Inverness Climber Bags 282 Munros in 282 Days
A climber from Inverness has bagged her final Munro in a mammoth tour challenge as she ‘hugged’ Beinn Sgritheall near Glenelg as she completed her Covid Munro Round in 10 months.
Shona Mcpherson, 45, from Ballifeary, has been sharing her climbing pursuits and poignant reflections as she travelled around Scotland, after starting her challenge on 1 November 2022, according to UK Hillwalking magazine.
She had originally planned to complete the challenge by 10 August 2021, bagging all 282 Munros - a mountain over 3,000 ft - in 282 days, but the pandemic meant she had to complete it a month later than planned.
Managing to complete all 282 Munros is a great achievement by any standards, however, Shona had set herself the challenge of ‘hugging’, as she put it, all 282 Munros in 282 days. It had been made all the more difficult by starting the challenge at the beginning of the Scottish winter, and just before the country went into its second lockdown.
But Shona was undeterred and managed to complete it, all while raising awareness and just short of £6,000 in sponsorship for the Highland-based charity she works for - Mikeysline, founded in late 2015 after a tragic number of suicides in the Highland region.
The charity supports those struggling with mental health issues through a text-based service, drop-in health services in Inverness, Skiath and Tain, and through a new young person's service.
The bulk of the challenge was completed solo, with a share of scary winter moments, but on her last climb, she was accompanied by 19 friends to keep her company on the final stretch.
Fundraising for Mikeysline and the Speaking of Suicide Podcast, she has raised more than £3800 to support the two groups.
She said: “My last Munro hug is planned for September 11 and it’s Beinn Sgritheall. I’ve absolutely loved this Munro hugging adventure and have fallen even more in love with my homeland.”
She added that it has been fun to share the stories and beauty of the Scottish peaks through her Instagram account, @Walkwildcoach, particularly during the lockdown when some people were unable to get outdoors.
“I’m so grateful to everyone for sharing this brilliant journey with me in whatever way you’ve been able, your support has carried me on the harder days.”
Life coach Shona, who last year completed the Pacific Crest Trail, also suffers from Raynaud’s syndrome, a circulation condition that reduces blood flow to fingers and other parts of the body, meant during the winter she was often cold.
“This challenge has been hard – especially in the winter months – but I know that many folks have harder mountains to climb on a daily basis,” she added.
“For some people getting up and facing another day is far harder than summiting 282 Munros in 10 months.”
If you’re planning on visiting Scotland this autumn and winter and looking for a Scottish winter climbing guide, then visit our website for more information!