Thursday, 25 April 2013

Hill-running in my new back-yard.

Lingering low-level snow on my run up Creagan a'Chaise (722m) 
It is strange to think just how different my new back yard is to Glencoe, yet how similar. Here the skies are bigger and the vertical is less dominant. The ground feels different under your feet, yet aren't the calls of plovers and the smell of deer the same?

My new surroundings offer different but almost limitless opportunities. I am no longer within a stone's throw of some of the most impressive mountain cliffs in Scotland, but in the middle of hundreds of square miles of exactly the kind of ground needed for what I'm beginning to focus on.

I had a bizarre moment today. For a split second I was looking down and  there was a mountain hare between my feet. I was leaping between two peat hags, too far a distance perhaps? I didn't have long to reconsider…a mountain hare sprinting beneath you as you jump through the air is quite a distraction.

Looking towards the Beinn a'Bhuird/Ben Avon plateau.

Creagan a'Chaise (722m) is the fourth local hill that I have run up in the last 10 days, and it feels brilliant. Running had taken a firm back-seat to climbing since November and part of me was worried I'd find it hard getting back into the swing of it. But its clear now that the fitness I've gained from my busiest and best ever winter is a whole lot more than I'd hoped, and the key to lots of new opportunities.

A really enjoyable 7 miles over steep heather and reindeer moss.

Hill-running is still something I'm quite new at. How long had I been climbing for before I considered myself "a climber"? I can't remember. Just now I am a climber who hill-runs. I wonder if that will reverse one day? Maybe…strange to think that only a few years ago I never thought I could be either.


1 comment: