Saturday, 1 September 2007

WHERE RHINOS FEAR TO PASS


Little Girl deserted us for Brownie Camp during our stay in the Lake District. In so doing, I lost my walking companion and had to look instead to Outdoor and Apprentice Men for support and kindred spirit.

It is a human weakness that we invariably hear what we want to hear, misinterpreting messages and signals relayed to us and in so doing ignore our instincts.

“We’re going to take you for some easy climbing beneath the Pike O’ Blisco,” they said. “We’ll carry the gear, but you can bring the provisions in your rucksack, and it’ll only be a short walk to the face because we’ll park on Wrynose Pass.”

I succumbed to human weakness and misinterpreted. Evocatively I conjured up the atmosphere of Rhinos’ Pass. Knowing that no such animals had ever stalked the mountains of Cumbria, I envisaged exciting stone formations at the head of what I understood to be a little used route from Langdale into Eskdale. With only a few foil-wrapped sandwiches on my back and the option to take photos rather than climb, the day would be a doddle, I assumed.

It was not to be. Wrynose Pass climbed steeply from Little Langdale in a series of brows and sharp bends. The road was on a 25% incline and so narrow that 2 rhinos would have struggled to pass and, of course, at every peak or elbow we met a vehicle coming in the opposite direction. 50 metres progress forward resulted in 10 metres back to a passing place with the accompanied agony of watching our car edge forward with only millimetres on either side between a drystone wall and the oncoming traffic. It was not a route for the faint hearted and, whilst I would like to think I began to cope with the angst created, in truth I arrived at the top a shaking shadow of my true self.

The view appeared magnificent but in genuine Boys’ Own Adventure style I was not permitted the time to appreciate it or recover. So Swiss Army penknife at the ready, I pulled my rucksack onto my back in anticipation that our destination was just around the corner. Strangely the sandwiches weighed much heavier than expected; something to do with high-energy cereal bars and bananas I discovered later. As for that short walk, yes it wasn’t so long but it was uphill, at Outdoor and Apprentice Men’s pace. Heart pounding and breathless, I reached the point where the climbing began.
Its name: BLACK Crag!

2 comments:

Tulsa House Cleaning said...

Very creative :)

Tulsa Divorce Attorneys said...

Judith how do you think up this stuff? lol