The thought of re-climbing a set of hills used to fill me with dread. You know in your mind’s eye what’s ahead of you, and you know that it is within your capability. Why bother?
When faced with re-climbing two of my favourite munros – Buachaille Etive Mor – with two pals who hadn’t been on either piece of rock, I wasn’t massively bothered about doing it. I knew they’d love it, but I was feeling a bit “seen it, done it”. Worse, I didn’t want it to be “less than”. Didn’t want it to spoil my lasting memory of a really great hike.
On the day, I was pretty cock sure. As the veteran taking point, I was surprised at how little detail I actually remembered of the route. Or how steep some of it was!
Sure I knew the general direction of travel, but the twists in the path, the gradients, and the decisions to be made when we lost the path – all these things had slipped my memory.
As it turned out, we had a superb day, and what surprised me was how different it was this time around.
The weather, the terrain, the view, the circumstances, the wear on your boots (and on your knees). Even the reason for heading up it, changes. All these things made it no less worthwhile than the first time. Maybe even a wee bit more.