Hiking became an important part of the lives of the common people in Europe while the world was going through an economic crisis. The unemployment rates were skyrocketing and there were just no jobs available. This left a lot of people with a free time but no money to spend on entertainment. This is how hiking and climbing in Scotland became a spot that was no longer just for the rich. It was during this time that writer and broadcaster Alastair Borthwick first began writing about the sport in the Open Air page for the Glasgow Herald.
Alastair Borthwick spent the majority of his time hiking in the Scottish Hills. He was sociable by nature and enjoyed making a connection to anyone that he came across while he was hiking. Because of this, he met some interesting people and recounted the interesting stories that he heard in his columns and book Always a Little Further. Writing about hiking wasn’t a new concept at the time. It had been written about many times before but always from the perspective of someone that was well to do and visiting exotic locations during their hiking excursions.
The people that Alastair Borthwick was writing about during his time in hiking were the people who didn’t have much or any money at all. He met a lot of the people who were part of the crowd that inspired a huge growth in hostels across Europe. Young people who couldn’t find work were spending their time trekking across the continent and make the best out of their situation. The elite who had seen the sport as an exclusive club were generally not happy about this development. Finally, the common citizens of Scotland were able to read about hiking from a perspective that they could relate to.
When Alastair Borthwick published his book Always a Little Further, he collected the stories that he had written about in the Open Air Column and put them in one work. To this day, people still read and enjoy the book. It still inspires people to get climbing.