Home   News   Article

WATCH: Inverness climber challenges herself to be the first woman to tackle all 282 Munros in Scotland in winter

By Annabelle Gauntlett

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Anna hiking in the summer. Picture: Anna Wells.
Anna hiking in the summer. Picture: Anna Wells.

An Inverness woman has made it her mission to climb all 282 Munros in Scotland this astronomical winter.

Anna Wells (34) has challenged herself to complete the feat before March 20, after starting on December 22.

The hill climber was first inspired by Martin Moran who was the first person to complete a winter round (all the Munros in one winter season) in 1984-85.

His journey lasted 83 days, as he walked 1028 miles with 412,000 ft of ascent.

Anna is keen to set a new record as the first woman to complete all of the Munros in an astronomical winter, and is already on track for finishing early.

She said: "I have only got 10 more hill days to do, but I still have another 20 days to do them in.

"I feel like I have a good safety net and I'm feeling very optimistic about finishing on time."

Anna up Ciste Dubh. Picture: Anna Wells.
Anna up Ciste Dubh. Picture: Anna Wells.

So far, Anna has completed 218 Munros in 10 weeks, averaging on just over three hills a day.

While Anna has enjoyed her mission, she has faced numerous challenges throughout, including treacherous weather conditions.

She said: "There have been times where the weather has been horrendous.

"We had so many storms, so I was quite strategic in picking individual hills that meant I was up high for less time."

"But, the weather has been what's made it!

"I didn't want a really easy, soft winter as I wouldn't have thought it was a proper good round, and when I look back on the winter there has definitely been phases.

"Early on I had to tackle some horrendous storms, but then there was loads of snow with nice fair weather.

"And it looks like the next week is promising weather wise!"

To complete this challenge, Anna took three months off work at TSB Bank where she focuses on mathematical modelling.

She said: "They were amazing to give me the time off I needed and it means I have a job to go back to after."

Despite taking on this fierce challenge, Anna was fearful of potentially injuring herself and not being able to finish.

She said: "I feel like I am quite prone to injuries and I have had a couple foot injuries during my round.

"There have been days I have found myself limping and thought it was over, but thanks to my amazing physiotherapist, I was fixed twice along the way."

Anna was also concerned that she would lose interest in the hill climbing half way through and subsequently not finish, however she said: "When I want to do something, I am super naturally motivated to do it, but I was curious to see if I would maintain that love and passion in this task.

"I knew it would be easy if I did, and fortunately I have mostly woken up each morning excited to go climb another Munro."

Anna climbing Buachaille Etive Mor. Picture: Anna Wells.
Anna climbing Buachaille Etive Mor. Picture: Anna Wells.

The best part of this challenge for Anna has been the community support across the Highlands.

She said: "Through social media, so many people have reached out to offer support.

"From hosting me in their homes to making me meals and giving me lifts, that has been so cool.

"I have met so many amazing people and that has really made it for me."

Since starting her challenge, Anna has become a sensation online, reaching thousands of people across the world curious to see how she is getting on.

Anna completing a winter Munro. Picture: Anna Wells.
Anna completing a winter Munro. Picture: Anna Wells.

She said: "I have found it really encouraging and motivating.

"It has been really nice to get encouragement from everyone.

"I have even had people recognise me on the hills and wishing me luck, which is amazing.

"Originally my mum was worried that it would cause too much pressure, but if anything it has only been positive."

Once Anna completes this challenge she is keen to get back into rock climbing and venture into hill running.

She said: "I've always had imposter syndrome when it comes down to it, so I would love to challenge myself to complete a 24-hour hill run where you link up certain mountains."

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More