Sunday, January 04, 2009

It ain't easy



And I did cry a little bit. But - here I am on the top of a mountain. A very bloody big mountain. If I look half-crazed, it's because I was terrified about standing up straight in case I got blown off the ridge. Yes, a fucking ridge! With snow! Ice! And men with spikes on their shoes!

I was probably the slowest climber. And I'm fairly sure the only one to stop for a fag break halfway. In fact, I have a sense I fell asleep in the snow and only dreamed the long, icy scramble back down in the dark. But my legs hurt like hell, so it probably did happen.

25 comments:

Janine Ashbless said...

Oh WOW! What a great picture!
Which mountain?

Nikki Magennis said...

Ben Lomond, which all the mountaineers are very sniffy about because it's apparently so popular.

I don't think 'popular' is the word I'd use. 'Fucking murder' might be more appropriate - but then people were jogging past me ...

Nikki Magennis said...

(I did stop whimpering just long enough to notice the amazing views - from the Firth of Clyde to - I think - Edinburgh. Then I felt dizzy and had to close my eyes again.)

Jeremy Edwards said...

Congratulations on your "peak experience"!!

Kirsten Monroe said...

Nikki,

Congratulations on your monumental achievement!!! What a glorious photo!

--KM

Nikki Magennis said...

Thanks both! It's very nice to get congrats, cause I was feeling ashamed about taking a full hour longer than one's sposed to! Still, the worst horse tries hardest ...

Craig Sorensen said...

Shit, who cares how long it took you to get up there? You went.

You saw, you went, you conquered.

You rock!

Alana said...

Jesus, Nikki, I see the elated exhaustion in your face; you glow, beam like light, you're beautiful.

EllaRegina said...

So COOL!

Brava!!

Nikki Magennis said...

Heehee, Craig, thanks! 'Conquered' sounds good. I like that!

And Alana, you're so kind. Thank you!

EllaRegina - yah, cool like minus four! Thanks!

Wow, I wish you'd all been up there with me! happy new year to everyone!

kristina lloyd said...

Amazing! Wonderful picture.

I climbed one of Scotland's Five Sisters when I was in my mid-twenties. I don't know which one - the one that hurt like a bastard. Like you I was the slowest and crappest and we had to scramble down in the dark after (which wasn't the plan) because it had taken us so effing long to get up there. My fellow climbers were people who casually used words like 'scree' and 'caribiner' (aka snaphooks if you're kinky). I was clueless. But reaching the top was incredible. All I was thinking was pain, pain, thighs, feet, thin air, why am I last, one step at a time, rocks, ouch etc. And then suddenly I was on top of the world and everything was clear!

Thank you for reminding me of it.

Nikki Magennis said...

Kristina, we should do a big hill together! We could compete to see who gives up quickest! Really, if boyf hadn't physically dragged me the last little bit I would have just lain down and sobbed into the frozen ... um ... scree.

kristina lloyd said...

Ready ... steady ... Oh! I have given up already. Gosh, look at that nice pub over there. Whisky by the fire?

Nikki Magennis said...

heehee, yes, that sounds like my perfect kind of sporting activity! I'll race you to the hot nuts though, just to make it seem like we are actually trying.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Ooh, please save room for me in your snug! (That last word is a noun, by the way—not an adjective with subsequent anatomical term elided.) I'm the guy who sat in a wine bar writing a farce while the rest of his traveling party hiked up a mountain. It was a beautiful arrangement: they showed me their photos, and I let them read the play.

See you at the pub! I'll bring my own hot nuts.

Nikki Magennis said...

Ah, see, I'm really more at home sitting in the pub and looking at the mountains than trying to climb them!

Cheers, Jeremy.

Madeline Moore said...

My mountain climbing story isn't nearly as glorious as yours, Nikki.
Congratulations. Here's mine:

We were in Jasper. Skier friends wanted to go cross-country. I suggested they go without me but one promised to 'be by my side the whole way.' We ended up cross country skiing up a mountain. Huh?

I was the slowest. He was not beside me. They reached the top and skied down, flying past me.

When I reached the top I was alone.
I didn't know how to ski, not even snow plough. Hmmm. I don't remember the view - I think I was too terrified by the prospect of my descent.

I tucked into a crouch, as I'd seen on TV, and headed down the mountain. Speed skiing on cross country skis. Every time I had to turn, I threw myself sideways into the snow.

Finally my 'friend' skiied up beside me, laughing his guts out.

'I'm going to die!' That's what I told him, right before I burst into tears.

He taught me a few things and I got down the rest of the way, alive...

I shudder to think of it.

I like your story better.

xoxo Madeline

Nikki Magennis said...

Madeline, I hope you buried that hopeless friend in the snow and left him for the wolves.

I think probably Canadian mountains beat Scottish mountains! Fuck, I wouldn't like to be left up one of those on my own!

kristina lloyd said...

Madeline, that sounds like a horror story.

I think The Snug and Nuts should be a place where troubled writers can hang out together, making molehills out of mountains.

Erobintica said...

Even though I have a fear of heights (get nervous going to the top of a ladder) - I do think it's cool to be on top of a mountain or ridge or anyplace high. Not sure I'd ever be up for ice and spikes and all. One of my daughters will be doing that one of these days - her boyfriend's into the whole mountain climbing thing.

Congrats - that's pretty awesome.

Nikki Magennis said...

Yep, I hear you re the fear of heights, Erobintica! That was the theme of much of the whimpering I was doing! Funny though, when you're that high it's almost like being in a plane - the ground's so far away it's not quite real.

Emerald said...

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Nikki! I myself find it quite impressive!

Madeline, I'm sorry to hear the way you experienced your mountain-climbing escapade, but you did still manage to climb a mountain -- congratulations on that.

Many of the rest of the comments here made me laugh out loud, and that was fun. ;)

Happy new year all!

Xoxox,
Emerald

Nikki Magennis said...

Happy new year to you too, Emerald! Welcome to the snuggly nuts!

Saskia Walker said...

That's an amazing photo! Well done you, what an achievement! Happy New Year to you and yours, sweetie.

Nikki Magennis said...

Thanks, Saskia! Best of all, I never have to do it ever, ever again. At least, I think that's what boyf meant.

Have a fabulous 2009, Saskia!