Hi. All. I am standing at the foot of a cliff. I look up but cannot see the top. The thought of the climb is so daunting that I feel weak with apprehension. Someone who has made the climb has lowered their climbing gear down to me and it rests by my feet. It's all there. The rucksack, climbing boots and gear. All ready for me to go. I quake and my stomach churns. The very thought hits me again and again and I am sure I can never make it. But I am told others have done it so, well, here goes. I put on the rucksack and boots and drive in my first piton. I haul myself up. That wasn't so bad! Still can't see the top but I know it's there in the mist above. So piton after piton; on and up. Then I slip and panic sets in. Tears come to my eyes. This is hopeless. Just a waste of time. Too much for me. It's no good, I can't make it and I was a fool to try. I will go back to the bottom and lie there, at least it was reasonably safe. Then I think. To hell with that! That means I have given up and I WILL NOT be beaten by this damn monster!! So in goes another piton and up I go. Now I feel very tired with all the effort. A ledge appears above and I haul myself up. I open the rucksack. A primus and a kettle of water and tea are there so I decide to have a 'brew up'. I look around. I see many cliffs and there are many people climbing. I see some slip back to the bottom but they all seem to get up and start again. I realise how full of courage they are and it helps me to know that. I pack the gear and off we go. To my surprise this bit is not as difficult as I thought it would be. Then I slip and down I go, only to be brought to an abrupt halt. I get palpitations and that seems to be the last straw. Suppose I have a heart attack up here; oh my God!!
But my piton has held. It is well secured to the rock. I start to climb back again, but, to my horror there is an overhang ahead. What to do? I traverse as I have been taught. (Yes, I really knew all along) and up I go. The top is now visible. This gives me great hope. My energy returns and I haul myself up the final bit and rest, exhausted, on the grass. I look around. In the distance are many people who have arrived and are walking about. Their rucksacks are strewn about the top where they have let them drop. But I look down and see, at the foot of the cliff, someone looking up, so I lower my gear down to them. I cannot pull them up. They have to do that for themselves. But I am up on top and I Take a deep breath and walk toward the people. Love. jonathan.