To raise money for Scottish Mountain Rescue, Hazel Strachan climbed 100 Munros in June 2017. TGO got in touch to find out more.
You might know Hazel Strachan as the first woman to ‘compleat’ a seventh and eighth round of the Munros. In June 2017, she set herself a new challenge: to climb 100 Munros in support of Scottish Mountain Rescue. Hazel said, “I’m climbing 100 Munros in June to raise funds for Scottish Mountain Rescue because of the commitment these volunteers have for saving lives.”
It was a challenging month. This June was one of the wettest on record, with very few windows of good weather. Her itinerary included a number of long enchainments, as you’d expect from someone aiming to climb 3.3 Munros a day on average, but also several outings including only one or two summits. She finished her month on Lochnagar, which she climbed in misty conditions on the 30th of June.
Despite Hazel’s familiarity with Scotland’s mountains, this was an ambitious and demanding journey. She has raised more than £2,000 for Scottish Mountain Rescue – and donations continue to come in. You can donate at her JustGiving page.
Scottish Mountain Rescue Vice Chairman Kev Mitchell said, “We are all hugely impressed and grateful for her support and we wish her well when she is putting her feet up and enjoying a well-earned rest for a few days! Very well done and thank you from all the Scottish Mountain Rescue family.”
TGO got in touch with Hazel to ask a few questions about her adventure.
How did the poor weather affect your plans? Any tips for hillwalkers facing such conditions?
The weather played a huge role. I ended up climbing groups of Munros I had never planned for because conditions were better there. I completely ditched a trip to the Cairngorms because the forecast changed so much that walking there would have been sheer lunacy. I’m happy I made the best use of some awful forecasts.
Be flexible. Plan to start earlier or later in the day or drive to another area. Being outdoors should be fun, so don’t be a slave to plans.
Did you have any backup to help you with the logistics?
My husband, Ian, helped with backup. Not only was he doing the catering but he would drop me off or pick me up, which was so helpful especially when I was starting walking mid-afternoon. I think he eventually got the hang of my instructions – and not to listen to them until I had the most up-to-date forecast because they are going to change (again)!
Any low moments where you were tempted to give up?
I never had a thought about giving up, but the prospect of not climbing the full 100 Munros stressed me out at times because the weather was so unlike what it should have been for June. What I feared the most was for wind speeds to increase in the last week, making me unable to keep going.