282 MUNROS, 3000KMS, 140,000M OF ASCENT

Climbing, running, walking, cycling and kayaking!
Image: Jamie plans to conquer all munros

The Challenge Starts 26th May 2023

I have completed two rounds of Munros.

The first – in 2013 - was with my partner, Andy Taylor, when we did them all in a year while still working full-time (we each only used 1 day of annual leave!).

You can find out more about that round and see lots of photos from our intense weekends here on our blog; Munros in a Year - All 282 in 2013!
Find out more about the 2013 adventure
Image: all munros in one continuous challenge
My second round was as chaperone for my adorable rescue dogs, Pirate and Hope, collectively known as “The Fluffs.”

While they stopped short of doing the Munros on the Cuillin Ridge, which I did without them, they otherwise proved that moving from a shelter in Spain did not prevent them from being Munro Hounds!
Check out pics of my Fluffs!

I NOW PLAN TO DO ALL MUNROS IN ONE CONTINUOUS, SELF-PROPELLED PUSH

Beginning on 26th May 2023 and continuing for as long as it takes, I will be climbing all 282 Munros and cycling, kayaking, running and walking between them. I have set a ridiculously ambitious (naïve?!) schedule, but falling short of it but still completing the round will be a huge achievement no matter what.

I’m intending to push myself quite hard, hopefully without breaking, in order to achieve the fastest time I can. I need to finish within the time I’ve been granted leave from work, if nothing else!

My route will equate to around 1500 kilometres of both running and cycling – 3000 kilometres total – with approximately 140,000 metres of ascent. This is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest 16 times

While the planning of logistics and complexity of my spreadsheets is beginning to make an Everest expedition seem straightforward, my journey will take me across the length and breadth of Scotland and across more miles of bog than I care to think about.

Point to Point

I will start on Mull and finish in the far Northwest, though my exact route is still being tweaked. My plan is to maximise on point to point opportunities, which may include bivying out in the hills.

THE EQUIVALENT OF CLIMBING MOUNT EVEREST 16 TIMES!

Planning and Preparation!

I spend a lot of time these days poring over maps; comparing stats of idea A vs idea B; and making sure I don’t miss an opportunity for a snack stop! My partner, Andy, will be lead supporter and has generously even purchased extra vacation days from his job as an outdoor instructor to be on hand as often as possible to maximise my chances of success.

I owe a debt of gratitude to quite a few people already, and I haven’t even started yet (those who know Andy know that I “won’t even have started yet” until the last week of the Round!).

This silly idea was inspired by Donnie Campbell and his record-breaking self-propelled round in 2020, planting a seed in my brain as we were emerging from Covid restrictions that I still haven’t been able to shake!

I am also indebted to my dear, departed friend, John Kynaston, who was the first I told that I was considering the Round. John greeted me on my very first venture into trail running in Scotland and his warm encouragement (in 2008) led me down a path – literal and figurative – for which I will be forever grateful.

His belief in me when I mentioned the Munro Round has contributed to my inability to shake the idea of this goal!

ALL 282 MUNROS IN ONE CONTINUOUS, SELF-PROPELLED PUSH

The Route

I have been grateful for the generosity with which Donnie Campbell has shared his record-breaking route . . . and thankful for a few of my girlfriends (Carrie Craig, Alex Kane and Elspeth Berry) who worked away on uploading GPX files which the great GIS mapper and friend, Joe Nunn, then put onto maps for me to study and smother with post-it notes!

I am grateful to Jenny Allen, Project Manager, logistics co-ordinator extraordinaire and inspiration for silly ideas; and, of course to Andy T, whose unwavering support and calmness under pressure bolsters my belief that we might just succeed.

The route is a bit like a wonky figure-of-8: starting with Ben More on Mull; winding its way up the Ardgour Peninsula to go from Glenfinnan, across all the Munros of the Glencoe area and over to Arrochar in under a week; up to the Cairngorms and out to the Easternmost Munro of Mount Keen; only to return to the west and Ben Nevis; before moving more decidedly northwest to eventually finish with either Ben Hope or Klibreck (some route planning is still underway!).

The totals are too overwhelming for me to think about too much, but they equate to roughly 900 miles and 126,000m of ascent on foot; and 900 miles and 14,500m of ascent by bike; with about 20km of paddling thrown in for good measure and to make sure the logistics don’t get too easy!

Image: poring over maps of munros
Image: Lego Jamie on the munro map

Mega thanks so far go to:

  • Jenny Allen: Project Manager Extraordinaire, lover of logistics
  • Carrie Craig, Alex Kane and Elspeth Berry: GPX uploaders, downloaders, plotters, and trotters
  • Andy Taylor: Fixer of bikes, washer of kit, and all-around life-improver
  • Joe Nunn: GIS mapping saviour
  • Norah Croft: Morning motivator and impressive grump-tolerator
  • Nic Crossley and Ben Finch: Social media sorters

Image: Jenny Allen