Happy weekend, Snippetteers! I’m a bit late this weekend, and missed last week altogether. I’ve been away on a Mountain Leader training course for 6 days, which was amazing and extremely tough mentally and physically. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, so actually doing it was fantastic. We did lots of navigation including night navigation, rope work, river crossings, steep ground work, and a 2-day expedition carrying an enormous 13kg backpack and wild camping in the mountains. There was a lot of classroom work too, including route planning, conservation, access, and learning about weather and flora and fauna. Now I have around 21 months to practise everything I learned before I do the assessment, which is basically a 5-day examination! At the end of the course, the trainers told me I will make an excellent mountain leader, so I’m very excited for the future!
Anyway, onto my snippet of the week. Summit is now less than a week away from release, so I can’t wait to see what people thing of it. The blurb and snip are below.
When out of condition divorced lorry driver, Ash Tomlinson, makes the spur of the moment decision to climb Kilimanjaro, he doesn’t consider how much it will change his life. There’s the training, the equipment to buy, the fear of altitude sickness, and of failure. And there’s Sean, a man who makes Ash question what he really wants for his future.
Sean Briggs is a school sports teacher and wishful mountain leader, longing for the chance to lead people on mountain hikes, but never having taken the plunge to do the training course. While he thinks about it, he decides to undertake the trip of a lifetime on Kilimanjaro.
The two men meet on a training weekend in Wales, and afterwards Ash goes home and tries to forget about Sean, but finds it impossible.
When the pair strike out for the summit of the highest mountain in Africa, their physical and mental strength is tested, and their growing feelings for each other help them push through the toughest moments of the trek.
Stedman moved forward and the next few people followed. I took my first step on what was likely to be the toughest night of my life. This was it. The summit awaited six or so hours away.
The path grew steeper as we ascended. I stared down, watching where I put my feet while my headtorch lit the small area in front of me. Everything looked grey by torchlight and was probably the same in daylight. The rocky path zigzagged upwards, lessening the steepness of the ascent but making it endless. Occasionally, I looked back over my shoulder to see the snaking line of lights following me, but mostly I kept my eyes on the ground, not wanting to trip.
After an hour, we stopped to eat, drink, and pee. The cover of some large boulders sheltered the women, while the guys stood peeing in a line off the side of the path. The temperature had dropped and a keen wind nipped at our faces. I pulled my knitted hat down around my ears and pulled the hood of my jacket up over it for extra warmth. We stopped for only five minutes, then moved on again, slower than before as we leaned into the wind. Each turn on the winding path changed the angle of the sharp breeze, sometimes causing it to blast into our faces and make our eyes water.
The pace slowed, some people struggling on the steep hike. Stedman, in the lead, dropped his pace, but some still couldn’t keep up and fell back to trail after the main group. Mary and Jane gave up their backpacks to porters and Louise quickly did the same, along with her poles. She complained of frozen hands and her porter dug into her backpack to find her handwarmers, activated them, and tucked them into her gloves.
* * * * *
Click the link HERE to check out the Rainbow Snippets Group for lots more snips. If you’re new to Rainbow Snippets, this is the place where authors post links to 6-line or thereabouts teasers from their WIPs or published LGBT stories.