Of Pies and Men


One of the great things about hill walking is that it is the perfect excuse to eat all the unhealthy food you want without guilt.  My personal favourite hill sustenance is the great British pork pie, an institution in danger of becoming extinct if the likes of Jamie Oliver has his way.

Pork pies are, of course, incredibly unhealthy. Packed with saturated fat, full of calories the consumption of one would undoubtedly prove fatal at lower altitudes for a man in his fifties like me. I can feel my arteries curling up at the mere thought.  On the hill however they are perfect for getting you through a Cairngorm blizzard.

I’m not talking about those little pies you that are only a couple of inches in diameter, as a rule of thumb a good hill pie should be capable of being thrown through a  bothy window or be weighty enough to cause concussion if dropped on a climber below.

Other younger climbers are often horrified by my delight in these circular beasts but they have sustained me on the hill for many years.  I can see them thinking, MY God he’s not going to eat that is he!  It also means I don’t have to wait time in the morning making sandwiches which bear no comparison to the mighty pie.

I accompany this delight with peanut M&Ms.  Handy because they neither freeze nor melt and are more sustaining than chocolate alone.  In the words of Homer Simpson, “They are something really good wrapped in something even better, like a monkey in a cowboy suit.”

I contrast this with the curse of modern hill food which seems to becoming prevalent.  The dreaded Flapjack.  These, as far as I can see, are the dietary equivalent of breeze blocks.

“I made this myself!” announced a proud woman as she handed me one on a summit.

“Yes I can see that.”  Did you mix the sawdust with glue and drive over it yourself?

Be proud of your pie!

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