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A disastrous attempt on Scotland’s Ben Nevis


I was in bar in Fort William on a trip up north during the summer of 1983 and I met two Norwegian girls who were twins; and what a pair of fine young saplings they were too.

“Twins, foreign and blondes, that’s on my bucket list!” I thought, as a lethal combination of nasty little perversions entered my head. I was on my own and they befriended me, as they knew I was Scottish and were looking for a sort of guide. Their English was very good and they were asking me if it was easy to climb up Ben Nevis.

“No bother girls!” I assured them, “A walk in the park.”

One of them told me that they both were experienced climbers, but would like a local guy who knew a good route up the mountain to accompany them in case they got into any difficulty. She then asked me if I could climb the mountain, and if so; would I go with them.

Well . . . I had a flash of inspiration! I really had to shag the two of them together!

These undignified ‘infra dignitatem’ thoughts then paralleled themselves with my ‘sic itur ad astra’ path to glory and as it was being processed in my tactful ‘savoir-faire’ mind it actually gained some ‘raison d’êntre’ justification and inspired me from my boring ‘ante bellum’. But, even although ‘audeces fortuna juvat’ fortune favours the bold, I should have known it could only result in a ‘reductio ad absurdum’ disaster originating right now from this crazy ‘non compos mentis’ and unrealistic, impossible, sick, perverse obsession of mine.

But even with these words ringing in my ears telling me to shut the fuck up; these two stunning bi-floriferous babes with their blonde hair and blue eyes had to be debauched in a trilateral pact with me to tick it off my bucket list!! So my big mouth spoke . . .

“No worries honeys! You’ll be safe in my hands!” said I with an air of calm debonair assurance, “I will gladly assist you both up and down that mountain called Ben Nevis my pretty little Norwegian Queens. I have roved through and ranged over all of this wild land and there is nowhere I can’t go. You see my two bonny bijoux, I am a Scot, and that colossus of rock over yonder that you so desire to ascend and conquer! Is my mountain!” I then followed up that mouthful of spunk and spaghetti with, “Now why don’t the two of you and I start getting along to getting it on and let’s get up and boogie!”

There-upon I began to ply the two of them with as much whisky that I could make them drink, in a bid to get them so sozzled, I might be in with a chance of a fuck. Not to be, the way they could drink whisky made me wonder how they kept such perfect figures, not to mention their livers. The bitches drank me under the table and left.

“Fuck I’m losing my touch!” I thought, “They’ve left me with one almighty hole in my pocket and no three-some! But I wasn’t out yet.” I smirked to myself, “At least I have the promise of tomorrow and the mountain we were going to climb. If I can impress them on that mission, I may be in with a chance then.” . . . but a mountain to climb it was going to be . . . in more ways than one.

Next morning I got up early, with a hole in my head as well as my pocket. “I shouldn’t drink fucking whisky!” I said to myself, “I love it more than the birds, and that’s why I’m not fucking the two of them in a three-some right now. Instead, all I’ve got is a blank head, a massive morning after the night before hang-over . . . and a fucking mountain to climb.”

So, in an effort to divert the incoming bad feeling getting worse, I applied myself with my very own hang-over cure called the double J.E.W. Cure.

First I smoke a couple of Joints and drink a couple of Exports, during which time I have a couple of Wanks . . . and let that take affect. I complete the double J.E.W. Cure by snorting a couple of lines of Cocaine, which is absolutely necessary to complete the medication . . . just to be sure. It worked as always and I felt invincible again; so got in my Capri and drove up to the Ben Nevis base camp. That was where I vaguely remembered telling the girls to meet me; but had no idea what time. It was still only just after eight in the morning and I thought I’d be early. I had great expectations and really was going to go all the way to get into these twin girls’ honey-pots.

On arrival at base camp, sure enough they were both there waiting . . . and had been for almost an hour. I got a bit apprehensive after walking up to them and seeing how they were turned out. They were all kitted out with mountain boots, climbing gear and a whole load of ropes and shit as if we were going up Mount Everest. But, they were wearing sun-glasses and splattering themselves with sun-block as if we were going to the beach. It certainly was a beautiful morning and was going to be a scorcher, but I thought it would get cooler the higher we climbed.

“Are you sure you have prepared properly for the mountain Johnny?” they asked.

Funny thing about twins, not only do they look alike, they speak in tandem too.

“No problem ladies!” I boasted, by now well wasted out of my mind and almost hallucinating after the third joint of Afghan I smoked while driving en route to Ben Nevis.

“You have to be careful, the sun is very strong at about four o’clock when we reach the summit of the mountain!” they warned me.

“Ha-ha-ha!” I scoffed, “Sunburnt in Scotland, going up a mountain, no chance! I told you last night, that’s my mountain, I’m a Scot and we’re born naturally adapted to climb our own mountains.”

“I think you should reconsider and at least wear a pair of hiking boots and put on some sun-block.” they strongly advised me.

“Hey babes, I’ve climbed that wee hill over there in winter, so today will be like a sunny stroll on the beach.”

Where I got that shite from I’ve no idea because the highest I’d been in relation to Ben Nevis was in a bar of the same name in Glasgow when I was coked out of my head. But there I was, wearing a pair of Adidas sambas, a Rolling Stones T-shirt and a pair of Hugo Boss jeans with a can of Red Devil Export hanging out each back pocket, completely out of my fucking nut about to climb the real thing.

