Climbing Mountains in Scotland at New Year: A Poem

Hi there! Over New Year I was on a mountaineering course in Scotland, absolutely loved it! I ended up writing a poem about mountaineering a short time afterwards and have decided to share it with you, and this is one of the pictures I got from a summit on the first day. We also had blizzard and white out conditions, it was amazing! Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

The wind buffets you, but you push onwards,

Feeling the ache gripping your legs and

The cold of the ice-axe seeping through your gloves.

Ice crunches under your feet, crampons scrape on the rocky path,

Walking poles clink. The icy air

Chafes your skin red-raw, throwing snow in your eyes half-closed,

Making out only the bright figure of the others’ waterproofs

Ahead. A stray ray of sunlight filters through the clouds,

And the whole world glitters before you like diamonds.

You snuggle your chin into your buff, glad

Of the weight of your bag keeping you warm,

Tightening the fingers of your spare hand round the straps,

Gritting your teeth. A smile

Touches the corners of your mouth as you feel the ground

Begin to flatten out beneath your feet, your heart beats faster as your

Stride begins to quicken. You can taste the freshness of the air, sharp as lemons,

Smell the cold and the snow, as you see before you the

Grey stone of the trig-point, rime ice decorating its faces.

You touch it and crystal flakes disappear into the wind.

What do you see?

The world spread out before you like a carpet at your feet,

A folded quilt of peaks and troughs, rivers glistening like silver threads,

So small. Or, instead,

A thick grey oppressive cloud of nothing, rendering the world

Invisible, just yourself alone in a torrent of wind and snow –

Isn’t it, though, magnificent? Or best and rarest yet,

A complete inversion of the heavens,

Clouds sailing below your feet and that perfect sapphire

Curve above your head, seeing only

The peaks that pierce the mist, alone in this

Wonder of nature, this


If one cannot stand tall here, at the top of the world,

One cannot stand at all.

4 thoughts on “Climbing Mountains in Scotland at New Year: A Poem

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