Three years ago on this day I jumped off the service bus into the cold, clear air of a bright November morning in Dinnet, a quiet village in the heart of Royal Deeside. From here I climbed Scotlandâ€™s most easterly Munro, Mount Keen. It was the perfect introductory walk: chattering streams, ancient Caledonian forest, isolated farms, wild glens, and mountains as far as the eye could see. I posted a blog post at the time with a few photos which can be read here. With the exception of a walk around Aberdeenâ€™s coastal path, and one up Scolty Hill just south of Banchory, it genuinely was my first significant foray into the Scottish scenery and I enjoyed every minute. Whilst cooling off tired feet sitting at the bus stop in Dinnet as the sun set, I rang my Mum and told her that I had climbed my first Munro. I think she was shocked.
Since then I’ve climbed ninety-nine other Munros (some more than once) and seen a great deal more of Scotland. Whilst the west coast is inarguably more dramatic and the mountains more shapely and challenging, I still have a great love for the eastern hills, particularly those south of the Dee where I first found my hiking feet. Over the winter I hope to revisit a few of my favourite areas, and hopefully climb some new hills.
Over the next few weeks I’ll probably post some thoughts on my favourite trips and mountains. In the meantime here is a slightly strange slideshow - an image of each of the Munro summits I’ve reached. For the ones where it was too misty/rainy/snowy to bother with a summit shot I’ve tried to add a representative photo of the mountain.