It is every climber’s worst nightmare. In this extract from his thrilling book about the glorious – and treacherous – Cuillin Ridge on Skye, Simon Ingram recalls the day its wild peaks almost took his life
I had been out of signal for most of the day, so when my phone suddenly stirred in my pocket, I decided to have a look. Remembering a climbing maxim – “Don’t try to do two things at once” – I shouted for my friend Kingsley to hang on, stopped and took out my mobile. The message was junk, but I took the opportunity to send some that weren’t and then check my voicemail.
Wandering absent-mindedly to where a boulder jutted off into the mist, I noticed Kingsley moving down the path. Shouting to alert him that I’d stopped, I brought the handset up to my ear and looked out at the cloud hanging off the Cuillin Ridge, waiting for the phone to connect. I took another step, just a small one to the left. And then everything went wrong.