Sometimes there’s no turning back
On Skye that day, snow on the Storr meant wearing spikes. I finally gave in and used a walking pole too. Together, they probably spared me a twisted knee or worse, while gaiters stopped the soft snow from soaking my socks.
One of my two fellow-walkers had learned from a local shopkeeper that the Storr was a location for Kurzel’s Macbeth, with filming due to start in a couple of days. The hike promised to be memorable in any case, but with scenes filmed up the Storr, this new Macbeth would surely be all the more meaningful for anyone who’s been there.
On the way up, the three of us met other walkers who’d been forced to turn back, not because they were unfit or because the weather conditions were impossible but because they realised they were ill-prepared. So true that saying that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!
We three “Weird Sisters” plodded on. From a distance, the Storr had looked like it had a mere dusting of snow here and there. Only en route did we find that the snow was up to our knees, and in some places deeper still.
Those ham and mustard sandwiches tasted good as I stood beneath the pinnacle of the Old Man of Storr, contemplating the legend Kirsty had just told me. The story is that the Old Man and the Old Woman of Storr had been turned to stone because they had looked back while fleeing some hostile force.
Over the years, the Old Woman of Storr had crumbled, scattering into the boulders you see dotted around. Didn’t Lady Macbeth also go to pieces, in spite of an apparently tough exterior? And then “what’s done cannot be undone.” No turning back.
Getting back down the Storr was a bit tricky at times, slippery enough to force me to concentrate on digging my heels into the snowy slope. If I stopped to look back would I too turn to stone?
The views across to snowy Applecross in the distance kept me going. Tomorrow we would be heading on over there.