In the early starts, yawning, forcing self from the warm soft bed
In the dozy drive, quiet roads, keys in locks, insulated mugs of swirling caffeine
In the long walk in, sweating, heavy rucksack, looking ahead
In the kitting up, rarely alone, food bolted, buckled up, clanking gear racked
In the approach, steeper than you thought, insecure in body and thought, first belay in sight,
In the first pitch, brutal awakening, with a long way to go
In the wait at the stance, doing your belay dance, wondering, peering up
In the runner found, wish there was more, wish the ice was thicker here, thinner there
In the fear, run outs, steep and hollow ice, flat and rounded hooks, last pro way below
Uncertainties: Why am I here? What need does this fulfil? Was this a good idea? What if I back off? Put them in a box. Pin them down with meagre self control. Shut them away for another time when they won’t matter.
In the excitement, when the pitch goes, the hook, the perfect swing, the move made
In the weather, glorious or grim, hot aches or too hot for this hat, spin drift, sun burn
In the first view of the top, cornice, tunnel, wall, arête, plumes of snow blowing
In the moments; moves, slips, frights, escapes, laughs, sights and summits
In the topping out, relief, joy, shaken hands, but only half way there
In the way off, avalanches to avoid, long walk or steep gully, walkers to look down on
In the car, boots off, a look back, a grade ‘discussion’, plans for next time
In the pub, was it epic or easy? The glow inside and out, the well earned first one
In the sky, the snow, the ice, the rock, the smiles, the curses, the people, the silence, the wind, the pain, the fear, the relief, the exhilaration
There is something beautiful that brings me back again and again.
On a more practical note i'm on my way to the Lakes to join the staff team from Glenmore Lodge. We're off to Wales (!). Its a staff training trip with some chat on MIA courses, sport climbing and a coaching workshop from John Kettle. the way I stopped off at Glasgow Climbing Centre to chat Technical Advisor stuff, CWAs, Lead Climbing Teaching, NICAS etc.
And once again here is a link to Davy's blog- more avalanche knowledge....