Send a Wind, Odin

THE weather conditions are bordering on Angry Arctic, so crossing  Thunacker Knott and heading for the Langdale Pikes I take the decision to give Pike o’ Stickle a miss. The wind is howling in from some indeterminate direction and lashing me with frozen pellets of snow. I make instead for Harrison Stickle and have considerable trouble getting on the summit because of the frozen snow and sheet ice.

I cross to Pavey Ark, again with considerable difficulty, and have a brew behind some rocks out of the wind. I am joined by a raven, which appears to be particularly tame and croaks and cronks for something to eat. It is very close, about 15ft away, hopping from rock to rock. It is jet black, a real sheen to its plumage, and is a very beautiful and muscular bird.

Because ravens are a bird of Norse mythology, I decide to break up an oatmeal biscuit and toss it some bits, just in case it decides to unleash the wrath of Odin, who sends a wind (like he did for Tony Curtis, only in a helpful manner) and has me frozen to death. It hops about and gobbles them up.

I am satisfied now that my route across the mountains will be safeguarded. Then it crosses my mind that if I do stumble and crack my head on a rock, the raven will probably peck my eyes out. The ungrateful sod.

About McFadzean

Alen McFadzean, journalist, formerly of the Northern Echo, in Darlington, and the North-West Evening Mail, Barrow. Former shipyard electrician. Former quarryman and tunneller. Climbs mountains and runs long distances to make life harder. Gravitates to the left in politics just to make life harder still. Now lives in Orgiva, Spain.
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