After retiring aged 63, I started bagging the Munros and was instantly hooked by the great outdoors. One day whilst out in the Cairngorms I met a guide with his dog, a Cocker Spaniel and just over one year later Glen, my Working Cocker Spaniel had started on his epic journey.
He started off on Cairn Gorm on the 24th May 2018. He is trained to the whistle and has brilliant recall, so he spends most of the time off the lead. Completing all 282 Munros with Glen has been an epic journey, and I couldn’t have wished for better four legged companion.
Being retired and having a campervan we didn’t have to plan too far in advance, if the weather was good, we were off. We also did quite a lot of bagging in the winter and Glen loves the snow. Most of our adventures were single days but as some were very long walks I would use my mountain bike, Glen was quite happy to trot alongside and wait for me to catch up on the climbs. On three occasions we camped out overnight; the three Knoydart Munros, the three Glen Affric Munro’s from the Youth Hostel at Alltbeithe and the Fisherfield Six.
We had planned to do the Fisherfield Six over two days but this didn’t quite go to plan. We walked in on the first day and camped out over night after reaching the Corbett summit, we set off early next morning and it was a scorcher, the hottest day we ever spent on the hills. We managed to complete the five Munro summits and get back to the bothy where we spent the night before walking back out next morning. We were joined by my nephew Barry on that adventure, I thought it might have put him off but he’s soldiering on and has now completed over 80 Munros.
The Cuillin Ridge was a challenge and I had heard many horror stories about dogs having injured paws due to the roughness of the gabbro rocks. I decided never to do two days in a row but luckily Glen never had any issues with his paws. We managed to complete six summits on our own but used guides (Adrian Trendall and Nate Jones) to complete the last five summits on the main ridge.
Our last Munro was Ben More on the Isle of Mull, we were joined by my nephew Barry, Marie and Gorden with dogs Wee Buster, Nevis and Lomond, also David Brown with Munro completer Meg. Great company and perfect weather made it such a special day to complete.
Bagging all 282 Munros is something I never thought I’d achieve, but doing it with Glen had been incredible, and I’m sure he’s enjoyed every minute of it as much as me. Glen is just over six years old so still a lot of miles in his legs yet, I’m sure we will accompany my nephew Barry on some of his adventures and there are a few Munros that we will definitely do again. We also have a small list of Corbett’s to bag, so our days in the great outdoors enjoying the beautiful Scottish scenery are definitely not over.