Lynsey Fitzpatrick and her labrador, Rabbie, have challenged themselves to climb all 282 of Scotland’s Munros (mountains over 3000 feet). They started their challenge in June 2012 and have targeted to have climbed all 282 mountains by Christmas 2014. Due to Lynsey’s work commitments and the sheer number of Munros, to keep to their deadline has meant that she and Rabbie have been out climbing in the mountains every weekend and during all Lynsey’s work annual leave; through all seasons and through all weather conditions.
Lynsey is a soldier’s wife; her husband has been deployed both to Iraq and Afghanistan. On a deployment abroad he was injured and flown back to be treated at QEH Birmingham. He has recovered now but during his period at QEH, Lynsey spent time with seriously injured soldiers and their families, and found this to be a very emotional time. It made Lynsey realise that although she felt she had been through quite a number of difficult years with her husband being deployed, what they had endured was very little to what lay ahead for these soldiers and their families. Lynsey wanted to undertake her own challenge to raise awareness for Help for Heroes.
Before Lynsey and Rabbie started this challenge, Lynsey had little knowledge of the mountains, but to build up the correct experience she planned the easier and more accessible Munros first. This allowed her to gain confidence and skills in navigation, survival and climbing to help them to progress to conquer the more remote and difficult Munros. Rabbie has also gained his own skills along the way, he likes to lead and to be the one to find the route ahead, and he has learned to sniff out and show me other hikers’ tracks on overgrown mountain sides to allow us a safer climb.
The Munros are located all over Scotland from Ben Hope in the far north to Ben Lomond in the South, and to reach them has not always been along the best of roads. Lynsey and Rabbie have been fortunate to receive the support of “John Clark Tayside BMW” Dealership in Dundee who have been kind enough to provide them with an X3 4x4 vehicle to travel to the Munros safely, and in luxury too!
Lynsey and Rabbie have been on an amazing journey over the last few years; it has not always been easy and they have endured some real arduous weather conditions. To keep them going, Lynsey and Rabbie have received endless support from family and friends and they have gained so many new friends along the way. Memorable moments are extensive, but if Lynsey had to pick the most memorable experience of all there is one range of mountains that she will never forget. In August this year Lynsey and Rabbie headed up to the most notorious of all of Scotland’s Mountains, the 12 Munros that make up the Black Cuillin in Skye. Due to the exposed ridges and rocky nature of the Cuillin, to climb these Munros sensibly requires the use of ropes, a head for heights and also the help of a qualified mountain guide. To conquer the Cuillin was a real challenge not only for Lynsey, who is in fact scared of heights, but also for Rabbie, well because he is a dog. It was not easy, but after a lot of pumping of adrenaline, patience and alternative route planning to accommodate Rabbie they managed to conquer them all; with many thanks to the help of Mike Lates from Skye Guides.
At the time of writing Lynsey and Rabbie have climbed 278 Munros and are on target to climb the remaining 4 by Christmas 2014. They are heading up the Torridon region to spend the Christmas week in the Munros and have planned to climb the last Munros, “Maol Chean Dearg”, on Christmas Day itself.
To support Lynsey and Rabbie on their climb you can visit their online giving page: http://www.bmycharity.com/lynseyfitzpatrick
Also to follow their progress visit: https://www.facebook.com/lynseyandrabbie