A Trip down Memory Lane….
Trying to bring some order to one of my desk drawers I came across this old 35mm transparency. It was a little worse for ware, but cleaned up reasonably well. It also re-awakened memories from way back when I was, as they say a “lad”.
I can tell you it was Easter. The year was either 1961 or 1962. I and two friends had just endured 4 very wet days rock climbing in the Torridon Mountains of North West Scotland. The exact location was the rock cliff faces below Liathach. Lets just say the weather made it all very challenging on some extreme climbs. We never reached the summit ridge, not that it would have mattered as visibility along the tops was nil. It was though frightening and also fun… but after 4 days of being permanently wet trying to sleep in a tent that eventually decided it was not going to be waterproof any longer, we decided a change of location was needed…. we knew when to give in.
Listening to the weather forecast that evening in the local pub, the Isle of Skye, very surprisingly, seemed to be getting much better weather. As none of us had climbed in the Cuillin Mountains on Skye, indeed I had never even been to Skye, the decision was made – Skye it was to be.
So early the next morning, still soaking wet we headed off in the trusty weather beaten Morris Minor Pick-up.
To get to the Isle of Skye in those days involved crossing by ferry at the Kyle of Lochalsh. (The Skye Bridge hadn’t even been thought of back then). No booking in advance, you just turn up on the slipway and waited your turn. When we arrived we did find ourselves at the front of a queue – sadly several more queue’s were before us. The ferry was slow, backwards and forwards across the Kyle, so the wait was going to be a long one.
The weather was now dry and the sun was threatening to make an appearance…. so with a warm van bonnet, a drying wind and the chance of some sun, we took the opportunity to at least start to dry our clothes. 3 hours later our turn came to board the ferry, our clothes dry enough for the next challenges.
We had 10 more days climbing in Scotland before heading home to Manchester. Thankfully most of those days were mainly dry and sunny.
Skye proved magical, dramatic and challenging on the Cuillin’s. For me, it also sowed the seeds of a love affair with Skye…. Skye is still magical all these years and numerous visits later.
Memories are rekindled with such reclaimed images…..
Lets make more memories this New Year….. and
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
* Just as a footnote. The saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing may well be true in todays era of Gortex and the like. In 1961 we were still reliant upon the Army Surplus Stores for our gear.
(C) David Oakes 2022