I have spent the last few days locked in crisis talks with the marketing staff here at One Small Step PLC. Various reasons ( apart from the obvious "It's crap") have been put forward for the current dismal circulation figures, and one that the guys with the Gok Wan spectacles kept coming up with was "lack of stats"
Now, I had noticed that real outdoor bloggers include detailed distance and uplift figures for all their adventures. Indeed there is a subset who appear so committed to this that they post stuff like "Just popped upstairs to the loo and realised that this brought my uplift figure to a round 12000 metres for the year to date - an increase of 2.8% on the same period last year" Well yes. If your bathroom is upstairs and you wash your hands sixty times a day, you are going to do a lot of climbing!
Now I have tried, but I am afraid that, at my age I no longer have the manual dexterity to manipulate a gnurled (hmm, probably first time I have had reason to write that word) wheel through the creases of a Landranger or the eyesight to count contours. I strongly suspect that some of the youngsters out there use some kind of electrical device to produce these figures.
I can, however, share with you some figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, which demonstrate the differences between hillwalking in the 1980s and the present day
As a result of inflation, and the devaluation of the foot against the Euro, all hills are now 78.23% higher than i remember. In addition, as part of their strategy to reduce the deficit, the government has cut the distance between contour lines, making all hills, at a stroke, 47.5% steeper in real terms.
The RTI (Recovery Time Index) has, of course, gone throught he roof and currently stands at 343 ( seasonally adjusted).
Here is another interesting figure