Monday, 15 August 2011

On the last lap of the summer (posted by James)

Mid august…already. I am often surprised at just how quickly time flies, but this summer has simply gone in a flash. And as time flies when you're having fun, I can say without hesitation that this has been the most enjoyable summer I've spent in the Highlands.

I've climbed less and walked more this summer, simply because for the most part that's the "mode" I've been in a while. I'm quite suddenly feeling myself wanting to start climbing more again, but I'm very glad I've spent the summer the way I have. I've explored areas of the Highlands I didn't even know existed until very recently, and in doing so found some hills I will certainly will be returning to in the future. And I've collected the best set of summer photographs I've taken in Scotland.

My main interest and strength in the hills is winter climbing. And I can already feel the pangs starting….lusting for the time when the snow arrives again, when the hills transform into mountains and I can start playing the unique and wonderful game of another winter climbing season in the Highlands.

I'm in the unusual position this year of approaching the end of the summer at almost my winter fitness level. Usually it slips during the summer, but I've managed to clock a fairly huge number of hill-miles in the last 3 months and I'm feeling strong.

I had 3 main goals for this summer, two of which I have achieved already - to climb the Great Ridge of Garbh Bheinn for the first time as a solo, and to reach the mid-point through the Munros.

I won't reveal what it is just yet, but watch this space for news on the 3rd goal, the one which I really don't know if I can achieve quite yet. If I get a good day of weather to coincide with one of my split-shifts at the Clachaig in the next few weeks I might just give it a go…..


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