Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Cobbler

Today was going to be an important one for me, but I did not realise it at the time. I had only been seeing Susan for a short while and six months later as I retrospectively write this blog, that was the day that I began to realise that there was more to us than just two people who were attracted to each other.

Susan would be the one to stop my life from the freefall that it was in.

And she did.

We both had the day off and so we set off early to Arrochar to climb Ben Arthur. I had unsuccesfully attempted this climb a couple of years ago in the torrential rain and snow of March with the guys, with the end result that we nearly had to be airlifted off the side of the hill!

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As we set off the weather was not too bad, but a little bit chilly. However, our brisk walking pace kept the cold at bay. We spent the four hour climb really getting to know each other, chatting about our pasts, likes and dislikes. We share many of the same hobbies such as cycling and of course hill-walking and I don't ever remember feeling quite at ease with someone as I did with Susan .

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The weather became increasingly changeable as we got further up culminating in a brief snow shower 20 minutes before we reached the summit.

The view was amazing and we spent a little while taking pictures and trying to stay warm in the strong, icy winds.

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There was only one thing left to do and that was take a look through the "eye" of The Cobbler. This is two gaps in the rock with a ledge in between that tradition dictates you have to traverse.

To access this centre peak, you have to pass through a small opening in the rock which leads to a narrow ledge facing a 150 ft vertigo inspiring drop. Once on the ledge an awkward sloping ramp leads to a final step onto the flat summit rock.

I crawled through the hole on the right looked down at the shear drop and the newly fallen snow on the ledge and bottled it! Death was not on today's itinerary!

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I retreated through the hole with my dignity barely intact and we began our decent of the hill.

A couple of hours later and we were back where we started, safe and sound and ready for all our adventures in the future.