Red Letter Day

Hello,  Once in a while you achieve something that makes you feel really, really good.  You know, one of those achievements that will always stay with you ; locked in your memory forever. Of course I’m thinking of my own climbing "career" here.
I remember the first time I went up Snowdon all those years ago. I walked up the Watkin path from Nant Gwynant past the waterfalls and abandoned mines. I was ecstatic on reaching the summit and it didn’t matter to me that there were loads of other people there too. It was my own personal achievement at that time in my life and a turning point for something new. Things move on and I’ve done it numerous times since, day and night.  It’s almost been relegated to a "bit of a bumble" when I can’t think of any other hills that I’d like to do.  But of course it’s not a bumble, it’s a great mountain ; despite the crowds. That feeling of elation that I had that first time will stay in my memory for the rest of my days.
Another ecstatic moment was doing the Tete Blanche on the Swiss-Italian border.  I’d linked up with some guys from Manchester who I’d met out there on the campsite in Arolla. My own mates were tired after a few days out on the hill and I guess (without blowing my own trumpet too much) I was pretty fit and dead keen. The Manchester guys left 2 hours before me while I resorted kit and showered after descending from the Dix Hut earlier that morning I still caught them up later that afternoon before we got to the Bertol Hut 1300 meters above the campsite. I beat the guidebook time by 45 minutes. I was flying and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. The following day we did the Tete Blanche.  One hundred meters from the summit I was in tears. Ecstasy, jubilation and humility all rolled into one. … and I found myself thinking about my Dad, a keen hill walker, who’d died 31 years previously. The Tete Blanche overlooks the Matterhorn, the scene is amazing and is humbling.  I guess a whole host of emotions all hit me at once. I truly was happy.
And the point of this blogg ?
Yesterday was another of those days ; a turning point. I did not one, but two, kayak "eskimo" rolls. My first a new personal achievement that may seem insignificant to some, but for me it’s the start of another long journey that will lead to many new adventures. Once again I felt really, really happy.

About Andy Harpur

Interests : The Scottish Highlands, The Pennine Alps, The Milky Way, Abbot Ale, Mountaineering, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Canoeing, Sea Kayaking, Astronomy, Guitar, Penny Whistle. I live and breath for the outdoor lifestyle. New places, new faces, new adventures....
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