We’ve nicknamed May “Munro Month” at Rebel PT, mostly as it’s the month before the first of our Rebel 3-peak challenge weekends and is also the month of the first warm-up walk weekend as a group of Rebels head to Torridon for some camping and hill walking. We spoke to one of the organisers, Robyn about where we could start if we hadn’t done any hill walking before. Robyn says that “heading into the hills gives you an awesome sense of freedom and challenge” and and has put together some bits of advice for you.
“Start with this video, which is an awesome little summary of getting out on the hills!
The hills mentioned in it are great and a little further South, however there are some easy hills in our neck of the woods that are really rewarding! Some of my top picks are Mayar and Dreish (done together) and Lochanagar on the Munro front. If you have a bike, Derry Cairngorm can be done easily with a nice cycle in and out to the base of the Munro. (If you want route / timing info for these give me a shout!)
If you’ve not been up them, Clachnaben and Bennachie are amazing little hills and more enjoyable than a few of the munros! These two will also give you an idea of how you are heading uphill! The Glenshee Ski Centre munros on the Cairnwell side are accessible and easy (i.e boring ;) )
Walkhighlands is a great website giving route descriptions / maps / elevation profiles and a rough grade of walks all over Scotland and is my starting point for finding out the route up a new hill or walks in a new area. If you are unsure on using OS maps there’s some great articles and videos.
Weather wise I then use MWIS and MET Office websites for an idea of if the day is good to go. Careful use of these sites has increased my enjoyment on the hills no end and meant a few plan B’s taken for the better!
Always have a map/ compass heading out and even on a nice day get them out to practise and familiarise yourself with using them – phone apps are really good but are definitely not a fail safe option, check out this feature on using smart phones as a GPS and this one to get an idea of what to expect and /or pitfalls. My main two things with phones are to remember airplane mode and not to expect signal so have everything you want to access (like a route description) downloaded!
If are heading out by yourself anywhere remoter, then a first aid kit and survival bag are also essentials… just in case!
Most of all get out there and explore.” #RebelLife