Last Thursday was my first day on the hill alone this year. In the winter my family worry if I go out hillwalking alone as the risks of hypothermia following an injury or incident increases as the weather deteriorates. But I love the feeling of being completely reliant on me alone – on my navigation skills, etc to keep my safe and also the feeling of being the only human for miles around, that I do go alone in spring and summer.
Thursday’s route was only a wee local hill, Meall Fhuar-Mhondaidh above Loch Ness. There is a clear path up this hill, and no need to use my map, never mind my compass, so there was no sense of self-reliance in this instance. But I was completely alone on the hill. There was one other car in the small parking space 4 miles from the village when I arrived, but I passed one guy going down (we chatted a few minutes) as I was setting off. I didn’t meet another soul for the 4 hours out on the hill. The walk took 1 hour 45 mins to the summit and 1 hour 30 mins to descend, but I stayed for a full 45 minutes on the top. I hunkered down out of the wind and sat absorbed in the (seemingly) empty land and stillness up there. Wonderful!
I left a bookcrossing registered book at the summit cairn and hope it delights the finder.
Photos from previous walks up the hill can be see seen here: Meall Fhuar-Mhondaidh