So it’s the 2nd week of our adventure and Zoë and I have mastered the accent and are speaking like locals (its true ask anyone who was there).
On this particular day we are going to the corrie n lochen area (well I said we mastered the accent not the spelling) By now the snow only remains way up on the tops of the mountains, thanks to the rain, so that’s where we’re headed.
Once again our group dons the crampons and ice axes and heads up the mountain. This time in 2 groups one led by Tony and the other Cat from the MLTE office.
Tony’s group chose to keep their crampons on and use ropes quite often on the way up (probably so Tony could practice his short roping technique) while Cat’s group abandoned them after the first hurdle. It wasn’t particularly hard climbing, though it was a bit interesting in boots and crampons.
Once again it was extremely difficult for me but my companions didn’t mind having lots of breaks while I caught my breath.
When we were about 2/3 of the way up some of the group had had enough so began the decent. I’m so glad I carried on! We needed our crampons and had a little bit of climbing (once we even found a placement for the ice axe) but most of it was walking up, up, up in the snow once again. The younger members of the group really looked after me and urged me on to which I am very grateful. When we neared the summit one of the boys even insisted that everyone wait so that I could be the first to top out as it was going to be my first summit.
It was such an honour and unbelievable experience being the only person on the top. All I could see for miles and miles was white mountain tops. Very surreal and hard to believe I was in Britain. Not a house or road or any sign of life to be seen.
After a spot of lunch and photo shoot we headed down across a wide ridge then came the fun part. We did the biggest slide of my life down a gully!! Silly me forgot to put my goggles on and wound up with a face full of snow, unable to see, careening wildly, and all limbs flailing. It must’ve been quite an amusing sight. I did manage to stop before coming to any harm but abandoned my ice axe as I was sure it was going to poke my eyes out. Luckily one of the kids was able to retrieve it.
I slid off and on for as much of the journey down as I could to save my poor old knees but eventually the crampons came off and walking down was my only option. I was passed by several mad buggers running down the path!! Little did I know they were rushing to catch the last bus.
Just before the bottom there was a herd of deer with a brilliant stag that we gazed at for awhile before the long walk/hitchhike back to the bunkhouse.
Another glorious adventure and day over.