Going on the hills alone. Any thoughts.

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.

Old boy on the hill in Arran.

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.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Health, Hill running and huge days!, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Munros, People, Views Mountaineering, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Going on the hills alone. Any thoughts.

  1. John Armstrong says:

    Nice blog Heavy,,, nothing better than a fly on the hill by myself, plus the dog

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John Bainbridge says:

    I often walked alone. Good for the mind.


  3. Jim higgins says:

    I am well into my 60’s now and find that I am more and more enjoying hill time on my own. After quadruple bypass surgery I am slow on the go but find that so much more pleasurable, waiting for the light looking for good photo opportunities. And of course studying the mountain and its wildlife at close quarters. I tend to tire quicker do on a warm day there is nothing better than having a snooze on the hill. I always text or call now when back at the car and sometimes have a sleep in the car before a long drive home. If I do that I let the wife know when I am begining the drive home and I still bring my two daughters my emergency butterscotch sweeties to share. They used to love me coming home just for that. They share the sweeties with my grandweans now. Just a bit of extra care and taking things slowly, dont worry about topping just enjoy being on the mountain.

    Liked by 1 person

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