Nice, steady scramble up mountain face with awesome views
Actually, not all of my stops on these climbs are from tiredness or aches and pains. The vast majority of stops are to turn around and take in the scenery, which nearly always changes the higher you climb.
The first five-hundred metres or so and you start to fumble for the words to describe the outlying topography, and the best you can do is turn to Wordsworth's 'a motionless array of mighty waves' as you flow into the nirvana silence; objects, and people in the distance, if there are any around, can only just be discerned. Another hundred metres and you're able to pick out sparkling waterfalls gushing around furls until they disappear or form snow-white vertical threads that shiver and spray their way down hundreds of metres of rock and hillside. From the same point, a glance in a different direction and you're revering the transient shadows that trick the eye by playfully contorting and bending out new shapes along the lazy folds and brows of adjacent and distant mountains. Fifty metres higher and it's brooding mountains idling as their rivulets decant vicinal lakes and tarns that mirror the blue skies. Go higher, much higher, and you're sitting with the Olympian gods, looking down on birds in flight way below; if you're lucky, you'll catch sight of a kestrel gracefully wind-hovering and lifting its wings to gain height in search of off guard prey.
As well as the scenery and avian activity I just mentioned, I saw a drapery of mist covering the tops of outlying mountains as it made its way towards us. Occasionally the mist would envelop part of a mountain, making it disappear as though it had been somehow dissolved only for it to reassemble itself and break back into sight a few moments later. We stopped here with the idea of making a brew, and Paul must have been thinking the same because as we were rummaging through our rucksacks he said he thought the mist would meet us by the time we reached the top. Then, tragedy, we'd forgotten the stove. We were completely flummoxed, and temporarily at a loss of what to do. Normally, when things don't go to plan we generally tend to stop and have a cup of tea, but what do you do when the thing that's gone wrong is the very thing preventing you from having a cup of tea? I can honestly say that this was the first time we'd ever encountered such a pitiful state of affairs, so I guess you'll understand if I tell you that we both chose to seek refuge in a silent sulk - which lasted for about five seconds. (A hardship story for the grandkids, that one.)
We tucked into the sandwiches that Paul had made earlier and drank water, I must have polished off about a litre; the climb and sultry air had given me quite a thirst. About half-an-hour later we were back on route and within the next hour we were at the face of our scramble.
Compared to some of our scrambles I'd say that this one was relatively easy, though you still needed to keep your wits about you. Some scrambles looked so easy that I felt compelled to move further along the escarpment and seek out a more challenging rock face, Paul almost certainly doing the same. I lost sight of Paul after a while - Paul climbs much faster than I do - but I knew that if I didn't come across him again on the climb we'd meet somewhere along the summit.