On climbing Skiddaw under Snowy Skies

The top was sheathed in cloud
from the outset
the highest of the Northern Fells
over 3000 ft.

I wondered whether
it would be suitable for kids
but the path is broad
affording no great danger.

The initial ascent was challenging
a roadway to the sky
and then the peak of Jenkin Hill

led to the top of Little Man
a long, frozen descent framed by a fence
of snow, hardened by winds and waves of
stinging night-frosts.

The final ascent
into the upper realm was calm,
where only ravens soared and all
was ice and mist, and otherworld:

Vast chasms, only visible as echo,
yawned below. The children grew afraid
I kept them close
we reached the frozen summit,

descended, tired
with aching legs,
and hearts the happier
to know and love this place.

Β© 2023 experimentsinfiction.com. All Rights Reserved.

Written for dVerse

This evening, I host dVerse for the final time, and I ask you to write poetry of place and space. Last week, I set out to climb a mountain I have climbed several times, but not for many years. This time, I took my children with me!

63 thoughts on “On climbing Skiddaw under Snowy Skies

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  1. This is gorgeous, gorgeous writing, Ingrid! πŸ˜€ I especially admire; “The final ascent into the upper realm was calm, where only ravens soared and all was ice and mist.” πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

  2. Okay, this hit me right in the heart. I have loved nature all of my life, and loved hiking until I could not do it anymore due to arthritis. My father taught me to love exploring the wilderness and I have alway found peace there, even when it seems to be no place else. Just a wonderful portrait of a place you love.


    1. I agree: that’s my surefire way of finding peace when nothing else is working. I’m trying to teach my kids this valuable lesson.

  3. I know this kind of place, Ingrid; even wrote about my own in response to this marvelous prompt, for which we all thank you deeply. I don’t visit there much (ie ever) in the winter, though…can’t imagine the silenter silence that must reign up there, lost in the deepest snow.
    Loved your tour. Thanks.

  4. What a wonderful sight in that final ascent, to marvel the ravens, the mist and the otherworld.

    Thank you for your time with us at dVerse.

  5. I really liked, “Vast chasms, only visible as echo,” I was reading about synesthesia this morning and that connection of vision and sound really works here.

  6. Sounds like a stern but captivating place Ingrid. Farewell my friend… happy trails. ✌🏼🫢🏼

  7. This ‘Place’ sounds delectable, I would like to make that climb and see the view. That happened to us at the Big Bend Ranch State Park, the largest Texas park by the Rio Grande, wondering “whether it would be suitable for kids but the path is (was) broad.” It would still be fine for us old folk as well.
    Best wishes for the work assignment. We will miss you. And thank you for hosting still and for this wonderful prompt.

  8. I love everything about this, Ingrid! The adventure, your gorgeous phrases, the family bond, the image. Wonderful experiencing it through your words. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ”οΈ

  9. “Vast chasms, only visible as echos”

    What a line! Truly a spectacular place, Ingrid. Your children must be so brave!

    Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

  10. Your lovely poem is very inspiring and the photo is lovely! Bravo! I think that is an expedition your sons will always remember fondly. <3 Your poem brought back memories.

    About forty years ago, I took my girl scout troop, to which my daughter belonged, on a mountain hike in the snow. We then stopped at a gym for a swim in the indoor pool. We got home a little late, and I think some parents may have been worried! I probably should not have taken such a hike with someone else's children, though I raised my own children to be adventurous!

  11. Beautiful write, Ingrid. I am now reading the book, Annapurna. It’s an amazing book. Your poem reminds me of it. Wishing you a gorgeous weekend!

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