Pair Complete Munros Tourby Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com Jul/2012
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UKH/UKC users Peter Holder, 21, and Joe Mann, 19, completed a van-assisted two-month round of all 283 Munros on Tuesday July 17, finishing on Ben Hope. We caught up with them recuperating to find out how they got on.
'Well... We did it!' they say in their blog.
So was it tougher or easier than they'd anticipated?
'We started the trip with an open mind, not knowing what to expect' Peter told us.
'Upon reflection we both feel that we did not need to push ourselves as hard as expected, however there were most definitely times when we found it tough. For Joe it came fairly early on; by day five his achilles tendon had swelled up which then put doubt in his mind, but after a few days the swelling reduced and we were able to continue. For me it came after drinking stagnant water, causing stomach cramps for most of the day we spent on the Grey Corries and Ben Nevis.'
'On the whole the weather was good for us, especially considering the weather the rest of the UK has experienced. I think we saw pretty much every type of weather: white-out blizzard conditions on Ben Avon on day two followed by a heat wave in the Cairngorms and then typical, cloudy and misty conditions forcing us to navigate more precisely.'
'There were definitely a few tougher than average days' Peter says.
'Our Ben Alder Cottage bothy trip was somewhat of a comedy of (planned) errors. When shopping we decided to buy a high carb loaf of exotic bread. When we arrived at the bothy we were excited about this bread, but unfortunately for us it tasted remarkably like bird food; it was so bad that we decided to go without food rather than eat it. Our light weight approach meant that we decided to not take sleeping bags which led to an uncomfortable night.'
What would an average day look like in terms of distance/ascent?
'When planning the routes we worked out the days in term of hours rather than distance, taking into account terrian, height gain, distance etc. On most of our days we would start walking around about 9/10 am and return around 8/9pm so 10/11 hours would be average, with some days that were shorter, returning around 6pm and some that were longer, returning around 1am. When we did the six Torridons and Ben Wyvis in a day we set off at 11.30am and walked off Ben Wyvis at 4.30am.'
The pair took four full rest days, and only on a further four days did they walk a single Munro; multiple summits were the norm.
So after two months on the trot, what shape are they in physically?
'We don't feel fatigued in any way' says Peter. 'If anything we probably feel better than when we started. Our knees and ankles are slightly painful but that's about it.'
What it is to be young.
Now they've done them all, what is their impression of the Munros – any particular favourite peaks or areas?
'Joe and I both feel it is important to highlight that the Munros were just a by-product of the trip, an excuse almost to challenge ourselves in the Scottish hills and experience a journey of a lifetime' says Peter. 'The success of the trip does not lie in completing the Munros, but in our experiences, the people we met, and the things we saw.'
'Of the many things we can take away from this trip, the generosity of complete strangers really stood out. All the people who gave us lifts while hitch hiking, and the people who sent us emails of support. One person even put a £30 tab behind a bar for us! We are very humbled by this and hopefully we can learn from this as we return into normality.'
For more day-by-day detail see their blog.