Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Coming Down

With the pain in my ankle and knees becoming constant and now causing me to fall down stairs I knew some choices would have to be made. Feeling that I could end up broken and being a liability to my climbing partners I felt the lonely urge to begin soloing again. I thought I had this particular demon truly defeated but it seems to have a lingering presence at the back of my mind, the pressure began to grow on me personally and I couldn't control its aggressively expanding control over my mind set. I really do not want to get drawn back into that game and so I took the decision last week to leave Fort William and move home to Ayrshire to focus on training before the operation in just over 3 weeks. Living in sight of Ben Nevis and not being able to climb was akin to being a junkie living next to a dealer, the temptation, the need of a fix, the ever present risk and no way to escape it apart from going on the run and going cold turkey.

I've had 11 months in the Fort since my last op and it's been amazing. I've managed to spend a year without soloing which has changed my whole mind set and made me a better climber. I've had great days simply among the mountains too like swimming in Glencoe or sleeping under the stars watching the sunset over Skye and lighting the Paralympic Torch on the Ben all the way through to scary new rock routes, thin ice and an epic mountain day on Tower Ridge. I really feel I've gotten to know Lochaber better in the past year and there is no place in the world I'd rather be, cannot wait to return after the op and rehab.

The life I have in Lochaber wouldn't be anywhere near as good as it is without the tight knit group of good mates I have there, you know who you are, thanks for a great year, more of the same soon I hope! With the exception of Craig McKay who keeps dragging me to Ossians 'nightclub', no more Jaeger next year mate......

Sunset over Skye last year...

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