Descending from Refuge Sarradets, I’m reminded once again why I do this; the magnificent views, the dirt under my feet, the feeling of being amongst friends but at the same time remote. I love being able to drift in and out of conversations; I love that a thread can last for days and even weeks. I love the wilderness, in a strange way it’s the only time I feel spiritual. I love the enthusiasm, I love that we’re doing something that scares us the odd time. I love the air, the elements and the company.
Passing down from La Brèche de Roland and on into France, I contemplate the mountains we’ve just left: Le Casque, Mont Perdu, the slog up through the shale, three steps forward, two steps back. I remember the energy-sapping slope up to the top, I remember thinking of my late brother there, like Mont Perdu he’s not lost, he’s just out of sight.
Pain has a short memory and the discomfort of the refuges and the blisters will soon be forgotten. Except for maybe the noises of the night!
We’ll be back.