Thursday, 24 October 2013

Spur of the Moment

I looked out of the office window at Salisbury Crags glowing in late afternoon sun. I wanted to be up there! But there was work to be done. Sod it. I took a document to finish at home and walked out the door.

Heart and legs pumping, slipping in my gripless office shoes, I was soon established on the path above the crags. I caught my breath. Holyrood Palace nestled in its park below. The sun fired the autumn leaves on the romantic, shaggy outline of Calton Hill.  The distant Lomonds bronze against a murky cloud over Fife, the Forth cobalt blue, the Ochils etched clear against the setting sun. Figures silhouetted on the Salisbury Crag skyline resolved themselves as I passed, youngsters singly and in pairs, perched on the cliff edge like nesting fulmars. The castle below their dangling feet. Students and tourists. Arthur's Seat wore a crown of tiny figures.

Thankful for my health, for my mobility, for the opportunity to see and experience this, I descended back into city life. What a place Holyrood Park is, what a privilege for Edinburgh to have a mountain in its midst! And what a joy to pluck a moment like this from a dull, routine day.

On Salisbury Crags:

4 comments:

Chris said...

Fantastic. What a pleasure to have this on the doorstep

blueskyscotland said...

Cant imagine Edinburgh without its mountain soaring above it. At 800 feet it punches well above its actual height. Always feels like a few thousand feet at least from the edge of the cliffs.

Pierre said...

Hi Craig,

I found your "expert" answer about bouldering near Edinburgh (on all experts dot com)

"The best-known bouldering area near Edinburgh is Aberdour... Salisbury Crags aren't good quality climbing..." -

Aberdour? Ratho? Rosyth? for bouldering? Really? I mean seriously?

I don't know about your mountaineering expertise, but regarding bouldering, you'd better shape up.

Aberdour landings are dangerous and not worth the grade - unless you like V0/f3 highballs of course, but then you might as well bring some gear and climb the routes properly.

Salisbury crags and Agassiz rock (Blackford hill) are the only decent bouldering spots near Edinburgh - if you don't trust me, check Stone Country's guide to Bouldering in Scotland (by John Watson).

You should join the bouldering crowd one day, we'll show you what it's all about ;-)

Robert Craig said...

Thanks Pierre for your reply and I stand corrected. There's a pleasure to be had in a real expert opinion, one that transcends any lack of interest in the subject.

Reading this post three years later I am struck that I remember the walk, yet have no recollection at all of the salaried work that my anxiety deemed so important that it would have otherwise have kept me off the hill.