The stargazer of a peak may look like a grassy knoll from this perspective but it literally was a step too far. Fresh from city life, the uneven ascent had already begun to wear me down and the look and sound of Grindslow Brook suggested that perhaps we’d chosen the toughest route. The alternative was to start again, up along the other side, re-crossing the ankle deep bog patches that lay in wait for the careless scrambler.
Mud was already drying on my boots in the June wind and I sat and contemplated the sock stains with more than a touch of petulance. At times like this, Life seemed full of spite yet I knew it was just the pique of pierced pride in a small trough of despair. What a fraud I was pretending that I could keep up, that age had not left a trace of impediment. Readying myself for the other route I reached in the rucksack for the modern equivalent of laudanum to dull the pain of an ageing spine. My daughter took the initiative and led the way down, with me yolked like an oxen to her youth.
Along the Crowden Brook way, adjacent waters fell with a lustrous gusto that put some sparkle into the climb. The wider, more discernible route allowed attention to wander and and I was upbeat with the views, glad that we’d changed tack. And just when momentum was in full swing, we hit the wall of rock. It was a steep, overhang of a climb above tempestuous waters – an impasse for the less than nimble or daring.
Peter Riley’s painterly panegyric of Kinder Scout is suitably monumental but all I can write is a wimpy wordled account of the day I chickened out.
Written with 11 of the 12 word options emboldened for Wordle #100