Thursday 19 May 2011

Going dotty

It looks so easy. You could surely just run up there, scramble over a few rocks and be up on the top in next to no time!
It isn't until you start to get up close and personal you see just how vast Stac Pollaidh is. It isn't that it's so high it's just so  much bigger and steeper than it first appears. The little dots are the two boys and their climbing partners. Two of the dots were in 'the chimney' bit but we could see their ropes, if you double click on the picture you can just see.
We had gone with them for the day, to keep them company we said! But I'm not quite sure why we said it, they stayed as dots for much of the day.
Where's Wally Niels? His head looks like a small white pebble in the middle of the picture. He thought he'd 'pop' up and wave to them from the base of  the stac, I was worried that by waving in response  my 'children' would lose their footing and fall off, but I needn't have worried, Niels soon reappeared admitting that even at the base they were still beyond the reach of communication!
He contented himself by peering up in the sky with a pair of not very strong binoculars and getting neck ache.
 I on the other hand to stop myself being that worried mother spent much of the day looking down and concentrating on my feet and their surrounds.
My trainers I thought  (not that they're very exciting) blended in perfectly with the mosses and grasses
I'm sorry I got a bit carried away with the macro setting
These were very little and growing right down in a rocky crevice. I looked in my wild flower book I think they may be bog bilberries
A tiny safe miniature world.
I did come up for air from time to time and looked at the bigger picture. So many people come up to the Scottish Highlands and see only rain and mist, but when it's glorious it's truly spectacular.
I glance up and notice a red dot on the top right hand corner of the stac. Two dots had made it to the top, the other two dots did a bit of traversing - that's sideways climbing I was later informed . Maybe they traversed round the other side of the mountain and I missed them.
It was getting towards early evening and the sun climbing lower in the sky. We hovered around the base of stac pollaidh  waiting for the dots to return
The nice thing about climbing....watching climbing,  is that you can stay still for much of the time and simply soak up the surroundings on the spot
It isn't long though before we hear a familiar jangling and clanging
and the first two dots appear - the traversing dots
 They discuss where they went wrong, why they went sideways, and came off the route they had planned. Fortunately Dad, who'd watched it all could point out exactly what they should have done!
More jangling and the next two dots appear followed by Richard, a friend who came too but didn't climb.
I know they were safe really, they take it all quite seriously, but it's good the mountain returns them in one piece.
Back to the car and supper and a welcome drink in the pub!


Dan said...

I think I'd have go to the pub (for several hours) before I went up to the summit! I'm grateful that, like you, I get so much pleasure from finding the tiny details, like the bog bilberries.
You got some fantastic shots and I can imagine you were so relieved when all of the dots arrived back down again.

S. Etole said...

You live in the most amazing place. As the mother of a rock climber I understand the tension.

old_black said...

Woah! That is so spectacular!! From the ultra close-ups to the distant mountains and lakes. I'm sitting in an inner city office on the other side of the world with my mouth open.

ju-north said...

Beautiful scenery! We hope to do part of the walk soon!

Mac n' Janet said...

Spectacular scenery, brave souls, beautiful day, but it would have scared the pooh out of me, both as a watcher or, heaven forbid, a participant. Extreme fear of heights.

Becks said...

Lovely photos Ann.... It's a typically murky day here in Mankchester and I have location envy! Thanks again for having me, it was a great few days.

annie hoff said...

Hi Becks
How exciting to hear from you - one of my blog dots!
You're welcome here any time at all

rachel said...

Brave of you, a mother, to watch! I once observed my son, when he was a tree surgeon, dangling from ropes 70 feet up a tree, and wielding a chainsaw. Never again; bad for the heart!

Ann said...

Wow! what stunning photographs from a great trip. I agree with you when the clouds lift and the rain stops Scotland is truely beautiful. I lived in Scotland for 30 years and still miss it every day.
Happy Week

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