Through a gap in the trees, I catch my first glimpse of the end of the loch. At the head of the glen, rises the Mountain, for the moment innocuous amidst its neighbours, happy to take a back seat for now.
The path weaves a seemingly random course through the wood, one moment going up and the next down. It’s tiring work and the Mountain doesn’t seem to get any nearer. Tantalising views of the Mountain appear from time to time.
The wood is done with, and the walk turns into an end of day slog along the tarmac. Now the Mountain tries to lure me into spending the night on its flank. It’s too far though and I need to stop now.
I find a spot by a small loch, the view dominated by the Mountain and its sister. The siblings reach out to me through the water, the reflections gently rippling in the stillness of the evening.
I sleep with the Mountain as my guardian, and it is the first thing I see when I peer out of my tent in the morning. The Mountain continues to watch my progress as I complete the walk along the road to its base. Trees surround me, but still the Mountain makes its presence known.
I spend the morning enjoying the walk along the side of the Mountain, the scene disturbed by the comings and goings of the road. I begin to wish I’d climbed up between the sisters for some peace, and to enjoy the more intimate embrace of the Mountain. I promise myself that next time I will push on for the reward.
I reach the other end of the Mountain and look upon its more popular view. It’s not difficult to see why this arresting view of the Mountain is so iconic.
I linger a long time just sitting and looking at the Mountain.
But soon I have to push on if I’m to make my planned camp spot. The Mountain watches my back as I draw away from it. Another lochside camp in sight of the Mountain.
I watch the sun set beyond the Mountain, drinking in the view and wishing I could prolong this moment forever. A bucket list mountain, that I will one day climb, but which has still dominated the day.