Today we started out for a nice high summit above the cabin, Tête de Cuguret, 2912M. Derek was still sick, but survived 800m climb before accepting it. I left him beside the ruins of a fortress so he could rest while I continued upward.
And up I went. A quick climb at first, a long spine, and finally an exposed high scramble. An occasional wind gust blew the loose stones sideways off the mountain and dropped them to the abyss below. I felt alone and far away, 1000m above the next nearest person. My mind couldn't help but think that if I slipped...not because it was terribly technical, but just because there was no one nearby. It was strange and exciting to be so high all by myself. After enjoying the panorama and snapping lots of pictures, I was excited to start down and rejoin Derek.
It was a quick trip down after I reached the spine, and soon I could see a small read dot, just where I left him. He had slept the three hours that I was gone, and was just starting to wonder when I was coming back. We sat a while in the grass, and shared our stories from the past few hours- him snoring on the side of a mountain and my feeling of isolation, accomplishment, and relief when I found him again. We still had a a descent run ahead of us to get back to the cabin, and I was finishing a steep 20km day with over 1800m+. Time for a cold treat on the patio before dinner and planning the next adventure.