Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Coming Up: Barbara Jones...Life on the Edge

Barbara Jones far from the dank grey cliffs of North Wales. Powering up a delicate crack line at Red Rocks in Nevada: Barbara Jones©

"Suddenly, being deposited ten feet back down at the base of the cliff with my handhold still firmly clutched in my right hand was not what I had expected or wanted.  The cliff had shrugged us both off, me and the handhold, to a painful landing. Whilst contemplating my next move, the feeling came upon me that I wasn’t alone. But, who else would be in this remote, seldom visited part of Snowdonia?  Looking around, I slowly became aware of a number of black shapes on the surrounding rocks, high and low, ranged almost in a semi-circle around me.  There must have been eight or nine of them, hunched up and staring intently at this human form sitting on the ground.   Death’s harbingers?  Was this the end or was I being fanciful?  Of course I was.  I’m a scientist and seldom taken to flights of fancy and it only took a second or two to recognize that I was almost surrounded by a group of my great mountain friends....the Raven.'
This Friday, Upland Ecologist, Barbara Jones writes about her conservation work in the mountain environment with the Countryside Council for Wales. A role which has seen her particularly involved in the study and protection of the rare Snowdon Lily- Lloydia Serotina. As a passionate climber Barbara has happily combined the recreational side of climbing with a professional career which regularly sees her hanging from a tight rope in the interests of science!