Saw this one at Rocky’s blog: Seems this guy and his wife were hiking on Tryfan, one of Wales’ most notoriously nasty mountains (what UK peaks lack in altitude, they often make for in shear climatic hell; here’s a pic). The pair got lost in the fog (imagine that), the guy slipped, fell 90 meters, cracked his skull and expired. The offending guide book had a chapter called “Tryfan the Easy Way” — though one suspects the reader is expected to deduce this means “this route merely sucks a bit less than the more difficult ones.”

I understand that people in grief need somebody to blame besides their lost loved one, and that it’s terribly poor taste to point out the obvious to the bereft, so I won’t belabor the point.

What I will say is that there’s a reason beyond basic laziness for the sketchy descriptions of my hikes. I don’t much care for being guided; I consult guidebooks for ideas on where to go, but I have zero expectation of them getting me home safely. I’m writing only enough to get folks interested in checking out some of the places I visit; once they get there, they’re on their own.

Zeroing in on “easy” in a chapter heading reminds me of hiking to the top of Monument Peak from Ed Levin County Park. The “easy” way and the “hard” hard way both require 2,000 feet of climb in a tad under four miles (the harder route is steepest in the last half-mile, while the easier one is steeper in the middle and has a bit more shade). Either way, you have to know how much you can handle before going up.

More on the UK story here.