Friday 6 February 2009

Hiver sur l'Alpe de Saint Michel

This is the top of St Michael's Hill at 09:18. There is no traffic, as the only way to get here is uphill, and uphill isn't working.

On Hampton Road, someone has abandoned their car where it chose to slide.

Looking towards the Highbury Vaults pub, there is no traffic at all. It is silent. Usually of a morning there is a jam of cars heading in from the M32-way towards somewhere, and cars waiting to turn right into Tyndall's Park Avenue, and hence Clifton, cars often full of schoolkids. Not today. Today, nobody but a pedestrian. Today, the pedestrians are in charge.

The cars on Hampton Hill are parked; they decided (wisely) not risk the downhill. They must have successfully made it up, then realised the price of success is the descent. Which is often the most dangerous part of mountaineering, as it harder to control your speed. Which is why mountaineering normally views a "successful" summit attempt as one where at least one member of the party makes it back. Any expedition where you top out but don't reach the mountain hut for beers afterwards counts as a failure.

That doesn't mean that the summiting process is is easy; here's someone showing how much effort it takes to get a rear wheel drive to get up to this roundabout. And, since they are not one of the parked cars, they must have made it to wherever they were in a hurry to get to this morning.

It's the only vehicle breaking the silence.

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