A Ridge Too Far

Been there, done that and unfortunately likely to go there and do it again. 😉 Another lovely piece from my favourite hiking blogger.

johndburns

It went dark a long, long time ago and we are still walking. My boots are full of water, the result of sinking into a bog, weighed down by my rucksack full of climbing gear. Looking back I can see John’s head torch bobbing along behind me. He is heading for the same bog I just fell into. Part of me wants to call out and warning but the majority of me is just too tired. I pod on, lost in my world are aching legs and exhaustion, wondering idly if John will find a bog.

Then there is a cry, ‘Oh, for f**k sake!’ He found the bog.

Near the hut

We are two old men, retreating from a failed winter climb on Anoch Beag, a mountain near Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands. We should have known better. It’s December and the Highland days are fleeting, desperately short. It had seemed…

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Requiem in Sutherland

Such a poignant piece, evocative and a post to stand the test of time.

johndburns

Across the rolling moorland, close to horizon, runs a thin man made line. On this narrow strip of tarmac, sits my car, a little black shape of manufactured steel in this Sutherland wilderness. The car looks tantalisingly close now. I imagine my tired legs carrying me the last few feet, I visualise myself lowering my rucksack for the final time this day and siting, at last, in the luxury of my patient, reliable vehicle.
I see all this in the same way a man in the desert holds, in his mind’s eye, a cool glass of clear water. Driven by thirst the arid traveller watches the light dance in the liquid, feels the smooth, cold of the glass in his hand, but all this is a dream, a mirage, an illusion. I realise now that, just as the desert traveller may perish before he presses that cool glass to his…

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A gift from the mountain gods

Whenever I am missing the Irish mountains it’s a great consolation to be able to read such a great evocation of what hill walking is all about ( even if it is in Scotland 😉

johndburns

I’m doubled up over my walking poles, high on a snow slope, gasping for air like a goldfish plucked from its tank.  My legs have turned to jelly and various random thoughts rush through my brain.  “You’re too old for this.  It’s too far.  You’ll never make it and end up getting rescued.  God this sack is heavy.  What the hell was I thinking about? I should have stayed at home.”  It looked a short distance on the map but now I realise there’s a lot of contours and it feels like Cairn Toul is fighting back.  Last night I slept in Corrour Bothy and now I’m attempting to backpack my way back across the mountains of Cairn Toul, Braeriach and down into the Lairig Ghru, a the great pass that splits the Cairngorm mountain range in two.

It’s taken me longer than I expected to climb the first hill…

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7 Things I Learned On Camino De Santiago | Tarek Riman

ClearskiesCamino.com

I spotted this article online written by a journalist after he had completed the Camino Frances. Yes, but there are hundreds of these articles, I hear you say….! However, the points he has made have hit the nail on the head about what the Camino is, in my opinion.

Recently, I packed 2 small bags, boxed up my bike and hopped a plane to Paris. Lugging a massive bike box through Paris, I then took a train to Bayonne in southern France, assembled my bike and rode 3 hours to a town in the Pyrenees mountains called Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port where my journey on the Camino began.

Source: 7 Things I Learned On Camino De Santiago | Tarek Riman

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