John Parker, now older and wiser

I got my first reality check look at Ben Nevis as we approached the bottom of the mountain and my heart went into my mouth. It was massive! About 4,500 feet high and had these sheer 2,300 feet cliffs in the middle. With the amount of drugs I’d taken the mountain became a gruesome, morbid hallucination of a living organism and the cliffs seemed to form into a face with a mouth and pair of lips and began to talk straight at me.

“Fuck . . . Off . . . You . . . Cunt!” I saw them say.

I rubbed my eyes and looked again and I swear I saw the lips on the cliff move and speak to me directly.

“You’re fucked here boy!” they growled.

They were right, I had no idea Ben Nevis was so big.

I was thinking, “Escape route . . . escape route . . . think of something!” But I, and my fucking womb-broom wanted into the twin Norwegian birds’ blonde pleasure-domes so bad, I had to go on.

“Where shall we start our ascent Johnny?” they asked.

“Oh, h-h-here w-w-will b-b-be f-f-fine.” I stuttered, absolutely shitting a bucketful and wishing I had the reverse time-capsule to go back twenty-four hours when none of this was going to happen . . . but it was.

“You lead the ascent Johnny, you know the climb path route!” they shouted excitedly.

I didn’t even have a fucking escape route never mind a planned climb path route, but I lead the way and off we went.

It all went not too bad to begin with, the sun was scorching and the scenery was beautiful. I was lashing my old patter on the Norwegian twins fast and furious; maybe too fast and furious. I had done some lines of speed when we stopped for a break, and it had made me climb up the mountain like a fucking perplexed parrot going up a palm tree. Before I knew it we were three quarters the way up and I had no recollection of how we got there. We had reached the point on the mountain which was at the top of the cliff face. We were left with one route forward and no way back as I’d taken a route up that was too difficult or almost impossible to descend back down. The route forward was along a rocky ridge with a 3,500 feet drop if you fell. Reality kicked in and the drugs kicked out. I was going to fucking die if I went on that ridge. But on I went; all for the sake of getting these two fucking Norwegian twins fucked and ticked off my bucket list.

I got five foot along the ridge and slipped which made some rocks topple over the edge, I grabbed a branch of a small tree that was protruding out of the cliff and clung to it in pure terror. Glancing down I watched the rocks click and clack all the way down the cliff and smash into pieces at the bottom. All of a sudden I had the image of Wile E. Coyote’s most usual way of meeting his fate. Falling down that immense canyon and diminishing in size until that last vision of him . . . a little puff of dust when he hit the ground and met his demise. I broke down. I’m ashamed to say that I was incoherently as frightened as I’d ever been in my short life. Way, well beyond shitting a fucking brick, my entire body was petrified to stone harder than the rock the cliff was made of, and I couldn’t hide it. “I canny dae it! Get me aff this fucken mountain! Help me somebody please! Somebody help me! Get me doon fae here! Ma-a-a-ammay-ay-ay!!!” I screamed in terror with tears coursing down my cheeks.

Now this was in the days of no mobile phones. The poor Norwegian twins were by now utterly disgusted with me and unable to hide their embarrassment.

“Let go the branch Johnny, and grab our hand!” I heard them say together, but it sounded as if they were in another galaxy from where I was. Everything had gone into slow-motion with the fear induced hallucinations I was having.

“N-n-n-n-n-o! No! No! No! I can’t let go! I can’t let go!” I heard myself whimper.

“We’ll go for help Johnny! Don’t worry!”

The poor wee twin cherubs had to climb round me, still clinging to the branch with white knuckles, and refusing to let it go. Then they had to make their way up the mountain till they found a route back down, and go for help. All the way down they heard my weeping and wailing echoing around them. I was left alone, terrified.

“I warned you,” the cliffs whispered to me, “Ya big fanny!”

Some hours later a mountain rescue team arrived after Ben Nevis had witnessed the most sun-drenched scorching day in the mountain’s history; I had been subjected to it the whole time; and stuck three-quarters the way up that mountain; it felt as if it was right above me and just too fucking close. I had been directly under it for all that time clinging to the cliff like a dehydrated newt stuck to a rock in the desert. I was burnt to fuck; my skin colour had gone way past alarm red and was now turning maroon.

“Let go the branch Johnny.” said the lead mountaineer, “Then we’ll lead you back down.”

“No way! No fucking way José! This tree has been my fucking escape route from certain death! I’d rather break off all contact with my cock than I would this branch right at this particular fucking moment in time!”

The mountaineers had to saw the branch of the tree off and carry me down the mountain still holding on to it all the way to the bottom.

When I got there a crowd of mountain climbers had gathered who were gawking at me like a gaggle of wary geese. My face and arms were maroon with sunburn. My teeth were clenched and my eyes half closed. You know the look you give when you get hit in the bollocks with a tennis ball? Well that sums up the expression on my face. I was still holding on to the tree branch for dear life with clenched white-knuckled fists.

Then, just as a kind of warning to any other pricks out there who might want to try a little stunt like I just had, the mountain rescue team paraded me past the crowd and into the awaiting ambulance. Amongst them were the two Norwegian twins.

As I was being exhibited on the way past them, even although my tongue was as dry as a witch’s tit I still somehow managed to cackle . . . “Thsee you in thi baghrr tomoghrow girlths?”

The two of them gave me the ‘adios finger’ in sequence as the ambulance doors closed and that is the last visual memory I have of them. What a school-boy howler! Not my best moment.

Extracted from John Parker’s book ‘Escape Route’. Read more about it here or buy it from Amazon.

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