A decent pair of climbing boots…

We strode out from Mamore Lodge

Two abreast

Father and daughter

She setting a measured, leisurely pace

Breathing carefully.

He keeping time

Nursing a sore shoulder.

As the track inclined and the view opened out

Loch Leven hove into sight

An old trawler tied up indefinitely

To a wee jetty on the opposite bank

Below the road.

Our goal, “The Seat”

High above the loch.

Above the snowline.

We crunched on up the gravelly track

Stones became slush

Merrells soaked through

A cold rush around the toes

Slowly warming up to a cosy squelch

Until the next icy onslaught.

Aches and pains forgotten

Blown away

We reached our destination

And with frozen fingers

Snapped a shot or two.

“Let’s press on to the loch” she urged

Stirred by the chill air

And the thrill of actually using her muscles

For once.

A city slicker now

With pointy boots and fancy coats

No suitable garb for such an expedition

Bar a pair of old trainers.

Press on they did

Until chilly Loch Eilde Mhor could be seen

Resting quietly among snowy ridges

Cold shoulders

An army mast piercing the lumbering grey sky.

We about-faced then

Eyes full of mountains and lochs

Observed silently by a stag

High above.

The sun on our faces

We retraced our snowy steps

Back to the lodge

Back to the crackling log fire

Hearts ablaze with Munro-bagging projects

A map of Scotland

A box of coloured pins

And a decent pair of climbing boots…

Kate M Reid

18th January 2007