Ben Cruachan

If there’s any way to soften the blow of England and Wales installing the Tories with a majority government at Westminster, this has to be it; a day out on Ben Cruachan with a great bunch of people helping Wendy from Christian Aid clock up another peak in her 70 Munros Challenge.

Although Stob Daimh isn’t on the list of 70, I encouraged the group to make the most of the day by continuing along the ridge rather than heading back down the way we’d come. It became another fantastically rewarding day, helping people to push their boundaries, coaching a range of skills for moving on snow, easy scrambling and some techniques for managing psychological fears about steep ground. The highlight on the day was to see people’s faces as they reached the summit of Stob Daimh and looked back to see Ben Cruachan in all it’s  majesty, with the last of winter’s snows picking out the details of it’s rocky ridges.

Stopping off on the way home in my usual haunt at the Real Food Cafe (it’s worrying that the owner’s starting to recognise me!), I had the chance to catch up on the news about the General Election. There’s no doubt the result means it’s going to be five hard years for many of the people I work with back in Glasgow, but reassuring to be reminded that we have these beautiful, spectacular hills as a resource to help people cope with their struggles; to ensure that, in John Muir’s words, “people have beauty as well as bread”