The A to Z of Walk With Wallace, 26 random questions from an outdoors perspective (funnily enough).
Ascent: What is the most ascent you’ve done in one day? – On the run up to the Munro compleation. My partner and I walked the Glen Dessarry 4 Munros and the total ascent that day was 2,440 metres. It was a tough day! After the walk, we arrived in Fort William at 11:30pm and the Travel Lodge wanted £120 for a room, no chance! The Creag Mhor hotel in Onich put us up at short notice for half the price.
Best friend: Who is your best hill walking friend? – She’ll proof read this for me later, so I better say my partner, Nicola.
Camping: Favourite camp spot? – I’ve never returned to the same camp spot and I’ve enjoyed all my camping trips, so it’s a difficult question. But if I had to pick, it would have to be a recent camp on the Moidart Corbetts, we got brocken spectres and a cloud inversion that lasted 24 hours.
Dinner: What’s on the menu after a walk? – I usually like a big meaty beef burger after a long walk. Bonus if there is sticky toffee pudding on the menu too. If I’m out camping then the Bla Band freeze dried food range is excellent.
Essential: What is your essential item of gear you always take? – I always take my Montane Prism jacket with me from Spring through to Autumn. Great jacket to stay warm when you’re on the summit or sitting by the tent on a nice evening.
Films: What is your favourite film? – The North Face, it is about two German climbers in 1936 attempting to climb the Eiger by the North Face. If you don’t mind subtitles or your German is fluent then I’d recommend this film.
Greatest achievement: What is your great achievement? – Most definately compleating the Munros. It was a wonderful experience during the six and a half years it took me. The views, visiting parts of Scotland you may have not visited otherwise, not to mention the many great friends I made along the way too. Ciste Dhubh in Kintail was my last Munro.
Highest mountain: What is the highest mountain you’ve climbed? Mount Teide in Tenerife, at 3,718 metres, makes this dormant volcano the highest mountain in Spanish terrority. You start the hike at around 2,200 metres, so the hike is equivalant to Ben Nevis but at a higher altitude. I got food poisioning from some dodgy chicken I’d eaten the night before and I really struggled. I made it to the top (just) after seeing a rock that looked like Robert the Bruce and that spurred me on. I ended up half cheating by using the cable car to get back down. A lovely Belgian couple, Daniella and Norman gave me a lift back to my hire car.
International: Where abroad would you most like to walk? – I would love to attempt a high altitude trek in the Himalayas. Something like Mera Peak. Guess I’ll need to start saving!
Joke: What’s your favourite joke? – “My friend wants to open a pub at the top of Ben Nevis. I personally think he’s trying to raise the bar too high”. I’ll get my coat.
Kilometres: What’s the longest distance you’ve walked? – 27 miles which is around 42km. Never again. I organised a work West Highland Way walk over 5 days. We walked 27 miles from Milngavie to Rowardennan on the first day. It just about killed one of the girls. Her hubby picked her up after she sadly threw in the towel, even though she made it to the youth hostel.
Lost: Have you ever been lost? – I’ve been briefly disorientated on the odd occasion. But, touch wood, I haven’t been lost as such. However once on the Mamores in winter, I forgot what the actual route off Binnein Mor was, so had to sort out a Plan B with my two friends. We got off safely in the end, but there was a few scares descending and some lessons learnt.
Mountain: What’s your favourite mountain? – Meall Dearg on the Aonach Eagach ridge. The ridge is a fab day out with great views and the scrambling is about my level for a walker who enjoys the occasional hands on rock experience.
Nickname: What’s your nickname and why? Robinho. During the 2006 World Cup, I put my name into the BrazilName generater and naturally my name was ‘Robinho’. It kind of stuck after that.
Outdoors: What got you into the outdoors? – I bought an old 80’s WV campervan back in early 2008 and my partner and I started touring around Scotland. We both walked Ben Nevis to say we climbed the highest mountain in the UK and the rest is history as they say!
Pub: What is your favourite pub after a walk? – There are loads to pick from. But the Crask Inn has a magic about the place. No TVs, WiFi or anything else like that. Just a warm welcome and home cooked food from Mike and Kai. The Crask may sell later this year. I would advise anyone to go up and visit if you’re walking in that area.
Quiet: How do you get your solitude? – Getting to remote locations and setting up camp. Bonus if there is a sunset and rise to watch.
Reading: What was the last outdoors book you read? – I don’t tend to read many books. But I did read Chris Townsend’s last book, ‘Out there’ quite recently. It made me all the more keen get out and enjoy the Great Outdoors.
Season: Which one? – Spring. The nights begin to draw out, the midges havn’t made an appearance yet and there is still some snow lying.
Tent or tarp: What do you prefer? – Up until very recently I couldn’t see passed my Hilleberg Akto tent and it served me well. But I’ve had two outings so far in my MLD Trailstar and I could be a convert. The Trailstar is much lighter, roomier and I enjoy the open views.
Useful: What useful advice would you give to beginners? – There is nothing wrong with navigating on your phone with a good navigation GPS app such as Viewranger. But learn and become competent on how to use a map and a compass first.
View: What’s your favourite view? – So far the view from the Munro, A’Mhaighdean in Fisherfield has been unbeatable.
Wildlife: What is your favour wildlife? Golden eagles; seeing one soaring above you is always a pleasure, such majestic birds.
X-Files: What scares you? – Not normally but thunder and lightening when you’re on a hillside, it is a scary experience.
Yuck: What disgusts you? – Litter on the hills. Hate seeing cigarette butts, plastic bottles, banana skins and wrappers etc dumped. Always live by the moto ‘Leave no trace’.
Zzz: What bores you? – Work at times. Particularly when I’m stuck in the office and the weather is great and when the weekend arrives the weather is rubbish.