Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Summits & Solitude

Ben Nevis
Though the current focus of my life is sea kayaking, I have in fact been a mountaineer and climber far longer. Despite the issue that more of me hurts after a day in the hills than after a kayaking trip, its still good to get out there from time to time. As part of our christmas vacation, Tanya and I spent 5 days near Fort William where an ascent of Ben Nevis (1344 metres) is obligatory, especially when its snow covered. So we opted for an alpine start as the climb begins from almost sea level, if you do it via the Pony Track. This saw us first on the mountain, from the Glen Nevis side, and the rare experience of seeing not another sole all the way to the summit. The conditions underfoot were good and after we crossed the Red Burn, the weather cleared giving way to gorgeous views towards Cairngorm and Torridon. Its not every day you get a major UK summit free of crowds but on that day we were gifted. It was only in descent did we begin to come across others, some who had climbed on the north face and some who had set off later

I enjoy those moments of solitutude............ it seems they come round less and less

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