Bring back Winter!

“We feel cold, but we don’t mind it, because we will not come to harm. And if we wrapped up against the cold, we wouldn’t feel other things, like the bright tingle of the stars, or the music of the Aurora, or best of all the silky feeling of moonlight on our skin. It’s worth being cold for that.” - Philip Pullman, Northern Lights


Red Skye

The second of the two Skye Trail trips this year was hot. Very hot!

It was also exceptionally dry. Especially for the West Coast of Scotland - an area renownd for being wet! - which was basking in sunshine whilst most of England was under grey clouds!

The boggy ground turned crispy and hiking on this usually 'avoid at all cost' terrain was like hiking in the African Savannah - every step crunching underfoot.

Something strange was happening... This was not normal... Surely this weather won't last long...

But I was just about to leave The UK to distant lands, far, far away. I was going back to the cold, baron world of the High Mountains! I didn't need to concern myself with this heat any more... Standard UK summer would return before I got back.

It will? Won't it?


The burning sun continued...

I returned from successful summits of Mont Blanc (French Alps) and Elbrus (Russian Caucasus) to heat in The UK so unbearable that I had to leave London almost as soon as I had arrived!

I had to get away from the crowded, baking city. I had to get to my happy place. I went to The Lake District to find solace (coolness?) in the mountains.

But it was still hot! - It hadn't rained for weeks and the hills had turned a pale, yellowy-green colour.

The lakes were warm and the valleys were filled with a heat I'd never experienced in the UK mountains before...

There was only one thing for it... I packed my rucksack and headed high to look for a breeze to cool me down. I decided to bivvy on mountain peaks more through necessity, than pleasure (not that it wasn't pleasurable :)

Four nights I spent up high in The Lake District (with just one night in Ambleside after a friend visited the area to climb and insisted on going to a pub... Is there a cooling equivalent to the beer jacket? - I'm not sure but it was a great night! - A story for another time...)

Four nights of solitude and a cool breeze... Finally, my frazzled brain could cool down... I could think again!