Live for the Day, but Live to Fight Another One too

Two years ago today climber and mountaineer, Will Wilkinson, died in an avalanche on Ben Nevis. This is the second year I have chosen to mark the occasion, and I explained my reasons for doing so last year.

Sometimes this time of year becomes bogged down with self-reflection and analysis. I found a fellow-blogger’s take on it refreshing: ‘No analysis. No predictions. No resolutions.’ McAlisterium

However, as a father with a small family set to increase, I increasingly find myself reflecting on the consequences of danger and risk on the mountain. Also, as it is more difficult to find time to get out with more responsibility, but when I do, I really savour it. Surprisingly enough, I also find myself missing my little family fairly quickly! This is nothing new, but a healthy way to approach mountain activities.

Live for the day, but live to fight another one too.

When I was writing a recent post about Remembrance Day, I came across an article in The Guardian. An interview of children left fatherless by the First World War. One young boy, now an old man, was thrust forward to become the head of the household after his father was killed, but it left him emotionally scarred. Standing at his father’s grave in 2007, he said:

‘I’m an old man, I am supposed to be tough. I thought I was hard, but I’m not. He’s my dad. I miss him. I missed him as a boy and I miss him as an old man. It is very important that I have come back. I feel closer now than I have ever been. That time he carried me to bed was the last time and this is the next time.’

This is more a note to myself than anything. Have fun, enjoy the wide, open spaces, especially when they are wild, and your time has been hard fought. Also, stay safe and remember the ones who you leave behind. Little girls and boys need their fathers.


Will Wilkinson’s Tales from the Hills

Scottish avalanche victim named

Last year’s post

McAlisterium post

Guardian article


In Memoriam

It was a year ago today that climber and mountaineer, Will Wilkinson, died in an avalanche on Ben Nevis (see here).

Although I never met Will, I enjoyed following his exploits on his blog and was shocked to hear of his death whilst in the Lake District last year where I had been out in the fantastic conditions.

It is hard to explain why I should be so moved by someone I never knew to remember his life on an obscure blog on the internet. Perhaps it is the shock of a life lost young or the absence of a person fulfilled in his life’s passion. Whatever the reason, it seems appropriate to mark the occasion quietly, and whilst holding close memories of those lost, look forward expectantly to what lies ahead.

Enjoy your new year, whatever it might bring, and perhaps take a moment to read some of Will’s tales from the hills he so enjoyed.

Will Wilkinson’s Tales from the Hills

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