I often get asked why I go out alone on the hills? After over 40 years of taking people it’s great to go at your own pace, stop when you want and not be fixated by a time or summit. Many of my best days were myself plus my dog Tranters Round, The North and South Clunnie, The Fannichs, An Teallach and the Fisherfield hills to name a few. I was young then and now paying a price for these wonderful days with sore hips etc . Yet the mountains and the wild places are the place to be even at my slow pace.
Am I selfish when I go out alone ?
I always leave a plan of my intentions as often my journey will take me into a hidden Corrie and a different way up a hill. I love the solitude and peace it brings.
I text/ call when on a summit when heading home and again when back at the car.
I realise as you get older your reactions are not as quick and a simple slip that would have been easily dealt with can cause problems. I take it a lot slower but absorbing where I am.
Yet I still do like being out in a small group or with one other person. My Corbett finish a few weeks ago was a great day as there was no rush and a yet a great bunch of hill folk.
Yet I am so looking forward to getting out again my van has a problem and I have been local for the last three weeks. It’s in getting looked at now so hopefully next week I shall be in my happy place.
I enjoy a bothy on my own okay you have to carry a bit more but I can have a wee nap after the hill before tea. I also love a wee catnap on the hill on a sunny day!
So there are so many ways to enjoy the hills. I feel some now treat them as a “gymnasium for their egos” yet who am I to comment ?
I do enjoy introducing new folk of all ages to the mountains and it’s great to see them become self sufficient in the outdoors. I will always try to do that and it’s amazing to see how confident folk can become with a bit of advice.
I learnt so much in my early days by going out alone. I learned to navigate and make decisions for myself it was frowned on then. A few who I respected told me that was the way to learn and it helped me.
So these are a few thoughts, I do leave word where I am going with folk who understand and my friends understand a bit better now.
So if you meet an old boy struggling up the hill it could be me I am enjoying myself !
Comments as always welcome.