Hello Dan, Stephen
Thanks for replying such a long feedback about this page. I expected critics and I see that I'm served, but I'm not angry of that. Some of issues are completely true, some others I feel discussing more with you.
First, believe it or not, this page is not "closed" at all, I'm open to all improvements. The thing I feel the most guilty is that this page, for the moment, as Dan said, looks too much like my personal experience. I used often "I" in sentences, I put many anecdotes whose place is rather a trip report. As for pictures, I am convinced that there are hundred times more pictures of hundred times better quality, but for the moment I just wanted to space a bit the text to make it look less like a big bloc; the quickest way was to look in my own album, but I didn't do it by selfishness at all.
If we continue ahead with this page we could for example start a furum thread in order to identify the best pictures of Scotland to illustrate it.
Dan is right also to point out that Scotland is not only hiking, but also rockclimbing, iceclimbing, etc. But I prefer to be honest with myself, I haven't practised these activities at all and I don't feel including something like this, and put potentially wrong informations.
Again, anyone who feels adding an overview about these activities is more than welcome.
About the grammar issue, Dan is also right. I do many mistakes when I type quickly, and I am able to recognize most of them when I read again the text, sometimes I cannot believe I did them. But often I need to read ten more times to find them all, and haven't done it yet. After that, there will still be mistakes for sure, but natives speakers will be required. When I will reach this stage, I will give you a sign. Dan, Stephen, I will be very grateful if you are ready to make this checking job. I feel very uncomfortable writting about an area in a country whose language is not mine, especially when this language is the language of SP. I would be a bit frustrated to read about french mountains in bad french, and I fully understand you, but put yourself a bit in my place...
The issue I feel the most discussing with you is the existence of this page itself. I see many reasons for it. You are both British so perhaps your point of view is true on one side, but for many foreign people interested in mountains, Scotland is a mountainous area, and I see many people who will look for an "entry point" to read about Scottish mountains on SP. Furthermore (but my aim is not to start talking politics), Scotland has a very strong culture and regionalism, in which mountains have their part. Many folkloric songs are about mountains, etc..
I don't agree with the point of view of Dan that the ranges of Scotland (Grampians and so on) should remain separated, for the only geologic and geogaphic reasons. I am sure there are many people who have never heard of the Grampians, despite they own most of the Scottish mountains.
And what justifies to me even more the existence of a "Scotland page" is that many main facts about Scottish mountains cannot duplicated in all regions. I have made some confusions and errors in this page which you underlined, but I am convinced that the chapters such as : security, orientation, hiking gear, how to get there, have their place only in a main page. Scotland is just too different than most other mountains to avoid these parts. For once, I think you should more rely on the feeling of persons from outside the UK.
The idea was also to make of this page everything the sub-ranges will not be. The Grampians page is great and very rich, but as I pointed (and you admitted, with some arguments which are indeed good), this is just a compilation of informations. The rest needs, in my opinion, to be summarized in a more "reader-friendly" page; not like an article, but in the same spirit, to invite the reader to read until the end about Scotland. For this, as I mentioned, the best SP pictures of Scotland will be required also.
In the Geography issue mentioned by Dan, this is the same: what this page needs to avoid the most is to repeat what was (or will be) put in the subranges. I have made some unforgiveable geographic confusions, like the limits of what we call "Highlands" (thanks to Proterra); but I just wanted to describe in few lines the geography, not in a too scientific way. The aim is to be able to put all needed links to regions in this part, the rest will be in regions. About geology, I am also aware that the Scottish geology is just too complex to fit in this paragraph. It deserves a whole article (preferably separated), in the same spirit than the Meteorology one made by Proterra. I din't want to speak geology in the overview, this was meant to be more like a "description". If you misunderstood it, perhaps I will simply remove all the geographic chapter to avoid any confusion.
Some of the other issues :
The tops list. I admit botched the list of "other lists", after the Corbetts. I simply don't know too much about them, and I made a simple research on Google. Your indications are very precious and I will include them.
