Winter has always been Scotland; the pursuit of the Quality Winter Mountain Days (QWMD) for the log-books, the Friday night dash up the M6 and the bleary return on the Sunday boosted by copious volumes of Red Bull. Then there was the Munro bagging thing, provoked by my mate who now seems to be off bagging continents and countries by airline, and collecting garden gnomes. When you go soft, you go soft … Occasionally there have been stays in hotels – although I doubt the owners of a hotel in Callander would want us back after the epic drying of soaking clothing after one assault on Ben Vorlich that was more like swimming. But I digress.
I was looking at my Munro records and was alarmed that the last entry was 12 May 2007, for Beinn Alligan. That’s nearly ten years. 2007 is memorable for completing the GR20, and the subsequent onset of arthritis in my toes. For several years, walking was a challenge let alone going uphill. 2007 also marked a return to motorcycles.
Over the last two years, I’ve been working away at the feet and getting up to four hours of walking a day. That’s one day at a time. Two consecutive days hasn’t been possible, until last week when I managed two four-hour days. There was some excitement, as well as stiffness. That’s stiff knees, nothing else!
It just so happened that three day’s work in Aberdeen has arrived, and it’s a long way to drive without going a bit further west. A plan has evolved for a two day wander taking in the best things of a Scottish winter mountain trip; A bothy, a hill, and the resumption of a way of life.
Choose life …
Which reminds me. Trainspotting 2. What an awesome film. A few nods to the original, and a great pointer to the future. And there’s a link to Munro Bagging – not just Renton’s oratory on Corrour Station “We’re ruled by effete arseholes” which has a poignancy given who has just been elected POTUS – and the reason we do it. It’s easy to resort to the classical responses from Mallory, and the “all of life to me” stuff from Winthrop-Young.
I’ll let Renton have the last word (he was talking about munro bagging of course):
People think it’s all about misery and desperation and death and all that shite, which is not to be ignored. But what they forget is the pleasure of it. Otherwise we wouldn’t do it. After all, we’re not fucking stupid. At least, we’re not that fucking stupid. Take the best orgasm you ever had, multiply it by a thousand and you’re still nowhere near it.