The all white day...
It was a promising sight when I first peered out of the window this morning. Beyond the wet glass and besides a constant tapping of the rain, the mountains across the bay were covered in snow. Well, the temperature decided to drop at last. Our destination in the Glen Coe range was about two-hour walk away. But as I tried to catch as much as a glimpse of where we were heading, all I could actually see was a decently steep and long snow slope ahead of us, disappearing into white.
Andy was my climbing partner today for the Central Grooves, one of the best classic routes in Scotland. It snowed heavily all the time and accumulation at the base of the climb was half a metre. Wind has also joined the game, as it usually does on such an occasion, causing much spindrift, turning our three languages into an impolite mixture.
Just as Andy started, Erwan joined in, so that the other team on the Unicorn was more mobile. Pitch by pitch we were enjoying the route while Tony was following by a fixed rope to cover some sections, photo shooting. We wouldn't dare walking from the top because of the fresh snow, so we rapped off and then ploughed down from the base.
Descending through fog and snow all the way back, with moisture setting in as the snow turned into rain, I knew exactly what comes next: In the hotel, there's this little magic spa pool, with the power to change the mind of any man. Especially those who may become firmly convinced they've just had enough of Scottish conditions for a few presidential mandates. You sit in for a while and go walk straight up to Ben Nevis, first thing the next morning.
Life is good. And sometimes it finds the way to get even better.
Text by Aljaz Anderle
Photos by Tony Lamiche