Scottish Solo Hill-Walker

Guest Blogger – Debbie Parker

I lived in Scotland for over 23 years and spent a lot of my spare time walking and climbing the Munros. It is a part of the UK that has some of the most majestic mountains and breath-taking scenery. This is part of the reason that I was drawn to the twitter adventures of my latest guest blogger.

In addition to our love of the Scottish Hills and Mountains, we also share a couple of other similarities. We are both over 60 and are both solo walkers, so I was fascinated to hear someone else’s experience as an over 60s solo hill-walker

To introduce myself, I’m Debbie Parker, a 61 year old recently retired paramedic who has been hillwalking now for over 30 years. As I now have much more time available to get myself up the hills, I have started writing blogs on my experiences ( Retirement presents to myself included a decent camera, go pro and a drone.  My plan is to eventually create vlogs as well as blogs. 

As a hill walker, I love reading and watching other people’s exploits so it makes sense to have footage to share with those with similar interests or people who are thinking of getting themselves out on the hills and also those who, for whatever reason, can’t get up there themselves.

I quickly became hooked on hill-walking after climbing Ben Cruachan way back in the early 90’s.  The view from the top blew me away!  Thankfully not literally!  In those early days, I was up and down them in a decent time but nowadays with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis I’ve slowed down somewhat.  I still get there and have the odd day when I can have a bit of a run downhill if my knee is playing ball.  Invariably though, I usually pay for that frivolity 🙂

I try to ignore that my body is not in as good nick as it used to be and just get on with it.  At best, my knee is a bit stiff afterwards, at worst ALL of me is stiff!  It is still SO worth it!  Being out in the fresh air and sampling the stunning scenery that Scotland has to offer more than makes up for it! The ‘great outdoors’ also has a wee habit of calming the mind and putting things in perspective. Effective therapy for mind and body!

I occasionally go wild camping in the hills (the above pic is in Glenshee in between covid lockdowns). One of my best experiences ever was to waken up on the slopes of Beinn a’ Chrulaiste to a temperature inversion!  This mountain overlooks the mighty Buachaille Etive Mor so I was like a pig in muck!!!

Buachaille Etive Mor rising above a temperature inversion

I usually walk the hills alone as most people that I enjoy walking with are still working and not as available.  I do, however, take a few more precautions and carry a personal locator beacon so that I can call for help if required.

I also enjoy low level walks and have completed 250 miles of the Camino Frances, the West Highland Way and a few sections of the Cape Wrath Trail.  The photo below is taken from within the Rough Bounds of Knoydart and perhaps goes some way to illustrate the remote feeling of some parts of the Cape Wrath Trail

Whether it’s trotting along a high ridge or meandering through a glen on a low level path, I’m in my element and intend to keep on going for as long as my legs will take me!!

Visit Debbie’s Website and social media platforms

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