Nikki picks her 3 favourite encounters with wildlife:
One of the added extra bonuses for me whilst climbing are the chance encounters with wildlife, this can be as simple as stepping over an unusual beetle on the walk in, being spat at by a gull or watched by seals on a sea cliff. For me this all adds to the day.
Sometimes though you get those stand out moments, three of my favourite encounters would have to be:
One day on the old favourite ‘Little Brown Jug’ at Bosigran we had the crag to ourselves (this was back in 2002), whilst on the first belay Jon had lead onto the second pitch and down below a stoat came out to play in the sunshine and just jump around on the rocks. I think I must have watched him for at least 15 minutes, I promise I was concentrating belaying. This is honestly the happiest I’ve ever been on a belay ledge!
At Almscliff bouldering, well attempting to boulder. On walking up to the higher level a Red Kite went past below us, its always amazing to see them from below, but to be above it looking down on the stunning colours on its back was amazing. Couldn't get hold of a camera quick enough so just stood there enjoying the moment.
On my first ever trip to climb in Europe I was more than a bit surprised to see some sort of deer looking very comfortable moving around on the cliff above me as I climbed, later found out it was called a Chamois. It seemed to be ‘tutting’ at me, think it may have been upset about my technique or style, a judgemental Chamois?
I’m always looking forward to my next wildlife encounter. Jon however once saw a wolverine whilst he was belaying me on a climb in Norway, I only saw its tail, apparently this top trumps anything that I’ve ever seen!!!