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21 things I learned on Tansy’s last Munro

Written by Fiona

September 07 2015

I met Tansy through my Munroaming Facebook page almost a year ago. We have become firm walking buddies and recently I joined her (and some 60 other people) to climb her final Munro, Ben Chabhair, near Crianlarich. Here are a few of the things I learned.

  1. “Meet at 10am at the Drover’s Inn car park” actually means 10.50am. It seems fairly obvious now that gathering a group of such numbers will delay the proceedings just  tad! Poor Tansy was quite stressed about this but the rest of us took it in our stride.

    Setting out...

    Setting out…

  2. Scotland’s #summerofwinter2015 produced the mixed bag of weather that us Scots have grown familiar with over months of very fickle conditions. Our outing started dry and included spell of summer, episodes of winter, more summer, some spring and then a very warm spell of summer for the descent.

    Smaller groups head off uphill and spread out in a long, long line.

    Smaller groups head off uphill and spread out in a long, long line.

  3. Ben Chabhair is not the easiest Last Munro I have climbed, especially when the wet weather this summer has left many miles of the mountain covered in wide and deep bogs.
  4. Children as young as four (there were two, Tansy’s son Archie, and Alex, a feisty wee girl) can walk a fairly tough Munro if they are offered some shoulder carries here and there. I watched with respect as various mums and dads offered shoulder carrying support to these youngsters.
  5. IMG_6617 IMG_6620
  6. Children aged six – I think there were a few – can walk this Munro without shoulder carries. I was very impressed by their energy and resilience.
  7. Walking a wet and boggy Munro in running trainers looks like no fun at all. While most people were thankful for their waterproof boots, gaiters and waterproof trousers, I spotted adults and kids in trainers and felt really sorry for them.
  8. I saw the bogs suck off two poorly tied boots. I showed one young lad how to securely tie his boots. I might have seemed like I was a bit of boring adult but at least he kept his feet dry after that.
  9. Ben Chabhair is surprisingly steep at the start (and finish) and goes up and down and on and on but the scenery is more than just rewards for the hike.

    A lunch stop and a chance for so many Munro baggers to regroup.

    A lunch stop and a chance for so many Munro baggers to regroup.

  10. 60 people walking a Munro is a fantastic sight – but it does tend to hold up proceedings a bit.
  11. Walking slowly with others has its benefits. I met and chatted with many interesting people during the course of the day. I hope that some of them stay in touch so I can walk more Munros with them.
  12. The smile of a Munro compleatist is like no other smile. It says so much including relief, reflection, perseverance, determination, pride and joy.

    Tansy's children India and Archie walk towards the Munro top.

    Tansy’s children India and Archie walk towards the Munro top.

  13. Like cheese sandwiches, Champagne never tastes better than when sipped outdoors and at the top of a Munro.
  14. A last Munro should be walked with friends and family. It was wonderful to see how much Tansy enjoyed the walk with her friends and especially her children, India and Archie, and her two sisters Flora and Oona.IMG_6632 IMG_6634 IMG_6635
  15. The walk back on a Munro always seems so much further than you can ever recall.
  16. A drink at the Drover’s Inn after walking this Munro simply has to be done. Checking out the stuffed animals is also obligatory. But a trip to the loos should be done with caution.
  17. Hiring an entire youth hostel for a post-last Munro knees-up is the best of ideas.tansy top
  18. If the person who is hosting the party can also play the flute and bring along a mum who plays the fiddle, a sister who plays keyboard and friends who play guitar and drums then it means you can enjoy a we ceilidh dance.

    Tansy and her mum.

    Tansy and her mum.

  19. If the person who is hosting the last Munro party also has a friend who was once a DJ then the night can continue forever thanks to disco decks and flashing lights. I crashed out exhausted just after midnight but I hear others kept going until 3am.
  20. A campervan in the car park of Crianlarich Youth Hostel is most likely frowned on by the SYHA but it does mean you will get a peaceful night’s sleep in a youth hostel invaded by a huge group of partying adults, teenagers and youngsters!
  21. If you haven’t walked a Munro for six weeks and instead put in the miles on a racer bike you’ll suffer with muscle fatigue the next day. And perhaps even the next one!
  22. Even when you have compleated a round, people still need a goal. Tansy has her sights set on a triathlon, some hill running and helping me to walk a few of my remaining Munros.

Many congratulations to Tansy for a fantastic achievement and also a brilliant Last Munro Walk and Party. Here is Tansy’s account of her last Munro day.

Written by Fiona September 07 2015 Please support this website Buy me a glass of wine

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