...I mean it's just a seat. Is it supposed to be swinging like this? This is just mental. Aye, my hand's freezing too, but there's nae way I'm letting go of the side bit to rake about for my glove. Hell's bells, its getting higher...I'm no' liking the look of that ravine down there. I very much hope they stop it when it's windy, yes. Whit? No, I hadn't considered the possibility of it sliding backwards. Thanks for that fresh vision of horror. It can't be right, surely? Is it just awfy cleverly designed, and somehow hings at exactly the safest angle depending on the weight that's in it? Sheesh, this is rubbish...still - we're nearly there now.
What's that thing just above us?"
The winter skills day out (on Meall a' Bhuiridh at Glencoe Mountain) was rather good, as I said earlier. We were shown any number of bits and pieces of technique that could come in handy on the slopes - avalanche awareness; crossing steep slopes; ice axe arrests; basic ropework; belays (stomper, bucket seat, deadmen amongst others) and "essential extra winter equipment".
All told though, I reckon the lesson that will improve my mountain safety more than any other was the discovery ten feet from the top of the outward chairlift journey that there was a fucking safety bar sitting above us that you were supposed to pull into place thus obviating the fucking appallingly high possibility of falling out of the fucking thing on the way up. It is, after all, just a fucking bench, suspended at anything up to 50 feet above the ground, swaying not all that fucking gently in the bastarding wind. And I know that if you've ever used a chairlift before then it'll be self-evident, but I hadn't. And I was sufficiently transfixed with fear that I wasn't about to go searching for concealed safety devices, hence my willingness to believe that careful design meant such things were redundant. Oh, and it goes without saying that all the empty Garden Seats Of Certain Death that were coming down the way looked exactly the same, bereft of safety rails, as ours did. Because they were empty, yes, I ken that noo, obviously.
I blame Gordy. He was sitting beside me, and he's much younger than I am, so should be alert to these things. His danger awareness should be finely honed, given he's used to looking after young Alexander. My faculties, on the other hand, are clearly not whit they once were.
So the important thing is that we're all agreed that it wasn't my fault, eh?