Starting on 17th May 2012 Joe Mann and Peter Holder will attempt to walk to the top of all the Scottish Munros. There are 283 of them!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Well... We did it!

On Tuesday evening we were pleased to reach the top of Ben Hope in good weather after journey that started 62 days ago on Mount Keen.

It has been quite a journey I’m sure we will never forget, with many high points and low points (not as many as these as we expected.

There are too many high points to name however a few that stand out are:

-The People

Along the way we have been privileged to meet so many great people; the warden at Corrour youth hostel who gave us food after walking a whole day with nothing (after Ben Alder Bothy), Jules in Dalwhinney allowed us to fill our water and use his internet, Graham from the Clachaig Inn welcomed us, when we were staying in their car park, with whiskey.

There were 2 people, in particular, who were truly inspiring.

The first we met was Andrew Johnston, who we met by chance on day 2 in Ballater, He was one of very few people who would truly understand what we were about to do because he had done the same thing. We then quincidently bumped into him again half way through on the hill, so it only felt appropriate to invite him along on our final hill. We were very much enjoyed his company on the last hill.

We also, by chance, met a man named Mike Royal. He was on an adventure of his own. He left his home in Snowdonia completely along on his bike and planned to walk every 3000ft hill in Britain. we were humbled to be able to help on the Inn Pinn with the abseil. It was great to share such an incredible peak with Mike. What a guy!

We must also thank everyone who sent us emails with support and adive. It really does help!

- The places

Just have a look at some of our previous picture and that is just a taster of what we saw, for every picture we took; we got a full panorama. To experience the full effect of the Scottish landscape you really must throw yourself in it.

Yes... it is great to have walked all the Munros, however, we must emphasise that the Munros were merely a by-product of the journey. To true success lies in the fact that we had such an amazing, unforgettable journey that will live with us for a long time.

-The Wildlife

It was inevitable that we would see some interesting wildlife on the trip, but looking back we feel we saw more than we could hope for the list includes, Countless Deer, Hundreds of Ptarmigan, various birds of prey including a stunning Golden Eagle that flew about 3 metres away from us at full spread, a large Adder that gave Joe a shock as he went for a call of nature, Slow worms, Lizard, 3 Pine Martens (one pause for about 10 seconds a few metres in front of us).

-Van life

It took some time to get used to living in a van, but we soon got used to living in the organised mess.  Spending well over 1000 hours within the company of one other person could easily become frustrating, but we are glad to make it through the other end still mates.

What Next?

The next adventure for us both will be our attempt at the Bob Graham Round towards the end of August. The Bob Graham Round is a mega classic fell run in the Lake District, It is around 70 miles with 8800m of vertical height gain the challenge is to complete in under 24 hours. Until then we will try to recover. 

[Insert:Joe and Pete Ran the Bob Graham Round on 15 September 2012 in a time of 21hours 47 mins]

Saturday, 14 July 2012

3 days to go!

The Last few days have been spent walking around Glen Cannich and Glen Strathfarrer. 

On Wednesday we planed to walk the 12 Munros north and south of loch Mullardoch (shown in the image below.)

 You would think we would be fit and ready to go after our full rest day and 'all you can eat' Chinese in Inverness the day before, but... No!... We somehow managed to sleep in until midday!

We got up swiftly and walked along the north shore of Loch Mullardoch to 'do' the 4 Munros on the north side, 
An Socach
An Riabhachan
Sgurr na Lapaich
Carn nan Gobhar

On Thursday we then walked along the, horribly undulating, south shore of Loch Mullardoch(see pic) to access the 8 Munros to the south. This walk-in proved to be more tiresome than expected. (with a interesting water crossing, see image!) 

After walking the 8 hills; we made it back to our Orange van in the 'wee small hours'. 

We decided to take Friday off, just because we could!

Today(Saturday)- Another very easy day. We walked up the 4 Munros on the ridge North of Glen Strathfarrer. They were more mellow than expected and we were back in our van by 2pm ( We set off at 9.30)

So after 2 relaxing days we feel recovered and ready for the final push to the end. 

