Ridge walking is the finest. Red Pike, High Stile, High Crag above Buttermere. Up and then along to Rhinog Fach gazing out to sea. Glen Shiel in Scotland. The short path at Bradwell Edge, twisted old trees one side rolling hills the other. Posets, second highest in the Pyrenees, and here at Rotondu, second highest in Corsica.

There were two Spanish chaps here for a while, with a tourist manner. Jokes, chat, snacks in a plastic bag. I told them I was walking the GR20 and pointed where I’d come from. They told me their car was parked not too far away down in a valley. They were astonished at my endeavor, more so because I was British and alone.

I had a similar impression, many years ago, when I’d taken the Aiguille du Midi cable car up the Mont Blanc massif. It was a day trip from Geneva. The station at the top gave access to a slippery path leading out to an alpine climb. I wanted it and feared it. I watched people coming back from invisible adventures, beyond where you could see. I wondered if I could sneak along the packed snow to take a look. I gauged the surface, sensing it in mind and body, decided it was impossible. One slip, which was likely, would be my last.

We walked down an idyllic path with trees and sunshine, leaving the snow and ice. Before setting off, on a wooden platform, I watched two sunbathing climbers. Eyes closed, resting, the danger and intensity hung around them in the air as they enjoyed warming safety.

 

Corsica Hiking: Rotondo View

Friday November 27, 2015