Keep walking and eventually you will fall off the edge of the earth . . . or in my case my blog.
It has now been almost two months since I sat down and wrote, here is where I am on my ‘Coldest’ Corbett journey so far.
I am now heading up the west coast between Glenfinnan and Torridon and a fair way behind my original plan of finishing around the end of March. I now expect to be closer to the end of April and will announce an official end day approximately 2 weeks before I reach it, so you can join me if you like. I’d love it if you found me before then too! Just drop me a line here. So…where was I?
Three years ago I was stood atop a mountain, just east of the ‘great divide;’ the large scar of lochs that separates the Highlands from the rest of Scotland. As I remember, it was snowing and the wind was strong, I was tired but none of that mattered.
That view before me looked north and far in the distance, beyond a sawtooth of snow capped mountains, I could see my last munro and the end of a 364 day journey. Overwhelmed with a pride I cannot compare to anything I have before or since felt I knew then that I was going to finish. The trepidation of the spiky looking peaks still to come now shadowed by a distant site of Ben Wyvis and the finish line. This was the first moment in 8 months that I truly set my thoughts on completion and less about ‘just keeping going.’ I cannot truly describe that elation of finally seeing the end in sight, that memory of a million paddle strokes, pedals and paces behind me and hopes for those to come to be safe and easy. Then, I thought I would never feel that moment ever again.
Last week I was back on the edge of that divide, this time chasing up a slightly smaller mountain in much nicer weather. The final Corbett ‘south of the gap’ I did under the sunset, then in darkness on the light of the moon, in a romantic sort of way I was on a quiet date alone with that unforgotten feeling, now looking on to Little Wyvis, my final peak.
I have just 65 to go. And a spectacular set at that. It seems an age since new year where I and my friend Remi made a lap of the north, and a further lifetime wandering through the wide expanses of the cairngorms. Winter has been a ‘mild’ one and with that, the smaller hills have been on the whole kinder than the munros. Generally Corbetts have longer boggier walk ins but less snow, less cloud. And yet they hold just as much adventure as anything I have ever explored. Where I considered myself ‘built for endurance’ on the munros I feel more built to ‘sprint’ up and down the Corbetts in short bursts on a daily basis, just because a day is short does not mean it cannot be epic.
Keep an eye out for a write up on the north coast and the cairngorms is coming as soon as I can find a good pub with reliable wifi. In the meantime I hope to see you out there on the west. So far the mountains out here have been…well…take a look…