This year Mountain Equipment has teamed up with Trail Magazine in association with John Muir Trust in order to discover writing talent inspired by the mountain environments we all love and enjoy so much. With one winner announced every month from Trail Magazine’s ‘The Day a Mountain Changed My Life’ competition, we’ll be showcasing the winning writing here on our blog for you all to enjoy.
The Day a Mountain Changed My Life April winner is Jemima Letts.
Words by Jemima Letts
Moel Tryfan is a small unassuming mountain.
It is only 429m high and its only claim to fame is that it shares its name with the bigger 3000ft Tryfan found above Dyffryn Ogwen. But I have discovered that a mountain doesn’t have to be big or famous to change your life.
In fact, just its very existence can be enough to change your entire outlook on the world.
I confess that nothing spectacular happened the day I climbed Moel Tryfan. The weather was beautiful, I was well prepared and had wonderful company. The walk to the summit was a leisurely one, meandering slowly upwards until we reached the trig point. Then we simply sat for a while and watched the sun set into the sea. But although the walk was a normal one, the thoughts going through my mind were not.
Prior to that walk, I had become ill. Ill enough to keep me from visiting the mountains and conquering their summits. Back in the real world, I had become just a number on a waiting list. I felt tired and broken and nerve-shaken. I ceased to be human. But that day, stood on top of that mountain, I couldn’t have felt more alive. Everything felt more meaningful and I realised that a mountain isn’t something to be conquered – it is something to cherish.
We became part of the mountain, a part of the landscape and it was the most wonderful feeling in all the world. It made me realise that money and possessions and material things are not what are important. I want to be rich with experiences and friends, not money and things.
I aspire to stand proud like Moel Tryfan. A mountain, in a way, is a metaphor for life. I am no intrepid adventurer, risking life and limb to reach new heights. I am just an ordinary person, trying to get through the hard times, which inevitably hit us all, with the mountains as my backdrop.
Climbing up mountains reminds me that even though there are tough times, they don’t last forever, and that our suffering isn’t in vain, if only for the view we get once we reach the top. I find comfort in the knowledge that one day I will return, because the mountains are where I belong.
Inspired by the story above? We want to hear from you!
Enter the competition for a chance to win £100 worth of Mountain Equipment kit, as well as a membership to John Muir Trust. You’ll even have your work published in Trail Magazine! If that’s not enough, at the end of the year one lucky winner will also win the opportunity to spend the day on a John Muir Trust managed mountain alongside a member from our Pro-Team, who’ll give you a tailored experience in an area of outstanding beauty.
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