“Everybody comes from somewhere. Even Jim Callaghan. Well, we all do…” (Peter Cook)

I will be nearing the end of my 68th year on the planet when I head out on the WHW on May 26. I walked the hills as a Scout but left that organisation at 17 and until 2015 really didn’t do any serious walking.

However, at age 61 I was enrolled in a sponsored walk to summit Mount Toubkal in Morocco and needed to do a bit of training. As a result I have been a regular visitor to the hills ever since, with Glen Doll a favourite destination.

Until 2020 I undertook a multi-day adventure every year:

  • 2015 Toubkal
  • 2016 WHW
  • 2017 Three Peaks
  • 2018 East Highland Way
  • 2019 Annapurna Sanctuary

In between I have walked the Angus hills and Munros within driving distance of home. Walked the drover trails, Jocks Road and the Lairig Ghru.

In 2020 I used lockdown restrictions to map a route through the Sidlaws from Collace to Glen Ogilvie, I christened it The Sidlaw Skyline.

My second walk on the WHW will establish whether my recent ankle problems have healed sufficiently to allow me to retrace the steps of Sir Edmund Hillary as far as Everest base camp; a 17 day trek. This is planned for November 2022.

Stuart was a friend of 55 years standing and it will be great to be in the company of so many of his old friends, reminiscing of happy times spent in his and each other’s company.

Listen to Ian’s interview with Surrey Hills Radio.

Ian’s Walks

Almost Jock’s Road

The final long training day before the actual Hike – 15 miles across the Cairgorms down Jock’s Road. Well, that was the original plan, but Storm Arwen had wreaked havoc on the forests making our original route impassable.
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Lomond Circuit

In the second outing of the weekend, four Brothers returned to the Paps of Fife, where Steve performed the ritual of “Kissing the Nipple”.
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Loch Brandy Revisited

The first of three hikes over the Bank Holiday weekend was a visit to Loch Brandy. The first time for two of us, for others a reacquaintance. Perhaps not a total success, but a good test of climbing endurance.
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Glen Turret

Three Brothers headed west to Glen Turret, location of the oldest distillery in Scotland. There was no time for tasting though, with a number of summits to conquer, and the inevitable U-turn.
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The perfect preparation for the West Highland Way? Perhaps not, as this excursion involved more climbing than distance. But the scenery was stunning and eleven adventurers, including four Brothers, had a memorable three days in the mountains of Torridon.
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The Magnificent Seven

Seven Brothers assembled for a longer training hike from Tullybaccart. They covered a good distance, but again things didn’t go to plan.
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Mount Keen (The Grand Old Duke of York March)

A return to Mount Keen for Ian and Grant – this time accompanied by Doug and Steve – but without the pecorino cheese.
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The Bomber (and the discovery of Doug’s eBoots)

Four Brothers ascend past Loch Brandy to the crash site of a wartime Wellington bomber, and Doug discovers eBoots on the descent.
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ABC with STV

STV filmed the Brothers as they went for their third training hike in four days, to Auchterhouse, Balkello and Craigowl (ABC).
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Brothers go to Dunsinane

For the second hike in three days, three of the Brothers head off to climb Dunsinane (including the hill fort) and King’s Seat.
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Bigfoot in the Sidlaws?

A cold and misty hike in the Sidlaws gave us the opportunity to test out some tech. But were there other creatures around?
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Ben Vrackie Circular

Garry, Ian and Steve set off on a training hike to climb Ben Vrackie, preceded by a photo shoot by The Courier. But the weather is poor…
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A First for Some

Some Dundee based Brothers and Derek went for a training hike in the Sidlaws – a first outing for some. Did they all manage it?
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Ian and Steve went to Kinpurnie for this week’s training hike, as high winds forced a change to their original plans.
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Paps of Fife

Ian, Grant and Steve head to the Paps of Fife for the first training hike of the year. The photos don’t tell the full story.
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Loch Brandy & The Snub

Ian and Grant set off for Loch Brandy, and decide to continue on up The Snub. On the way, they encounter a superhero…
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Ian’s final walk of the year to the source of the South Esk; Glen Doll. Bachnagairn Forest and Jock’s Road, with lunch at Davy’s Bourach.
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Mount Keen

Grant and Ian set off on a day trip to the most easterly of the Munros – Mount Keen. The unrelenting climb to the top was just too much.
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Mini Dreish

Ian and Grant set off to summit Mayar and Dreish – a 12 mile round trip. Following a poor start, things went from bad to worse.
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Beinn a’Ghlo

Long before we had thoughts of the West Highland Way, Ian and Grant set off to conquer the three Munros of Beinn a’Ghlo.
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The East Highland Way

Ian and three friends set off on a five day hike of the East Highland Way, from Fort William to Aviemore; a distance of 89 miles.
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