The Plan!
Tomorrow (Sunday)- All 9 Fannaichs
Monday- 6 hills around Ullapool
Tuesday- Conival, Ben More Assynt, Ben Kilbreak and our final hill... Ben Hope!

(as I write this we have found internet signal in Inverness, We will try to update the blog daily until the end if signal allows)

(image taken from:

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Fisherfield Hills, Torridon's and a late night on Ben Wyvis

Friday 6th

After having a slow morning in Kyle of Lochalsh we made the decision to head north and climb the very mellow and short Fionn Bheinn to loosen off our tired legs and make some progress from the day.

Saturday 7th

The plan for the day was to go up Slioch and then walk the Fisherfield 6, a day we were both looking forward to after hearing about its reputation. But unfortunately due to the poor weather conditions it became another day of walking through low cloud and rain. After 13 hours of walking we decided to stay in Shenavall bothy and have an early night.

Sunday 8th 

After having a surprisingly comfortable sleep we only had 2 hills on An Teallach to do that day. However it didn't end up being that simple because we became separated in the cloud. I (Joe) had the map and found my way onto the first summit but unfortunately Pete ended up around a group of tops south of the An Teallach. After an hour of constant shouting to each other and Pete finding his way by leaving a trail of mars bars behind him we found each other and carried on to the last hills and dropped off into Dundonnell. The plan was then to hitch hike back to the van back in Kinlochewe along a road with the nickname 'Destitution road' (A832) built during the 1840's to provide employment during times of famine

Monday and Tuesday 9th & 10th

Torridon day! Again these were another group of hills that many people have previously raved about and it was a promising start as we woke up to sunshine and clear skies. The weather held at first and we climbed Sgurr Mhor and its partner with great panoramic views of the area but unfortunately it didn't last and by the time we were on Liathach the cloud came in once more and the rest of the day was a similar story. After descending Beinn Eighe in the dark we still both felt good so we decided to drive over to Ben Wyvis and climb it in the early hours of the morning. After walking through the darkness and further cloud we finally reached the summit and made it back down to the car park for 5:00am. 

Climbing Ben Wyvis early this morning gave us the opportunity for a rest day so we're now in Inverness buying our final food shop, eating at a Chinese buffet and relaxing.  

                                                        Shenavall bothy

                       Joe and Pete on the summit of Ruadh- Stac Mhor in the Torridon's


                                                  Joe and Pete on Ben Wyvis

                                               Joe walking in the Torridon's

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Cuillin Ridge

We know that we haven't updated the blog for a while, but we have been busy.

1st July: Joe's Birthday: For Joes Birthday we had a lie in and walked up only one hill.  (Beinn Sgritheall) then drove to 'Kyle of Lochalsh for some Pub food.
2nd July: We drove to Glen Carron and walked 6 Munros (including number 284, the one that used to be a Munro.) We walked from Craig over the following hills. 
-Bidean a Choire Sheasgaich
-Lurg Mhor
-Sgurr Chonnich
-Sgurr a'Chaorachain
-Maoile Lunndaidh

3rd July: We walked over the 3 hills on the 'other' side of Glen Carron. with grat views of the Torridons. 

4th July: We planned a short day in preparation for the Cullin Ridge Traverse so we walked up Beinn Fhada (or Ben Attow) and  A'Ghlas-bheinn.

5th July: The Cullin Traverse- This was a day we were really looking forward to that would take in 11 Munros, and it didn't let us down. 

We left our van, at the south side of the ridge early and swiftly walked up to the top of the first munro (sgurr nan
Eag, we were greeted by a beautiful cloud inversion around the whole ridge and clear alpine blue skies. 

Last week in Kintail we had the pleasure of meeting 'Mike Royal' and discovered that he was on a an adventure of his own. He set of from his home in Snowdonia in April and was walking up every 3000ft peak in the Wales, England and Scotland, and cycleing between them, self supported. He mentioned that he was struggling to find climb the Inn Pin on the Cullin Ridge (2 failed attempts). We agreed to help in out by letting him use our ropes for the climb and abseil. It was great to shared at least one mountain with such a like-minded person.

