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We are Nic Hardy and James Forrest and we are hill walkers/peak baggers and lovers of the outdoors.
In 2019, we climbed all 282 Munro Mountains (3,000ft+) over 6 months. A feat that normally takes hill walkers an average of 22 years! The challenge was an emotional and physical rollercoaster, consisting of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but we were buoyed by the support of friends and family, whilst walking over 2,000km and over 150,000m of vertical ascent.
Nic explains "During the expedition, we passed a woman with a sign saying ‘Blind Walker’ on her back on the ascent of Ben Nevis (Scotland and the UK's highest mountain). I think it really hit home that I was so lucky to be able to take in these magnificent views as my ‘reward’ for climbing to the top and she wouldn’t experience the same. On the way down we saw her again and chatted for a while. Tracy was climbing Ben Nevis as part of a National 3 Peaks challenge, over a 4 week period she had already summitted Snowdon and Scafell Pike. Her partner had a series of keywords that he used to describe the terrain so that she could safely ascend and descend the mountains. Listening to her describe the benefits of hill walking, despite no longer having her sight was really humbling. A reminder to take joy, not just from what I see, but what I feel, smell and hear in the outdoors."
When our challenge had finished, a good friend Rob printed 3 photographs in a frame and asked our friends and family to sign it. They all offered to contributed towards the cost of the frame, but Rob refused, asking instead that we nominate a charity for everyone to donate to instead. After some research, we found Walk-Ability, a Scottish charity with a hill-walking focus, their aim is "to ensure that everybody can enjoy time in the great Scottish outdoors, regardless of their physical abilities They organise and lead guided walks throughout Scotland for a range of disabilities and experience levels. They maintain strong links with, Stroke Association, Deafblind Scotland and Paradventures". David Jones (Chairman and Founder) said "Currently most of our walks are in the Aberdeen area for logistical and financial reasons. We have had requests for walks further afield, but have often had to decline them because of the costs of overnight accommodation, transport etc. So your offer is extremely welcome."
We really wanted to make a positive impact on a small charity and together we've found the perfect fit. We would appreciate all and any donations (however small). If you enjoyed following our challenge on social media, it would mean the world to us if you could donate - it would be wonderful to help in some way to provide more opportunities to get more people like Tracy to build up confidence in the hills and enjoy the outdoors.
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