I mentioned in a previous post how much it hurts to lose a piece of equipment you’ve had for a long time and which has repaid its initial outlay many times over. I don’t mean lost in the sense that it’s under the stairs somewhere in that miniature black hole that swallows random items of kit, but lost in the sense that it’s died – in this case a horrible death.
I had a pretty close shave whilst walking along a narrow path close to the top of Buachaille Etive Mor at the weekend. You can read the full horrific story here. I survived, but in order to stop myself from slipping over a rather high ledge I had to let go of my walking pole and it took the plunge that I narrowly missed.
It’s now wedged somewhere in the upper section of Coire na Tulaich, probably well off any path and destined to die a horrible, lonely, lingering death.
My Brasher anti-shock walking pole has been with me since almost the very beginning of my walking career. I bought it after I experienced a painful descent from Coniston Old Man, with my right knee swelling up to the point that I couldn’t put any weight on it for a day or so. I purchased the pole because it looked durable and reliable. It looked like it would take my weight on the descents and help push me up the climbs and this is it did for almost four years.
It took some punishment over the years I used it, I’ve twice had to bend the lower section back into shape after it became lodged in some gap and I continued walking. On Rough Crag above Haweswater I fell and the pole took my whole weight before collapsing into itself – I had to operate to save it’s life that time. It’s been photographed on almost every Wainwright I’ve done and managed to get itself into shot on nearly all my walks over the past 4 years.
So I say a tearful farewell to Brasher and I go in search of a new walking pole, which is going to have to fill some pretty big boots. I leave you with the final photo I took of it, on Schiehallion.