubbish! Boots essential, i don’t think so. Good trail/approach shoes are all that are required and, ok boots if that is what you prefer to wear. But essential, No, not in the least.
Dear oh dear.


Oldmortality said...

Now, if only they had hacked your Blackberry....

AlanR said...

Well done!
I wondered who would be the first to mention the “H” word. I wonder if that was where SeathwaitHe got the extra one from.

David Cotton said...

Agree with all but the last comment. The distinction of approach shoes and boots will be lost on most people who read the article, as would the alternative phrase 'suitable footwear'.

If you are having to get walking ideas out of the Times then you are probably not a very experienced walker.

I've seen enough numpties on the hills wearing unsuitable footwear and/or clothing to be thankful when the media stress caution.

AlanR said...

Hi David, thanks for the comment. I understand where you are coming from and i disagree in this instance.
This is a low level walk in terms of the Lake District and a Moderate classification is generous.
To specify Boots essential, to me, lends itself to being towards difficult which it isn't.
Most likely this part of the text is standard wording for all walks put in this series rather than taking each walk individually.

However, the main point of this post is how did they get so much wrong in a newspaper normally regarded highly. It's quite unbelievable.

Unknown said...

I just got back from the Nantlle Ridge in wet weather wearing La Sportiva Raptor trail runners. Are they the wrong shoes? Well, a lot depends on the person wearing them rather than a catch-all pigeon-hole approach. I found the rock wet and slippery and the Raptors grip was limited. I had to amend my approach to scrambling but frankly, I cannot say my boots would have been any better. I had more manoeuvrability and felt lighter on my feet which was certainly a boon for me. Some might say trail runners are wrong in that environment - well, that's for them to say but I am experienced enough to make my own choice. The Times is not under a duty to babysit people who want to walk - the hills are a dangerous place and anyone walking in them should know that. It's not up to The Times to make assertions as to kit or as to who should go into the hills. People should look after themselves.

AlanR said...

Hi Maz,
In my experience, wet and dry conditions require a different sole. I don't think anyone makes a sole that wouldn't slide on wet mountain rock. If there is one i havn't found it. Some are better than others obviously. But none perfect.

So, in your opinion, guide writers should stick to the route and leave the gear to the person reading it. I can go along with that.

ps(Did you post the mat?)

Phreerunner said...

I've done walks like that in sandals, Alan, but I suppose the Times is subject to the usual hack and safety considerations. It should be able to publish accurate details of walks, though - even the Manchester Evening News (who use the Nuttalls) can manage to do that.
Have a good time in the Lakes just now - it was very midgy on Wednesday, especially for those of us slowed down by our Scarpa Mantas, worn of course in deference to those wise men at the Times...

Anonymous said...

I was brought up on the banks of the Duddon estuary (Askam-in-Furness) and we wore nowt on our feet. Also, speaking as a sub-editor on a regional newspaper, I can tell you the reason blunders such as these are made is because newspaper owners make professional, dedicated people redundant and increase the workload of the few who remain, putting them under huge and unreasonable amounts of pressure. Simple as that. The Times is no exception. It keeps the costs down and profits up. The entire newspaper industry – local, regional, national – is going down the same road. Quality is being sacrificed for profit. Sorry, just having a rant. Nice blog, mind.
Alen McF

AlanR said...

Hi Martin,
Yes you could do it in sandals. It just made us laugh. BOOTS ESSENTIAL!
I did Scaffell from Wasdale in Teva's once. I got funny looks but it wasn't a problem.
Thanks we are having a good time at Sheila's mums. Rained Thursday evening over Birker, Friday and today has been lovely and managed to get Dorothy out for a walk today. No kicking and screaming. Ha.

AlanR said...

Hi Alen.
Thanks for your points. Interesting but sad.
You are so lucky being from Askam. The Duddon valley is where i call home. We have many good friends in Seathwaite and Broughton.
When i turn at the traffic lights at Duddon Bridge all my stresses are released. I beam a big smile and say it's good to be home. The drive through to Seathwaite from the bridge or across the Park Head, through Broughton Mills are both a delight.

GeoffC said...

I wonder how many of those mistakes (er...economies) are made in publications. Wasn't there a case of the OS, no less, using an out-of-place photo on a map cover a while ago?.
The 'boots' statement: par for the course in any walk description intended for Joe Soap, makes one sigh.

AlanR said...

Hi Geoffc.
I think i remember the OS one. The whole thing just made us laugh. It went from bad to worse the more we read.

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