Why Aonach (Ann-noch)?
In 2022, I undertook the Three Peaks Challenge in the UK which involves scaling the highest mountains in Scotland, England, and Wales. The final peak was Ben Nevis, which I was approaching via Aonach Beag, a mountain in the Scottish Highlands.
Maybe I had taken the wrong route and lost the real trail as I was ascending, but I was having a hard time holding on to the rocks. I was hanging there with my heavy backpack, convinced that my life was about to end. Mentally frozen, I couldn’t move until I slowly managed to edge myself forward.
The descent was down its close neighbor, Aonach Mòr. It was so steep and slippery that even a passing herd of deer was having a hard time. I followed their zigzagging route but there was one stream that felt too perilous. It was too deep, nowhere to hold and if I fell, I would fall a long way. I retreated and slid down some rocks.
It was one of the most physically and mentally challenging experiences of my mountain adventure life and a fitting name for this project.