Not Too Old To Climb

Bridget – Contributer
My 60th birthday…I spent my birthday climbing the Inaccessible Pinnacle on the Isle of Skye. It is a Munro, one of the 282 peaks over 3000 feet in Scotland. I still have the ambition to do them all but have got two thirds still to go!

The InPin as it is known is the only summit that needs proper ropes. You climb up a narrow ridge and then drop down a rope on the steepest side. Sounds easy but when you know you are just a slip away from a fall then even a rope and a guide does not give much comfort. Not only is it scary but I had another fear. Two and a half years previously I had broken both my wrists. No, not a climbing accident, but when the bride fell on me at the wedding reception. Don’t ask. My right wrist was a simple crack but the left one needed three operations and endless endless physiotherapy. I wasn’t at all sure how it would hold out. But there is only one way to find out and that it to try. In the event the day was misty and a bit wet – well it is Scotland – and though September is quite often a good month the clouds keep rolling in over the Cuillin from the Atlantic. In one way this was a good thing as the depth was not too visible but on the other hand it was hard to see where I was going. The main thing when climbing is to keep the rope taut and to make sure each hand and foot is properly placed. It requires total concentration and on a real hill you can’t stop and rest and think about the next move. The relief when I got there and the big grins from my guide John were a fantastic reward. The next day, therefore, we went out again and did some more peaks and tried some of the more difficult routes. Totally exhilarating. Must get out more!I once thought I could do them before I was 70 but work keeps getting in the way.I’ll work on 75.

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