We reached the Inaccessible Pinnacle by around 11am where we met Mike with 2 litres of water he had kindly carried up for us. 

The weather was great until the last 2 Munros (Sgurr Alastair an Sgurr nan Gillian). 

What a great day!! 

6th of July: We had another lie-in today parked by the public toilets in Kyle of Lochalsh where we were hoping to find showers (after a tip off) we found the showers but they were locked. :-( It is midday as I write this and we are still unsure what we are going to do today. With the 11 Munros we did yesterday we now only have 52 left to do! So we may just have a rest day today.


Friday, 29 June 2012

Bla Bheinn (Blaven) and the Kintail Ridges

On wednesday Nick and Jack joined us for a walk up the lone Munro on Skye. Bla Bheinn- or Blaven as it is often anglicised. It stands alone from all of the other 11 Munros on Skye which are all on the Cuillin Ridge. It is often regarded as one of the finest mountain in Britain that towers magnificently over Loch Slapin with some pretty unimaginable views. Unfortunately thoses view had to remain unimaginable because of the dense low cloud that has engulfed the west of Scotland for the lat few days.

Eager for some more walking, Jack and Nick were excited about joining us for another day of walking in the cloud. On Thursday they joined us on the south Kintail ridge of 9 Munros finishing on The Saddle
(The 4 of us on The Saddle)This picture just about sums up the weather we have endure recently, no inspiring photos recently, unless you are inspired by clouds!

Today (Friday) we were back to  a team of 2, we walked through the cloud to the summits of the first 6 summits of the North Kintail ridge, tomorrow we will walk the remaining 6 summits finishing on the 5 sisters of Kintail. 

We are now over the 200 mark! We are still enjoying the experience however, at times, the monotony of the ups and downs can be a little frustrating. We are still motivated by the fact the 'best' is yet to come, (Cullin Ridge, Fisherfields, Torridon,)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


2 days ago we set from Kinloch Hourn with the intention of walking up the 8 Munros in the remote area of Knoydart, with an overnight stay in Sourlies bothy.
 We started with a long slog to Beinn Ladhar (pronounced Larven)then worked our way over 2 Munros down to the Bothy.
 Today we woke at 4am for an early start to the day starting up Sgurr na Ciche, but not before collecting some mussels from the beach.
 After two 12 hour days we made it back to the dam on Loch Quioch with only about 10 miles left to cycle back to the van. (luckily for me (pete) Joe lost at Rock, Paper, Scissors and had to do the the cycle while I slept on the side of the road) We are now on the Isle of Skye with some friends from University of Cumbria (Nick Michel and Jack Loftus).
We were planning on doing the Cullin traverse tomorrow, however, today is the first time it has rained on the Isle for a month. We plan to reurn in the better weather. Sgurr na Ciche

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Away from the mainland.

Over the last few days Joe and I have been working our way through the southern Munros, which a times have felt like were 'bagging' hills for that sake. I guess that is the down side of walking a continuous round, there can be times where it is difficult to take it all in because you have to stick to a schedule................................. We are still having loads of fun going to so many new place and meeting so many great people..................................... On our return from walking over 5 Munros in Mamlorn hills; we had another chance encounter with our new friend 'Andy Johnston'. He invited us in to his nice Mercedes Sprinter Camper van (not as nice as our rusty orange transit) for a drink and a sandwich, he then agreed to join us for a hill the next day.(Ben Chonzie) having someone join us from a day is a great motivational boost, that day we then went on to walk up Ben Vorlich, Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Lomond, finally getting to sleep around 1.30am................................................................................. We are now relaxing on the coast on the Isle of Mull, after walking up the impressive Ben Cruachan, where we plan to walk up Ben More and spend the rest of the day enjoying this great little isle...................................................... Over the next week we are excited about walking and climbing the hills of Knoydart and Skye.