Number 39 – Bidean nam Bian – Torpor returns!

10 02 2015

View from almost the top of Bidean nam Bian.

Torpor, we can be intermittent bedfellows. Quite literally apparently, as I fell into bed on Friday night, rucksack packed, boots looked out and waiting at the bottom of the stairs for me, I pulled the duvet over my shoulders and immediately thought,” I can’t be arsed tomorrow”. I fell asleep.

This is often the case when I am heading out to the hills on my own. Full of great intentions, grand plans of what I will do on my day in my favourite environment, what route to take, how to do it, get a climb in too, when to start, how to descend etc…… and all the time, in my head at the back of the classroom, hand raised impatiently demanding acknowledgment is my friend Torpor screaming at me to put it off till next week.

I woke in the morning, and like a bad smell he was still there. Or maybe it really was a bad smell? He persuaded me to sleep on a bit longer, I did. I woke again ten minutes later.

“Lets get up and see how you feel after a cup of tea?” i offered. He seemed to agree.

I had my tea, toast and tomato, made my cheese sandwiches – no hummus so it had to be vegetarian today – and gathered together my essentials in no real rush, let’s face it I was going nowhere. I had little inclination to go anywhere, why should I? I wasn’t letting anyone down was I? But wait, I was wasn’t I ? I was letting myself down and as this had now become a fundraiser challenge, I was letting everyone else down if I didn’t go, surely?

I packed the Land Rover, said my cherrio’s to Arlene and the kids, and set off. Even as I crossed the Erskine Bridge, Torpor was telling me to “Just keep driving and see how you feel in an hour”. I kept driving, trying desperately to find a good reason to turn back. How’s the weather looking? It’s pretty damn perfect. Shit.

I stopped at the “Good Good” shop in Tyndrum for some coke and crisps – another staple of a day out – hoping that the five minute stop would invoke the storm clouds and snow flurries which would deliver the excuse. The skies were wide blue and consistently high.

“Oh well, nothing for it”. I headed on through Bridge of Orchy and Rannoch Moor. The scenery was stunning and the sky had a crystal clarity that is so rare of a Glen Coe morning, and as she came into view, the Buachaille was magnificent in the morning sunshine, runnels of pearl white gulleys contrasted with the rock faces of Rannoch Wall and Crowberry Tower. My mood lifted immediately and I praised my persistence in stifling my classmate into silence. But he had one last cruel trick up his sleeve as I arrived at the car park at the Clachaig junction. I parked and got out. I looked upward towards the huge crag of Stob Coire Nam Beith and saw nothing but clag and cloud. It looked miserable! Torpor returned to twist the knife. I faffed. “I can’t go home now? and I don’t have an alternative plan. What would I tell everyone? that I drove all the way to Glen Coe and then drove home again? I’ve done it in the past, sure, but the weather conditions dictated those decisions, the weather today wasn’t too bad?”

I decided to get my gear on and make my way up the crossing at the waterfall.

“At least if I turn back at that ponit, I can say I made an attempt and at least got to stretch my legs in my favourite playground.”

contemplating whether to go on....

contemplating whether to go on….

I crossed the burn above the waterfall. The clag was visibly lifting. My mood once again followed suit. The meditation of the walk in had done the trick, the surroundings and the realisation that all that stops me from doing the things I love is my own apathy, my own disinterest or laziness. I have the ability to walk and climb these mountains which I love and are so much a part of me and who I am, and I have the ability also to dissuade myself from doing so. Others are not this lucky. And others have a determination and drive to achieve such simple things which I take for granted, and put my petty preoccupation with minor obstructions into perspective.

I’m doing this for Finding Your Feet. It’s what keeps me going.

I plodded on.

It was the most magnificent of days!

Each journey begins with one step…..

The MunroBlagger



The crags of Bidean

The crags of Bidean…..

View from almost the summit of Bidean

View from almost the summit of Bidean




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