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Published: 5 Feb 2021

Wild Moment: Bern Hellier

A former Lake District National Park Voluntary Warden's poem recalls his first visit to Scotland: "I was blown away (not literally)" 

Dinner Time Buttress

Stomach breakfasted, warm porridge filled
Churning with anticipation
Of the steep scramble onto Aonach Dubh
Through last night’s fickle
Talcum powder mask
Onto the open summit ridge
To be accosted by a blustering
Spume specked wind
Face burnt by the alpine glare

An endless virgin whiteness of
Wind scooped snow scallops recall
The ebbing sands at the Severn’s mouth
Or the phreatic corrugations
In the honey textured passage
Of a Yorkshire pot.
Then heavy cramponned boots plough on
Towards the glowering buttresses
Of Stob Coire nan Lochan
And break the spell.

But behind our backs
Spindrift fills the tracks
A new landscape is born
Our passing was not
So important
After all.

© Bern Hellier, 1985

Bern Hellier - Dinner Time ButtressPhoto by Bern Hellier was taken when climbing Stob Coire nan Lochan, by starting up Dinner Time Buttress onto Aonach Dubh. 

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