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Head for the Cloud: Anecdotes, Adventures and Scotland's Munros

By Sue Pugh


In 2012 a middle-aged Yorkshire lass was a client of Martin Moran, a highly respected and accomplished mountaineer and mountain guide. Inspired by reading his book “The Munros in Winter” and after the death of a friend, Sue Pugh realized just how fragile life is and yet is often taken for granted.

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In 2012 a middle-aged Yorkshire lass was a client of Martin Moran, a highly respected and accomplished mountaineer and mountain guide. Inspired by reading his book “The Munros in Winter” and after the death of a friend, Sue Pugh realized just how fragile life is and yet is often taken for granted. She regarded herself as an unremarkable hill-walker having climbed a paltry forty-nine Munros over a fourteen-year period. While not exactly on the scrap heap of life, but with her 60th birthday only three years away, she set herself a challenge.

It would entail numerous journeys from Yorkshire and an understanding employer. With her husband Dave happy to be her mentor, she aimed to climb the remaining 233 Scottish Munros culminating with the last Munro on 31st December 2015, the big birthday. This was some change of heart. For years she had frowned upon the need for a tick list in order to choose which mountain to visit. She had been a lover of home comforts, and the word “tent” was regarded as a four letter word in more ways than one; this challenge could be particularly interesting.

Sue shares some of her memorable moments, facing the magnificent but unforgiving environment of the Scottish mountains. Fear and exhilaration become one as she encounters full winter conditions and finds herself on a steep learning curve.

Overnight in a snow hole at 3,000ft, caught in a whiteout with storm force winds and a serious sense of humour failure while wading a river all add to the challenge.

However, she is determined and uncovers aspects of her personality she never knew existed. Dave also discovers that a wife with new-found mountain skills doesn’t always make for an easy life! Two of their friends share many of their experiences.

There is much laughter, a few tears and the occasional tantrum. Loathing turns to love and the meaning of real happiness is found.

 

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