2018 has been a good year for munro bagging exploits at Goseemountains. As of writing, I’ve climbed to 135 summits of the highest mountains in Scotland over 3000ft. Sitting at 7 mountains short of the half way point is a huge achievement. Approaching the second half of my target I have renewed vigour to complete my overall goal of 282 summits. 2019 will be a fantastic year to build on everything I’ve learned on the journey so far. Planning is already under way and I’d love you to join me on the adventure by following @Goseemountains.com.
2019 Divide and conquer
I’ve divided my remaining mountain summits into 5 key groups spread across Scotland. To have the best chance of making as much progress as possible in 2019 I will be concentrating my attention on these regions during longer weekends away. Short single trips will continue to pick off munro peaks closer to home around Fort William and Glen Coe.
The 5 areas have been split into two sections using the Great Glen (indicated by a pink line above) that runs from Fort William up to Inverness. Most if not all of these hikes will be over 3-4 hours+ each way making careful planning essential. I’ll be relying heavily on Harvey the RV in 2019 to increase the amount of time I can spend away on adventures and create a comfortable base.
Time is the one thing you can’t create more of. My dedication too completing this journey across the Scottish mountains remains strong. Taking time off work in 2019 and investing all of my available holidays into the project is a bigger deal than any financial investment. The reward of personal growth is however worth the entrance fee and what a ride it’s going to be into the wilderness.
The first group of munros virtually untouched is in the Northern Cairngorms. A recent bothy visit over the festive period has provided some good reconnaissance of the area. Vast areas of rolling tundra make the distances between some of these summits huge. Winter here can be an unforgiving place so I will be tackling the majority of these hills during the summer months of 2019.
Some highlights include Ben MacDui at 1309m and of course Cairn Gorm mountain itself at 1244m. Further visits to the many bothies in the area will be required to provide rest stops between hikes. These amazing buildings provide needed shelter and a chance to unwind while out in the field. I will also be relying heavily on my mountain bike to give the feet a rest and help carry some gear.
Five munros stand tall next to Loch Mulladoch deep in the Scottish Highlands. Group two on my goals for the year has several possibilities for approach. Do you take the scenic long walk in or perhaps charter a boat and save the legs for the mountain ascent? Big questions to ask any munro bagger and maybe one for in-depth conversation nestled snug in a Scottish bothy.
The attraction to the more remote parts of the countryside is strong. You can’t beat the proper feeling of adventure from being alone in the wilderness miles from the road and telephone network. A trip that will certainly require lots of planning to succeed and leave unforgettable memories. I can’t wait to get started considering all the options for this epic trip.
Isle of Skye
Skye home of the Cuillin mountains. Nothing much more needs to be said as to the attraction of this one. These are proper mountaineering days and a big step up in skill and exposure from more gentle hill walking. Of the twelve munros on the Isle of Skye only Blabheinn would be considered a gentler day out. I am approaching these summits with the caution they deserve.
To prepare for these more intense mountain days I have been practicing my indoor climbing and bouldering skills. Getting more familiar with body positioning and increasing flexibility will certainly help during a visit to Skye. Increasing familiarity to exposure by tackling more difficult ridge walks also strengthens confidence during unfamiliar situations that will be faced here. The complication of these munros means they are some of the few that I would hire a local guide for due to challenging navigation and rope work required. You can’t put a price on safety.
Situated in the North West Highlands of Scotland. Torridon is home to a collection of sixteen munros. Distinct rock formations jutting out at all angles make this a must visit for mountain lovers. Classic ascents include the mighty Liathach that will require exposed scrambling across narrow ridges.
Liathach can provide a great introduction to more complicated hikes prior to any attempt to tackle what the Isle of Skye has to offer. I intend to make further use of the bothy network here to spend more time in the region and take advantage of the network of stalker paths.
To the East of Corrour Forest and Loch Ossian sits Ben Alder. One of the remotest of the munros. Ben Alder and the surrounding summits can be tackled from the Culra bothy. Long ridges and opportunities for scrambling look to make this a memorable day out in the Scottish mountains. With seven summits to tackle in the area I intend on spending a fair amount of time taking in the beautiful scenery and getting to know the place better.
Planning for the mountains around Ben Alder will be a significant undertaking. Good route finding will be essential to make efficient use of energy during the trip and navigate across the complicated terrain successfully. One of the most enjoyable aspects of hiking for me is planning every detail prior to a trip. Different mountain approaches and escape routes need to be considered should things need to change while outdoors due to weather or medical emergency.