Hamish Brown well done for winning the Mountain Culture Award for 2017 .
I was away in Masirah in the Persian Gulf in 1973/74 and did not realise that Hamish Brown and his dog had completed his great traverse of the Munros in 1974 in one journey. I was really getting into the Munros and had looked at a complete traverse of them whilst away but getting time of 3 – 5 months would have been a no goer at the time from the RAF. When I returned and found out it had been done I was very jealous and heartbroken and when Hamish’s book came out in I think 1978. Yet it was a wonderful tale of the mountains, the history, geology, folklore of the journey by Hamish . It is a book I love as dearly as any and still re read it after a day in the mountains, I look up the mountain and always learn something new. The maps and diagrams of each area are what I used to tick my hills of along with my battered Munro book and what enjoyment I have had from this book. I have bought a few copies over the years and love to give them to pals who have the Mountain/ Corbett or Munro bug to show them that there is so much more to the hills than a list of hills. On 4 April 1974 he set off on his trip to complete all the Munro Mountains in one trip. He completed the journey on 24 July, a journey of 112 days during which time he covered 1,639 miles, climbed 289 peaks and wore out three pairs of boots. He only used the Mull and Skye ferries and a bicycle as transport.
His 1974 journey was documented in the book Hamish’s Mountain Walk and this made him a household name among the walking fraternity, the book won an award from the Scottish Arts Council. He followed his Munros walk with the longest trip over the English, Irish and Welsh peaks, told in the book Hamish’s Groats End Walk. Brown also thought up the Ultimate Challenge (now called the TGO Challenge, after The Great Outdoors Magazine, not to be confused with the Australian series, which sponsors and organises the event), a fortnight-long endurance walk from coast-to-coast across Scotland – the event), a fortnight-long endurance walk from coast-to-coast across Scotland – the book Scotland Coast To Coast is an account of a typical Challenge walk. Great Walking Adventure covered some of his more distant treks to Corsica, Norway, the Andes, Atlas and Himalayas. He loves Morocco and I met several of the locals who knew him well when I was out there and he was so well thought of.
Hamish did this walk in the days before all our great gear, he travelled light and basic and at times read a book whilst walking. I tried that on my walks and nearly killed myself. Chris Townsend another great walker wrote a wonderful piece on Hamish which tells the tale of the book far better than I can and is well worth a read. http://www.christownsendoutdoors.com/2010/04/hamishs-mountain-walk-book-review.html