Fiona is our very own Bear Grylls.
She has logged over 300 dives (sadly no more than 30m to comply with her insurances). She has scaled all the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales. And, she was bagging Munro summits like they were hotcakes before they became a thing to do.
Some of her most memorable climbs and walks have been at Glencoe. Walking is a great love of Fiona’s. When she says walk though just know it’s not going to be a stroll. One of the most memorable ones was for her The Aonach Eagach; a 10km rocky ridge lying to the north of Glencoe and boasts two awe-inspiring and utterly breathtaking Munro summits. The Aonach Eagach is classed as a Grade 2 Scramble for its technical difficulty. It’s considered the narrowest ridge in the UK, as well as the toughest. It sits at over 3,100 ft high…
Other memorable climbs and walks the Female embodiment of Bear Grylls has done are:
- Cuillins on Skye
- Ben More Assynt in Sutherland
- Ben Lawers by Loch Tay, Lochnagar
- Ben Macdui in the Grampian Mountains
- Bidean nam Bian
There have been some challenges faced by Fiona, mainly due to the weather conditions. Weather can change extraordinarily quickly on the mountain tops; “I’ve had to turn back due to thunderstorms, blizzard/whiteout conditions and winds so strong you could not stand up.” Fiona understands that you can never take Mother Nature on and win!
Fiona’s tips for safe hillwalking and climbing are:
- Have a Plan A and a Plan B for the route you want to take.
- Let others who are not going know about your plans
- Don’t hesitate to change it if conditions worsen.
- Enjoy being outdoors and experiencing it with good company
- Wear layers, even in summer!
- Lots of fluids and food
- Know how to use a map and compass
- Take a whistle, a pocket knife and a mirror to attract attention if you need help
- Being in the hills is a privilege. Step lightly and respectfully
- Take everything you brought home with you.
Fiona’s must-have accessories are a Swiss Army penknife; “It’s amazing the number of times I’ve helped other walkers with my bottle opener and even corkscrew”. A set of binoculars for the views and to see the finer details. And a bird book to settle any arguments about the “eagle” actually being a buzzard.
Being outdoors with the right company means you get to witness some of nature’s most amazing sights, up close and first hand. One such instance for Fiona was the deer rut at Glen Lyon. Seeing all the shenanigans of the stags as they fought to impress the ladies. Then there’s the unusual weather phenomenon of a cloud inversion, where you actually have to go through a cloud to emerge on top. Fiona was around 3,500ft above sea level when she encountered this cloud inversion. She emerged atop the summit to see most of the Cairngorm summits piercing the smooth white icing-like cloud. Truly an unforgettable moment.
But, Fiona’s main tip is “just enjoy being outdoors and experience it with good company. Take time to observe the wildlife. It’s not necessarily all about getting to the summit. It’s the journey that’s meant to be enjoyable too.”