More sorting out today for the trip but I had some heavy admin to do first! Ali Mac Donald brought round a ton of wood and that took some moving. It was not just normal wood but old whisky barrels from the distillery’s which are made of oak and will take some burning. It was a hard couple of hours work but worth it, the smell alone will make it exceptional. The wood store is full again. The back is sore but the fire is on and the kit out once again to have a sort through. What to take and what not? Decisions, decisions, it will be great though. I love the build up to a trip. I had a look at my old guide book last night from the first trip, we climbed over 23 routes in 26 days, what a time. The kit was far simpler and wooden axes (Zeros) and terrordactyls were the thing then, a few ice screws, we took about 4 each screw in and a few drive in , screws were very basic then, it is all so different now. There were few belays stations set up as there is now and we used all our spare tape in the first week as most routes you have to abseil off. After we ran out is was down to the local hardware shop for some aluminium tubing which we cut up and abseiled off, as the lightest then I was sent down first. We must have been bonkers, when I look at the new gear it all seems so primitive?
I did a piece on my blog on the accident on Zero Gully on Ben Nevis last week, I thought I had to mention it. My experience of Rescues and accidents in the mountains means I can try to explain how such a tragedy effects the family and the rescuers. I received an email from one of the family who had lost a brother expressing their thanks for what I had written and they put this on a topical climbing forum UKC. Some people may disagree with my thoughts and think that if you were not there you should not comment, that is their right. I strongly feel that at times we mountaineers can be so insular and some so elitist that we think that our view is the only one. If we as lovers of the wild and the mountains at least try to explain why we climb the tabloid press will repeat the same sad story every time there is an accident. We all enjoy the peace and solitude that wild places give us but at times these are places of great danger and accidents unfortunately can and do happen.
Back to the packing and getting sorted out,it is very warm in Scotland 15 degrees in the North East today, the flowers are out everywhere. Where has winter gone?