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WATCH: Inverness climber is 'proud' after being the first woman to tackle all 282 Munros in winter

By Annabelle Gauntlett

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Anna climbed all 282 Munros in Scotland this winter season.
Anna climbed all 282 Munros in Scotland this winter season.

An Inverness woman has scaled all 282 Munros in Scotland this astronomical winter.

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

Yesterday Anna reached the top of Cairngorm mountain where she was 'utterly overwhelmed' by her accomplishment.

She said: "I don't quite know how I feel, as it doesn't feel real. I'm not sure it has ever felt real.

"These past three months have been so fast paced, but I have just loved it.

"It has been the best three months of my life.

"I definitely felt quite emotional when I reached the top."

Anna Wells on Sgurr nan Conbhairean.
Anna Wells on Sgurr nan Conbhairean.

Around 24 other climbers joined Anna to celebrate her achievement by finishing the final hurdle alongside her.

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 412,000ft of ascent.

Anna managed to match her idol's record and go down in history as the first woman to complete the challenge.

She completed an incredible 282 Munros in just under 12 weeks, averaging on three hills a day.

Anna took three months off work at TSB Bank where she focuses on mathematical modelling.

While enjoying her mission, she also encountered numerous challenges throughout, including treacherous weather conditions.

When reaching the summit of her final Munro, Anna faced 87mph winds, but that didn't stop her tackling what no woman has done before.

She said: "It feels really special to be the first woman to do it.

"I have had so many messages from women in the outdoors saying that it has really inspired them.

"The idea of being a role model to people is really nice.

"I just love that it encourages other people to get out."

Throughout the challenge, Anna endured treacherous weather conditions, from horrific gale force winds to torrential rainfall.

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.

"It was forecast to be 50mph winds at the top of Cairngorm, but the weather station at the top clocked 87mph winds, so it was incredibly blistery."

Anna tackled treacherous weather conditions during the course of 12 weeks.
Anna tackled treacherous weather conditions during the course of 12 weeks.

Dozens of people gathered in the car park waiting for Anna to return and celebrate.

When talking about her admiration for those that came, she said: "I think what overwhelmed me was those that travelled right across the country just to meet me in the car park or to come for a drink after.

"That meant so much to me."

She added: "People were talking about it as a moment of history, which felt very surreal for me.

"I guess I just feel like I've had a really fun few months doing what I love in the hills."

Despite taking on this fierce challenge, Anna was always 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 Wells (34) challenged herself to complete the mission before March 20.
Anna Wells (34) challenged herself to complete the mission before March 20.

While Anna is 'overjoyed' to have overcome her mission, she has felt 'saddened' to see it come to an end.

She said: "It is all I have thought about for three months, so I am definitely sad to see it come to an end.

"I'm just going to keep super busy over the next few weeks to fill that void."

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

She said: "My phone has just exploded with messages and it is quite overwhelming to see so much kindness.

"The internet can often be a place of negativity, but I have just had so many encouraging messages of support all the way through and in particular now."

Now Anna 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."

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