…too real to be shown to someone I don’t know
Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:17 pm
A not so early train seemed kind to self as at this time of year, and with this forecast walking until 9pm seemed eminently reasonable…not something one normally has the energy for. A bag dropped at the Cairngorm Hotel in Aviemore signals bacchanalian delights post hike…clean underwear; well, some underwear for he who roves commando.
The bus rolls in and I roll out at Coylumbridge for a fairly oft-walked leg warmer stretch; not that much of that is needed – its 23 degrees C
Ere long the Lairig Ghru comes into view, with Braeriach looming to the east; the intention is the normal path, the actuality a need for water and a different way up.
Even an initial flip up to the shelf before the real climbing starts reveals the want for iron in my hill legs; there’s quite some work to do here. A twisted psyche least amongst them.
Lurchers Crag looks good baking in the sun, not so the scar linking to the Chalamain Gap; but hey, I’m here doing my bit for that too.
I’m not entirely filled with joy of the deepest kind when contemplating the toil up the shoulder of Sron na Larige…but happily water (to accompany spirits) is low so a nip around to Coire Gorm and an ascent there fools me into thinking there is less to do….
The feeling of imminent death cessates a little and rhythm developes; tis hot though.
Yet where else to be but up here, traversing the headlands of vast corries whilst bathed in a fine light rendered cool from a light breeze.
We will get a little over-zealous with panorama mode up here.
The summit is perfect. Still and no one. Stunningly beautiful light casts shadows and renders colours in delicate pastels hues over this unique landscape.
There is of course the odd jarring ‘bad Woody Harrelson movie’ moment from a camera-loving dotard; if only it loved him back.
Anyway, Woody keeps on keeping on.
I’m afraid I’ll forget this evening…walking now over the broad summit plateau looking for water and a sheltered pitch for the night.
I stop near the first snow patches and their meltwater pools of sucking rocks and gravel to find a lovely grassy patch…where the wilderness is tamed by a 570g petrochemical-industry derived tent.
The cameras EXIF data tells me I pitched at 20:34 – still in a T shirt from now until I retire a couple of hours later such is the warmth up here.
Then to compound my technological sins I wander off in search of a mobile signal. There’s a thin pretence at ‘photography’ to cloak this desire.
Amusingly both my lighters fail….so an emergency low-tech match is deployed to prepare supper.
Its never really going to get dark (22:17).
Yes well, that early morning light can be cruel.
The failing lighters sputter enough (05:30)…
I’d spotted another tent the night before, there is that and another couple bivvied down by the Falls of Dee; here though a hoolie bloweth…perhaps not the quietest night. Smug. Git.
If you’ve ever tried to tell someone what you get from being in the hills…..you can’t; I gave up trying long ago as I don’t want them to join me….
My God in whom I believe not…
Obviously I am ticking peaks here…assiduously touching summit cairns and so forth….so as to be within bounds…
Yet sadly that magical high level rollercoaster must come to an end, with a descent to Corrour. Before (my legs and heart)…died I thought I’d head up again. But the heat of yesterday tugs at me….I don’t like the heat. Full sun up Ben Macdui….its not for me on this day…the glens and stupor are preferred. Driven by a sh*te sleep pattern for the last few weeks due to the early dawn…and (whisper it)…maybe legs not quite where they should be….
So downeth we go…and judging by the ascendants it was a busy night at Corrour (quite why one would stay there…)..
Now now; whither? Braemar is easy and close….b b b b but….transport not so. Tilt on the other hand (although it conjures experiental fear of tired footfall in its later environs) offers another night out and perhaps some evening shade (aka, sleep).
Crossings are dryshod.
Five years since I trod this way; cloaked in the grief of another life.
Little wonder I stayed away so long….this where I played out the misery of loss.
I think I’ve done about 15….seems like enough although it is an early finish; despite a couple of hours snoozing in the shade post the seemingly endlessssssss schelp to the White Bridge.
Deliberately choose a narrowing in the valley with the idea that the sun will go down or shadow encroach…either would be good for slumber.
My favourite ant.
Sorry Aunt Kate.
Quickly now the morn though it won’t be so; but it will be 14 miles before lunchtime. Avast behind.
Comfort to run to.
Time to waste in regret.
Games flick on and off in my head. Life, work, and love. Love life, work, and goals.
Self-imposed pressures….a baggage to shed.
Tilt fades to tarmac and I pop back to the plan; a real reality. What next is succour. Avoidance.
Yeah… a Red Bluuuuur….MOVE OVER Kinley !
But really, back in Aviemore with my first ever Irn Bru in 57 years…
No really…it was a meal-deal..
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