My time in the Highlands is over and, later today, I begin the long journey back to Cornwall. I have spent the last day and a half recuperating from my exhersions on my Winter Mountain Leader Assessment, with Glenmore Lodge. Unfortunately I blew a couple of navigational legs and will have to come back up next winter for a day of navigation assessment, but it's a great excuse to head back into the mountains. Winter has definitely returned with a vengeance. High winds and snow at the end of last week meant we had to crawl off the mountain, as it was virtually impossible to stand up, let alone walk! I was lucky enough to be in an assessment group with some great people and the banter was epic. It is a shame that out of the four of us, only Nick passed outright, Simon, Dave and myself are having to come back.
I have had a wonderful time in Scotland this year. It has been great to catch up with old friends and make new ones. My thanks goes out to everyone who has helped me through it all, in particular,
Ned and Glenda, Jimmy and Kim, Wendy, The Last of the Summer Wine Mountaineering Club, Kathy from the SAIS (who, despite being very petite and looking incredibly fragile, heads out into the mountains in all weathers and conditions to gather valuable information on the snowpack, for the safety of others - if you are planning to head out into the Scottish mountains in winter, make sure you READ AND UNDERSTAND the SAIS report before you go!!), Desperate Dan, Willie and the guys of the BIG K, Al Gilmore and Heather Morning at Glenmore Lodge, and lastly, my mate and Laird of the Tholl Bothy - Heavy Whalley who took me in and looked after me when I needed it most (not that he had much choice!). Cheers guys
"You know Alf, going to the right place at the right time, with the right people is all that really matters. What one does is purely incidental".
Colin Kirkus to his great friend, Alf Bridge, on Skye 1930's