Something is brewing above those yonder hills.

I remember many years ago I was climbing with a man with a beard in Scotland. It’s always good to have a beard on a climb. Kinda reassuring. When we headed out from camp the weather was lovely in an early summer way. But slowly the dark clouds rolled in and an hour into the ascent it was getting seriously dark. Over my shoulder a similar multicoloured cloud formation formed. I remember thinking that this can’t be a great weather omen. But the beard decided to push on. Within 20 minutes the heavens opened. Torrential rain, turned to hail, then into heavy snow. Heavy snow in a June – wonderful. At that stage the beard was overthrown as team leader and we turned back. Always better to live to fight another day. The mountain wasn’t going anywhere. Always tomorrow for climbing it.

Well something like 23 years later that mountain is still there. It’s still waiting. The weather was too bad to climb the next day and that was it. We had to get back to the day jobs. Haven’t been back to that mountain since. You see fatherhood and then single parenting ended my climbing career. So many mountains left unclimbed or in this particular case, 50% climbed. But that’s life. Good things and bad things happen which change the course of our journey. Those enforced route changes do sometimes mean sacrifices have to be made. Elements of our very existence which have been core to our wellbeing sometimes have to be left behind. Maybe they can be picked up later, maybe they have gone for good. Losing these key parts of our life’s can be so soul destroying. I guess the secret is to hold onto the memories and embrace the new life

But it doesn’t stop that longing. I do every so often get out my climbing books and look at the photos. Read about the routes. Try to imagine the summit views. I can still dream. Who knows what the future may bring. And in the case of the photograph the immediate future brought Sun and another stunning rainbow.

48 thoughts on “The mountain is still there

  1. I always think mountains teach you about life. We have ones we have had to turn back off. You feel a bit of a fool but you also know the sheer folly of continuing. One of these ones we had to come off one day was in June, and it was only a Graham BUT it was like stepping through a curtain and the conditions were Arctic. The two leading were covered in sheets of ice, we could not see a thing. Cos it was summer and radiant sun at a 1000 feet, I never had gloves. We felt really stupid actually But that day everyone was forced off the Nevis range. There’s been others like that we’ve come tooled up to do and again… nope and returned and still not done, . it is not all about getting to the top. It is about where you should be aad dealing with the unexpected and where that takes you

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      1. The Glencoe ones can be vicious as hell actually. I mind meeting a woman on had done Ben Nevis the day before and would rather do that one again than this one. I always say there is no such thing as as easy anything there. You will bag one soon and more I am sure.

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  2. I felt a rather dangerous recurrence of Von Trappitis as i read this but fortunately my mind has recently been practicing social distancing from my vocal cords if i show any sign of covid choralling and I’d barely doed a deer before everything shut down. Hope you get back to do the remaining 50 percent though from my limited experience of climbing I’d guess you’d have to repeat the first 50 percent as well as complete the second which seems harsh. I imagine there’s an app that will sort that out.

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  3. The beard thing made me smile πŸ™‚ Bob is a very anxious person, so when it comes to trying something new he has the same philosophy. If a beard is with him then he is safe. Camping and kayaking are two things that come to mind off the top of my head. He still hasn’t taken our new inflatable kayak out (Bobby has had it out with his friends three times) because the beard has been busy. Even if he ends up in the water, it will be okay if the beard is there and says so.

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  4. Life can certainly change in the most unexpected ways. The thing to do is make the best of what we have at present and if present isn’t right, to work on changing it without delay. Easier said than done. But always hold on to the dreams. I thought of you last night as I looked out the window and suddenly saw a perfect rainbow. I now need a wide angle lens so I can capture the whole thing. It also had the beginnings of a double rainbow. At this rate we’ll be having rainbow competitions. Better than comparing who’s got the worse government. πŸ™‚

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  5. Pondering… pondering… I’m thinking and drinking it in, but words are failing me. Our journeys have commonalities: sacrifices, obstacles and longings. I guess all good stories do. You long to climb your mountain, and I grow weary of climbing mine. πŸ˜€ There have definitely been times that I have felt like Frodo Baggins as he ascents mount doom. I wrote a blog post about it! You’re going to get so tired of hearing that… lol. Here is the link if you are intersted! Only if you’re are interested. Otherwise ignore me!

    β€œFrodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

    Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

    Yay! Words came to me. 😁

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    1. The words definitely did. πŸ˜€It feels like physically climbing a mountain is so much easier than the tasks which have replaced that hobby. For those it seems a long way to the summit. I read your blog. So loved it and got me thinking. Sorry the comment is 10 months late…. Maybe the secret is that some tasks, some journeys are beyond us without help. We all have our limits. In Lord of the Rings every hero needed help and a shoulder to lean on at some stage. Hope your smiling πŸ˜€


      1. Yes, definitely. We were never meant to do this on our own. I’m thankful that we don’t have to, either. Yep, I’m smiling. Are you!? πŸ˜€

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  6. I was giggling when I saw the photos. I just told you that I took a picture of a beautiful rainbow and now I see the most stunning rainbow on your blog… hehe.
    I love what you said about memories. Yes, we need to embrace them and apply them to our lives in order to create wonderful new things from them.

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  7. You’re climbing different mountains now. You will still be able to feel the sense of accomplishment in the end. And the view is precious. I think you will be able to return to your old mountains some day… Take care.πŸ’•

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  8. Love that rainbow! I would have loved the opportunity to climb a mountain. Not one of those huge ones with snow on top and perpendicular cliffs, but one that would allow safe walking and beautiful views. But now that I’m nearly 75 and I don’t live near any kind of mountain, big or little, and my body doesn’t work the way it used to, I don’t think that will ever happen except in daydreams. Maybe there will be a nice mountain to climb when I get to heaven. I won’t need my camera there. Keep dreaming and maybe one day you will once again get the opportunity to climb that mountain.

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