It’s the thought that counts. Isn’t that what they say? We were heading with our best friends for a relaxing camping holiday (or so I thought) when Donna announced a lovely surprise for me. A two day rock climbing course. The perfect gift for someone with a chronic terror of heights. When I stand at the top of our stairs at home and look down it makes my head spin and I imagine hurtling over the bannister to lie in a crumpled heap looking up as my life slowly ebbs and fades away. The thought of abseiling off a sea cliff and climbing a sea stack in horribly inappropriate footwear (the supplied climbing shoes didn’t fit) really gave me sweaty palms. As I hand jammed my way up the sea stack in my slippery shoes, I felt a stream of blood effuse from my bleeding hands to drip from the elbow. At the top of the sea stack I clung to the merciless rock as the sky spun around me like some perverse merry-go-round. I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I love surprises usually. There were moments of it I enjoyed. The physical feeling and exercise of climbing is great. The views were amazing. It was just the feeling of certain and inevitable death I struggled with. I’m really glad I had a go. Sometimes I think it is a good idea to face a fear like that. It didn’t get me over it though. The nice thing is that I’ve rarely been so far outwith my comfort zone. That makes you feel alive.
That was day one. I then managed to turn this rock climbing expedition on the beautiful island of Skye into a travel photography expedition. The second day was spent photographing Ross in his correct footwear showing how it should be done.
A huge thanks to Donna and Rossco for making these photographs possible.