How to het there : Another chapter you should more rely on foreigner's experience. I know a lot about my home Pyrenees but I admit I don't have a single idea about the best way to reach them by public transports. I think you are in the same situation for Scotland, because you live in UK. My overview of "how to get there" sounds very impartial, but the aims of the "how to get there" chapters in SP is not only to list the transports, but also to indicate which ones are best. I underline my preference for the Prestwick airport, but I have good reasons. I travelled many times to mountains in Scotland from abroad, using all possible transports (including all I mentioned in my paragraph). I do believe that the other airports in Scottish cities may be useful in particular cases, but apart from Prestwick and Inverness (only linked to UK cities), I doubt there are others more convenient. For Inverness, however, if you have any further information about the best way to get to mountains from the airport itself (bus, train, etc), you're welcome.
Accomodations: I actually thought about mentioning the youth hostels, some of them are particularly convenient. This is one of my plans. But I believe youth hostels are not the only.
Secutiry and hill-phones: To add (help welcome)
Maps: To add. However, UK, like France with the IGN, has only one (or two) major map supplier. This is not the case in all countries (for example the mess in the spannish pyrenees, or Poland who has at least 10 editors). I also know about the online maps but I haven't used them for a while. URLs welcome.
Guides: I'll add Cicerone. Other books are welcome (I hardly can do this task out of the UK)
Links: to Add. But we should keep on links about Scotland as a whole (not Grampians links, Skye links, etc)
Three other sections I have thought about, since yesterday:
* The midges
* Issued related to mountain access and paths erosion on some popular mountains (Schiehallion, Stac Pollaidh)
* A section about best pubs after the hike (some humour is not forbidden in SP :)
That's all, I think I've explained what I needed. If all of you agree with my arguments, I propose to continue ahead with this page. But I don't want to interfere with the plans that have already been done. If you continue to provide me your suggestions, I am sure the result can be something very interesting.
I have mixed feelings about this - really good-looking page - as you probably realised. :) Perhaps it'd be less controversial as a custom object, e.g. "Hiking in Scotland." Or maybe some Britons should do "Southern France" now :D
Your comment remind me that I should finalize this page (in first place with better illustrations as I promised the Scot Team...)
I don't agree with the idea of making it a custom object, it's not only a "how-to" page. In my opinion, without it, it would be just like the Tatras, the Gorgany, the Piatra Craiuli and so on without a "Carpathians" page.
Why should Custom objects be about "how-to-do"?
But I think there's a much better way to sort out the problem: Just get rid of Dumfries and Galloway as well as of the lowland. Look Eric, talking of the Carpathians page: Hungarian Plain is NOT part of it, not to mention the upland of Transylvania although I think the "Western Romanian Mts", i.e. West Transylvania, should be included. Also, if there was a separate SE Carpathians page, it wouldn't be called "Romania". When you've removed the lower/S part of Scotland, you will re-name your page so that it'll read "Scottish Highlands". That's it! (Well, then you can improve/enhance the page a bit:))
Here's a reliable source to back my view. Both Dan and Boydie might agree, I think.
Why should lower Scotland be removed ? Dumfries & Galloway do belong to the mountainous parts of Scotland. The question in my opinion lies rather in : why limiting it to the Scottish border, since the Pennines in England are somehow the continuation of them.
But, taking back the Carpathian example, isn't it the same kind of ambiguity with the south end of the Carpathians, some mentioning the Serbian Carpathians some not ? Where is the limit with the Balkans ? :)
Have you read the Britannica text??? The border between the Carpathians and the Balkans is a pretty academic problem compared to the other - pretty real - problems. If you think the Pennines may belong in as well, you'll end up at the other end of Eurasia, Eric :D It's hard for me to explain why - probably just like it'd be hard for you to teach me how I could install an intranet at home, or at least keep it from constantly breaking down :)
I've been thinking how to simplify it and have come to this:
1 There's a deep breach (Iron Gate for Carpathians; Midland Valley for Scotland)
2 the climate is different
(3 There's a cultural border as well!)
Everything is explained in the introduction...
1/ not so deep, the first hillets start from northern subburb of Glasgow and South some 20km (indeed, near the seaside, it is never really flat)
2/ I don't agree, the climatic gap is more important between West and East Scotland
3/ Go and tell the Scots to cut their country in 2 parts :)
Go and tell the Highland Scots they're Lowland Scots, Eric :) If Britannica, two Britons, including a SCOT, two people with a post-graduate degree in geography cannot make you change your mind, nothing will, I guess :D
P.S. IMHO The only sensible alternative (your question about the Pennines) would be to expand this page into the Mounts of the British Isles.
Just give me a picture reference, I'll add it with pleasure !