Wel­come

Scottish Field - - WELCOME - Richard Bath, Ed­i­tor

Ihaven’t quite seen the road to Da­m­as­cus, but I can cer­tainly en­vis­age plenty of wild and woolly paths ahead of me. For, dear read­ers, to the de­ri­sion of many of my near­est and dear­est, I’ve de­cided to be­come a Munro-bag­ger. In the course of stalk­ing, ptarmi­gan shoot­ing and just reg­u­larly go­ing for a good long hike, I have walked over many Mun­ros, but never in any co-or­di­nated fash­ion. It’s fair to say that some friends are agog: one col­league pro­fesses to loathe all bag­gers, an­other close pal just hooted with laugh­ter. But ac­tu­ally, the per­son who made up my mind was a Brazil­ian friend who sim­ply doesn’t un­der­stand the idea of walk­ing in the coun­try­side with­out pur­pose. And as a re­sults-ori­ented soul, I get this, so the pur­pose is to tick off each of the 3,000ft peaks on my breeze­block-sized guide to all 282 Mun­ros. Be­ing in my fifties and go­ing out twice a month it’s pos­si­ble that I won’t com­plete the whole lot, but that misses the point. I’ll get to travel to places I wouldn’t oth­er­wise go, spend time forcibly re­moved from my smart phone and en­joy qual­ity time with an ar­ray of pals who are do­ing the same as me. One of those is my daugh­ter, Ailsa, with whom I climbed Ben Vor­lich on a beau­ti­ful Septem­ber day. It was one of those won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ences where you get to chat with­out in­ter­rup­tion while Ailsa got a rare dose of ex­er­cise. We both felt re­newed and re­ju­ve­nated, if tired. So now I’m look­ing for tales of bag­ging suc­cess and fail­ure, for read­ers’ highs and lows. At least it will be good to know what tri­als and tribu­la­tions await me...

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