No doubt about it, Jim Crumley has a fair turn of phrase, and this book, subtitled "Sanctuary and the Plight of the Cairngorms", reads on occasion like a poem rather than the polemic that it is.
Crumley's basic point is that the Cairgorms are too important to the spiritual well-being of our planet to permit of any human intrusion save on the very smallest scale, the scale of the individual who is completely in tune with the wilderness.
One can't but help agree in principal to most of his arguments, as he leads the reader on a circuitous approach to the massif itself, as though he is stalking some especially skittish deer. Beginning on the Speyside fringes of the plateau he inches inwards, step by step, season by season, exploring the corries, the glens, the lairigs, and ultimately the mountain itself.
In practise though, Crumley's message, if taken to heart and enacted in full, would restrict access to only a tiny few, not by actively barring admission, but by making it such an undertaking that only those most dedicated of mountaineers would ever make the journey.
That might not be a bad thing - it would certainly allow the mountain to heal, once the infrastructure of decades of tourism was removed - but then again I can't help but feel that allowing access on a wider scale (certainly not the massively over-simplified access provided by funiculars) might engender more sympathy with the landscape than Crumley realises.
Maybe the salvation of the Cairngorms will come from the consciousness-raising experience you get from just being there, in wilderness.
Agree or disagree with Crumpley though, this is a beautifully written book, with much to recommend it. It's an irony that a book that argues to make the Cairngorms less accessible is likely to make anyone who reads it long to go.