Saturday, February 27, 2010

Back in the saddle

Yippee!  First walk for what seems like a year. OK, it was only a short walk, two hours up and three-quarters down but somewhat of a morale booster. As mother and baby are at home I couldn’t very well do a whole day hike so I plumped for the Boudet crag which I can see from my window. Ten minutes in the car to get to the parking place and off I set with a rucksack, due to the changeable weather, that would have done me proud on Everst - cold weather gear, wet weather gear, tropical gear, snowshoes, sandals and a camel for those difficult dunes.
Actually the day started off settled on rainy but still promising as I got a terrific view of a small avalanche zooming harmlessly down the mountain behind the house preceded by catching sight of a beech marten loping off after presumably  having a sniff round the cat’s bowl outside the kitchen door. I always think the martens are a positive sign.
I saw another one on my walk which is odd because you don’t see one for months at a time and then suddenly two on the same morning.
I took the snowshoes though I didn’t think I’d need them but as it turns out I did as there was still a good two feet of snow up there and I tried a new route up which cut off a good twenty minutes off the walk. It may not be a wild place but it’s isolated,  the views are good if you look in the right direction and you can have a leisurely breakfast go to the crag and be down in time for lunch which makes it a good destination when, like today there’s no time. Like with everywhere else in the valley, I have never seen anyone else on the walk.
Once up I had a cup of tea in gale force winds and nearly burnt my lip. These valve-top stainless steel thermos are amazing. It’ll keep water scalding hot for a good 10 hours and doesn’t break (mine fell down a 20 foot drop last year). Plus they cost less than a regular thermos and don’t smell. I am quite amazed that people still seem to use trad thermos or even take a stove up on a day walk. Each to his own I suppose.
Looking forward to Wednesday when, depending on the avalanche bulletin, I can do a serious walk.

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