Against all odds. And the biggest odd was the weather: it was atrocious. Approaching the pass we had to cross we were starting to come to terms with perhaps having to turn around. But we got over the pass, and even better: we made it to the parking place. That is: most of us. The BMW-driver had to be rescued from the valley! It couldn’t go where my heavily-laden old piece of rust managed to go. I was perplexed.
So one hurdle was taken. Time for the next: walking to the entrance, through the snow, in the howling wind, and carrying heavy wrecking bars. It wasn’t easy! But again; we got there. And then we could start. David went up and re-rigged the place. I first faffed a bit with my revamped carbide lamp; I had bought one of those too, and then bought some of the missing parts, and now it was time to find out if it worked. And it did! Spiffing! But by then the rigging was done, and I put the lamp aside, and got kitted up. Phil did too. And talked a bit of Welsh to me! I should keep that going. I need all the practice I can get. And now I know what a “figure of eight knot” is in Welsh! And then we went up. And the rock-kicking started.
Phil looking masculine in the snow with his wrecking bar
My carbide lamp in action!
It was mainly the men doing the kicking. There was only space for two! I was hovering above them, but being above anyone meant I couldn’t chuck anything down. But it was alright. I was happy to watch! Until the call of “tea” sounded from below. I made my modest contribution by re-rigging the rope from a metal pin, which would keep people on the rope a bit away from thundering rocks, and then abbed down. And enjoyed some nice hot beverages! I quite enjoy this new tradition, started on New Year’s Day. The other came down too. But then they went back up!
I was hoping we would actually have a day in which we would be home before midnight. But with all the testosterone-oozing blokes up there again I could forget that! But when they finally came down they said they had made an opening. Big enough for a person! But with some hanging death still. The next week we should go to the other side, and drop these precarious rocks down from above. But now we could go! And we would need the wrecking bars again, so we could slither down the slope again without these burdens.
It was not freezing. But that meant the snow was melting and slippery! And the wind was still howling. Regularly falling on our arses we came down the slope. I had to sometimes stop and brace myself in order to not be blown over. And then we also had to get down the slippery road! I had no purchase whatsoever, but I made it safely. And got home without trouble. Next week we’ll be back; we might have a proper through trip at the end of the day!