Pushing on, the ground levels out and I follow paths made by sheep and deer through the heather. A raven honks overhead, and for a second I'm transfixed by the rush of sound of it's wings beating the air, nearing and retreating. Grasses rustle and the Allt na Cubhaige burbles round ice-petalled pebbles.
Yesterday I went back to Laggan. It was my first visit for well over a year, since moving from Aviemore up to Inverness. I'd been meaning to return for a while, partly to try a few problems I'd not previously managed, but partly just to go back, to see the place and remember its shapes and colours, and the times I've spent there. So far this bouldering season I've been more involved in the siege process than ever before, determined as I am for this to be the year of Malc's. I'm still relishing the battle, and starting to see some benefits come through, but there's no doubt that the more you focus on the specifics of holds, moves, conditions, skin, the less you open your eyes to your surroundings. Yesterday it was good to re-connect with a place, to remind myself of the journey this microcosm of obsession has come from: the mountains and glens, the woods, the rivers, the fields.
|And, I could barely do this move a year ago. Which was nice.|