Mountain Mind Quiz

So that’s that. After almost four years it is finally over. In March 2019 the Ancrum club had become the next club scheduled to host the annual Mountain Mind event. Little did we know what lay ahead of us. In Autumn 2019 we started on the preparations and by the start of March 2020 everything was in place. Then Covid hit, and fast. Everything shut down with an incredible rapidity. And although we weren’t quite into “lock down” nobody was going anywhere and the quiz was cancelled / postponed. At the time I had hoped we might be able to hold it in the Autumn but of course this was not to be, as neither was March 2021 or March 2022.

So after a four year wait, 2023 was the year it happened. By now some of the questions had to be updated. Some answers had changed (those list tamperers had been at work) and some questions were just plain redundant. Other questions, in hindsight, now seemed somewhat obscure and impossible to answer, so had to be culled. One good thing about a three year delay meant that it was possible to spend more time on producing the PowerPoint slides and add amusing cartoons to them. All the publicity had to be restarted from scratch and invitations sent out again. Again, the delay probably worked in our favour as there was additional time to research sources of publicity and reach out to new participants. Fortunately the Queens Hotel in Dundee had been very accommodating with our booking so at least the venue was still available.

Then the big day arrived. Unfortunately I had sustained a bad knee injury (from a very stupid and avoidable fall on a metalled road – not even a proper hill accident with a story to tell) the weekend before and my mobility was seriously impaired. However, I managed to get myself from south Fife up to Dundee where the hotel allowed me the use of a disabled parking space. Once there though, I had to content myself with setting up the “technology” as I wasn’t much use at moving tables or even walking around to lay out stuff. By about 5.30pm all that remained was for people to turn up.

And turn up they did. We had a total of 17 teams participating and a large number of spectators (my knee meant I wasn’t prepared to go round and count them). Teams from across Tayside and Fife represented the following:

  • Blairgowrie and District HWC
  • Braes of Fife Mountaineering Club (2 teams)
  • Breadalbane Rock and Ice (2 teams)
  • Carn Dearg Mountaineering Club
  • Dundee Methodist Ramblers
  • Dundee Mountain Club 1 (2 teams though for a while it looked like there was going to be 3)
  • Fife Out and About Walking Group
  • Fife Mountaineering Club
  • Forfar and District HWC
  • Grampian Mountaineering Club  (2 teams)
  • Perth Mountaineering Club
  • Tayside Mountain Rescue Team
  • Witten Hillwalkers

It was great to see some teams who were new to the quiz and hopefully this bodes well for future years. It is thought that this was one of the best turnouts for the Mountain Mind Quiz. All that publicity work paid off.

The quiz kicked off with two sessions of questions on topics as diverse as

  • The Summits
  • Lochs and Rivers
  • Huts and Bothies
  • Islands
  • History
  • Hill Lists
  • Folklore and Legend

This was followed by the “Fall Off” buzzer style round for the top three teams. These being the Grampian Club, Breadalbane Rock and Ice, and Perth MC. I’m not sure that everyone got the hang of the buzzers as there seemed to be answers be bandied around prior to the buzzers sounding.

Gremlins had got at the slides and Ben Lawers was spelled as Ben Lawyers!!! Quite a different meaning. Round 6 appeared to be missing but actually there were two round 7s. That second one was probably my doing, but why the Y in Lawers, I really don’t know.

The final winners were the Grampian Club who picked up the ice axe trophy. As a consolation prize the Boot was awarded to the Dundee Methodist Ramblers for the lowest score.

Best question. Possibly the final question in the Folklore and Legend round. “The Devil has given his name to many features in the Scottish landscape. Name as many as you can”.  We had 20 devils on our answer slide which we had found through scouring OS maps and relevant literature. Probably there are more out there though. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see our list of 20.

Of course mention needs to be made of Tayside Mountain Rescue Team, who as well as entering a team were also the beneficiary charity from the fundraising efforts. A total of £251.10 was raised for the team and a cheque presented to them. Thank you to everyone who contributed a donation.

All that now remains to be said is that Blairgowrie and District Hillwalking Club will be organising the 2024 event. Date still to be announced. Good luck Blairgowrie hope you have as much fun as we did.

All photographs copyright of the Ancrum except for the one of Tayside MRT which is their photo (it’s better than ours).

Answer to the Devils

Here are our 20 Devils. Can you add to this list?

  • Devil’s Point (Cairngorms)
  • Devils Ridge (Mamores)
  • Devils Staircase, (Glencoe)
  • Devils Elbow, (Glenshee)
  • Devils Burdens, (West Lomond)
  • Deil’s Cauldron, (Comrie)
  • Deil’s Loch, (near Dunkeld)
  • Devil’s Pulpit, (Finnich Glen)
  • Devil’s Beeftub, (Moffat)
  • Devil’s Spadeful (Burntisland)
  • Devil’s Pool (Braco / Thurso)
  • Devil’s Punchbowl (Arran)
  • Devil’s Study (Aberdeenshire coast)
  • Devil’s Footsteps (Whithorn)
  • Devil’s Bridge (Whithorn)
  • Devil’s Arch (Whithorn)
  • Devil’s Thrashing Floor (Kirkcudbright)
  • Devil’s Folly (Aberdeenshire)
  • Devil’s Mill (Rumbling Bridge)
  • Devil’s Kitchen (Loch Callater)
  • Devil’s Barn Door (Moffat)
  • Devil’s Bite (Feugside)
  • Devil’s Putting Stane (Carsphairn Hills)

Blog post by Susan B, Ancrum member, researcher of questions, creator of slides, publicist, and setter upper of technology.


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