Despite my announcement last year that I would be leaving Glencoe in 2012, I've decided for several reasons that I won't be moving on just yet and I'll be spending another summer at the Clachaig. Personal circumstances have changed (in a very good way, today's date might give you a clue!) and I now have more incentives to stay than to leave.
I've become very aware of the massive and unaccountable rise in popularity of this blog, and I'm now in the bizarre position of being the writer of one of the most popular Scottish climbing blogs on the internet. I've got loads of new people following the site even over the last few weeks, so I think now would be a good time to explain a few things to my new readers.
I first came to Glencoe in April 2009, following a long and severe personal trauma during 2008. Six months after being told by a doctor that I'd likely never be able to climb a hill again, I found myself standing on Bidean nam Bian's icy summit with the knowledge that I'd found that rarest of things….a genuine chance to totally change my life.
The mental repercussions of what happened in 2008 still sometimes overwhelm me even now. But through my new life in the mountains I've found the closest thing there is to an antidote. Everything has changed…I've learned to live for the moment, to risk in pursuit of rewards, and to always keep looking for the next adventure.
So although on the surface this blog appears to be about climbing and mountaineering, it is really the journal of someone who is looking at the world through totally new eyes. It's about the mind-games of testing yourself when there are no margins for error, and about the great and unique feeling that can be found through challenging yourself in the mountains with no-one for company.
But above all, I hope it's about the important of seeing, and not just looking.
I thought after 3 years in Glencoe, that opportunities for adventure and amazing experiences would have decreased a lot just through me having done so much in the Glen. But the opposite is true…the fitter and more experienced I get, the more possibilities I see.
When I stood on Bidean's summit for the first time that day 3 years ago, the landscape I saw before me was a panorama of opportunity. Nothing about that has changed, and I can still get a lump in my throat when I see that view.
So folks, I'll be here a while longer yet, and I'll do my best to live up to the popularity of this blog. There never fails to be another adventure just around the corner…..I have an itch that cannot be cured.