Cruach Ardrain

What is this place?

I’m unable catch my breath

however much I rest

I know my way but I am lost

and overjoyed to be so

Alpenglow in the coire bowl

a simple Sunday Service

A muted windless prayer

that stills wind troubled whiteness

A landscape for questioning

the curls and peaks here

must be matter conjured from dreams


I can hear tiny balls of ice

scratch and skitter on the surface

rolling down the hill

past my battered shelter

and broken stove

past stiffened crampon straps

and cardboard toes

Baby avalanches rumbled on some other mountain

Spindrift danced flamenco

whilst a tired man balanced tender on the surface

On the rolling mounds of Cruach Ardrain

stacked high above Crianlarich

Where Naismith first counted

steps and height to guide us

did I make safe choices home?

this time, yes, safe choices.

A more conventional (less pretentious? more understandable?) account of this 2 day trip, with different photos, was published in the BMC's Summit magazine, winter issue 2016...

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