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Climbing Mountains

Posted Aug 06 2009 12:00am
I think it's fair to say that most of us here are climbing personal mountains, mainly of the Special Needs variety.

Some of you are only commencing the climb and have been issued with some safety gear and maybe even some instructions. If you're lucky.

Some are not so lucky but are listening to the advice and the recounting of personal stories from others through blogland and facebook .... thus they are able to tentatively commence the climb while waiting for the professionals to catch up. Giving themselves a headstart, as it were, though they have to hold on tight on the upward climb while they wait.

Others are half way up the Mountain and are making good supportive progress.

Some others have even reached the top ... or thereabouts! However, they may not be receiving continued support in order to stay there. I mean, once you're there you've got to be very careful ... you don't want to come tumbling down, unsupported.

Life is all about ups and downs (Special Needs or not), so you never get to stay at the top. Indeed the top of the Mountain varies in level for each of us taking the climb ...... and you'll be up and down that mountain a number of times! Though, hopefully you NEVER have to go completely back to the very bottom of the heap ... eh, sorry... mountain!

We've been climbing our mountain for a while now and it's been an interesting climb.

Snuggles has been showing an interest in climbing mountains , of the real variety, recently so this year I felt brave enough to... well....brave it.

On the suggestion of my good friend of old ( I avoid using the phrase "old friend" as much as possible!) .... I'll call him "Mr Funny ".... we decided to climb the Sugar Loaf mountain , in Bray, Co Wicklow on Bank Holiday Monday. Well, Snuggles and I decided. Mr Jazzy wasn't too enamoured by the suggestion!

Unfortunately the day started with me (blush) having a wee bit of a hangover. Which I, martyrlike, was trying to pretend I didn't have! As a result it took a while to get up, eat something, get dressed and just.... well .... go and climb that mountain!

As we headed off the weather was getting very changeable and it was doubtful whether or not we'd get to do it. After much giving out by Mr Jazzy...about the weather and us being mad eejits...we arrived at the base to find LOTS of other mad eejits!! We were in good company I thought! I also wondered if he'd had the same, ahem, "reservations" when he was heading out golfing last Friday?? In the teeming rain??? I think not, but better not go there I reckon!!

So, with Snuggles feeling very strong off we went to "have a look".....

We were still unsure of how far we'd go! But, the sun came out and we went a bit further......

Before we knew it, we found ourselves some way up the first rocky incline ... you can see the path in the above picture. It was extremely windy and clouds were hovering, getting a little closer. So we had a, ahem, "discussion" of what-to-do-next. Mr Jazzy was adamant we were going back down whilst Snuggles was equally as adamant we were going to the top! In the middle of our "discussion" a number of people passed us by, on their way to the top. No worries at all.

Every mountain climb, real or personal, is fraught with difficulties, changes of direction and endless "discussions."

Mr Jazzy's point was that it was too dangerous with the wind etc. Snuggles point was "it's my lifelong dream to climb a mountain"!! How dramatic of him... wonder where he got that from??! And, besides younger people than him were "bloomin' climbing it" (Hmmm...holding back on the swear words I noted ... impressive). He had a point.

Mr Jazzy made his decision and started to walk back down leaving me rightly stuck in the middle. Meanwhile Snuggles decided he was going on his own!!

The sun was out, others were climbing and we were so close to the top so Sod it I said and we went for it. Leaving Mr Jazzy waving frantically at us. He then realised we were OK and just stayed where he was.

The last part of any mountain climb is always the hardest and this was no different. It was quite steep and extremely rocky. Snuggles was full of joy showing me the footholds etc. I had already pointed out to him to check for loose stones first. He was a great help to me. I have to admit I nearly chickened out!

But I didn't ...... I made it to the top!

And, more importantly so did Snuggles. Here he is ..... on top of the world

Getting to the top of any Mountain is quite an achievement and we were thrilled! Thanks Mr Funny! There can also be danger when you get there though.

We phoned Mr Jazzy from the top ( the joys of technology!) and Snuggle was able to wave down to him. Mr Jazzy was thrilled for us and advised to eat and drink something ( as if it were Mount Everest we'd climbed!) and not to stay too long.

Very soon after, just as these photos were taken in fact, I suddenly noticed the cloud descending on us. Oh my God..... it was sudden and you could hardly see in front of you. I panicked a little. So did Mr Jazzy as he could no longer see the top of the Mountain. We followed a man and his two boys as they calmly started their descent. Snuggles on the other hand, was highly animated by the exhilaration of realising his "life's dream" and was chatting to everyone on the way down! I kept him close though, the descent can be dangerous too, and thankfully the cloud lifted in no time. Have to say though ..... Mr Jazzy was right to be concerned.

So, all was well and the hangover was blown away! We arrived safely at the bottom to a waiting and proud Mr Jazzy!

It was great up there, at the top of our mountain. We liked it a lot. We may even do it again and recommend the climb to anyone.
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