MUNRO ADVENTURE 2015
When I read the book Hamish’s Mountain Walk way back more than 20 years ago I was already a keen walker and it inspired me enough to think I would like to do that some day. I picked up and read a copy of the new 2010 updated version last year and that was it the seed was sown , with me retiring in December 2014 there was no point in putting it off ,life’s to short no point saying in 10 years time if only I tried back then, you can’t buy back time.
Hamish Brown’s Book was the first walker and climber to complete the Munros in a single round. By his own rules he did it self-powered except where ferries were required and with the aid of his trusty fold away bike. The year was 1974, and the roads of Scotland carried only a fraction of the traffic they do today, windmill farms were unheard of, crafting was more vibrant than it is today, and a strong Scottish mountaineering tradition was already established. Four years later Hamish s Mountain Walk appeared and was an immediate success, inspiring not only climbers but also readers fascinated by the history, geology, plant life and lore of one of Europe s most remote and unspoiled regions. Many walkers and authors would follow in Hamish Brown s boot prints, but none could bring the freshness and few could touch the depth of knowledge and experience. Now the book returns, re-imagined in modern fonts, with a new introduction and appendix and with two brilliant full colour plate sections provided by the author from his photography over four decades. This new volume is destined to further inspire and guide new generations of hill walkers about the Scottish hills in this new era.
I was 56 years old , fit enough and strong minded enough to give it a go .
From January this year I slowly worked away at my route plans which were always going to be flexible , I wasn’t going anywhere I hadn’t been before , just some different combinations and approaches to the summits.
I felt comfortable with my 100 day plan and had built in a few spare days which I didn’t need in the end. I was never going to go down the purest route with no mechanical aids I wanted to enjoy the experience not for it to be a misery and as the weather turned out it’s just as well I didn’t . I picked a starting date of the 1st May to take advantage of the long days and the alleged good weather!!!.
I walked for 79 days of the 100.
I used a garmin 920 xt GPS watch for the stats below
Total mileage was 1317 of which I walked 1176 and biked 141.
Total ascent was 145186 metres
A average of 1837 metres per day of walking
I used walking poles every day
apart from Ben Wyvis I forgot them
Most Munros in a day 18 ( tranter round with Rachael)
There was 9 days doing a single Munro.
Biggest ascent in a day 6210m
( tranter round with Rachael)
Longest day 25hrs 15mins
( tranter round with Rachael )
Shortest day 2hrs 15mins
Sgurr a Mhaoraich .
I got a view from 196 summits of the 282 70%
I did 7 Corbetts and 1 Graham while doing the round .
I was on my own for 53 of the days and had company on 26 days
I spent 55 nights in my camper van .
I had 8 nights in bothies
1 at the secret howff ( Glen Slugain)
2 at the Tarf hotel bothy
1at the Hutchieson hut
1at the corrour bothy
1 at Culra bothy
1at Sourlies bothy
1 at Shenavall bothy
I had 1 night in my tent at Altnour lodge Glen Ey.
Best spell of weather was 9th – 12 June while in the Cairngorms
The wildest day was on Mount Keen in high winds.
The wettest day was on the traverse from the Saddle and along the south Glensheil ridge.
Most memorable moment was the sunrise hitting Ben Nevis at 4am while summiting Carn Mor Dearg on the Tranter round.
Most challenging days were descending
Cruach Ardrain and coming across steep frozen solid snow fields and ascending Bidein a’ Choire Sheasgaichs steep cliffs when I was lifting Penny up at full stretch and she fell backwards and I caught her .
The toughest day I had was going from Sourlies bothy back to the Quoich Dam via Larven when I had miss judged the days distance but was commited to carry on .
Apart from the bothy trips all I carried was a 5 litre bumbag
which weight about 5lbs when full
My daily hill food was a soreen loaf about 1lb dates and
1 litre on diluting juice ( + snacks for Penny ) . As the days went on I seemed to manage with less and less food on the hill but certainly made up for it when I got back to the van.
I only had 2 tics even though I wore shorts for most of the time.
I wasn’t bothered with clegs it was to cold .
After having a few days to reflect on the completion of my adventure I must say it was pleasure to be out in our Scottish Mountains for 100 days even though the this summers weather didn’t play ball, the snow on the ground early on made a lot of the descents easier to be honest , I avoided the worst of the weather by having my rest days . There wasn’t a day it felt like a chore to go out on the hill, I was at one with the mountains for the whole time . Given the choice of a 5 star hotel or a night in a remote bothy in the highlands I would pick the latter . Now that box has been ticked I will take some time out and have a think to what to do next???.
To Penny my ever faithful hound
and companion for the whole
adventure she really is a
Thanks to Graeme and Penny what a tale and to Hamish Brown for the inspiration!