Munro with cancer #3

5th July 2014, Ben Alder (M025), 3766ft, 1148m

The climb up Ben Alder was hard work. Starting at Ben Alder Bay on Loch Ericht, firstly I followed the burn to the boggy pass over to Culra Bothy and Lagganside, then picked out a route up onto the plateau via the South West shoulder. This is a massive mountain, standing almost alone in the middle of the Grampians, a vast plateau of grass and moss surrounded by steep round shoulders, magnificent corries and spectacular cliffs. When I was at the summit, light clouds were lingering in the morning air at about 3500ft with open skies above. I waited as they passed over and took many photos in an effort to depict the sheer enormity of what I was experiencing. This selfie in front of the summit cairn, looking towards Nevis, captures perhaps something of how overwhelmed I was with where I was and what I had achieved. Even though I had cancer, I could still get myself to places such as this and look out over the land.

Author: Duncan Spence

Mountaineer, retired bicycle messenger, philosopher, wordsmith, proofreader, Dutch translator.

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