A month ago, Geert van Nispen and I spoke with Hayco Volkers. Like us, he has a fondness for Scotland. Together we told him about our Munro Mission 2023. Hayco was hooked immediately, which led to intensive collaboration, and he asked me to tell my story on Gearlimits. In the past year, I ran more than 5,000 kilometres from Apeldoorn to Santiago. Once back in the Netherlands, I had to look for a roof over my head; after all, I gave up my house, sold my furniture and put the other stuff in storage with a farmer.
Geert van Nispen – also a running adventurer – approaches me. He took a year of and spent it exploring and running around the corners of Europe. He has decided to continue that life and soon leaves for Biarritz again to run from there to Santiago. Given the fact that he is away from home a lot, just like me, he is willing to rent out part of his house to me. I visit his house and soon we end up in the garden with a bottle of Rioja. Even before the conversation is over, it has been decided that we will become roommates and… a new adventure sees the light of day. The Munro Mission 2023 is born. Fokke and Geertje go on an adventure in Scotland…
Munro Mission 2023
February 1st we launch our Munro Mission-project. We are two Dutch adventurers – Jan Fokke Oosterhof and Geert van Nispen – and we aim to run all the Munros as fast as possible. Till now there are only 15 Dutch compleationistst and we want to become the fastest. A Munro is defined as a mountain in Scotland with a height over 3,000 feet (914.4 m), and which is on the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC) official list of Munros. The best known Munro is Ben Nevis (Beinn Nibheis), the highest mountain in the British Isles at 4,413 feet (1,345 m).
Munros are named after Sir Hugh Munro, 4th Baronet (1856–1919), who produced the first list of such hills, known as Munro’s Tables, in 1891. The list has been the subject of subsequent variation and as of 10 December 2020, the Scottish Mountaineering Club has listed 282 Munros. “Munro bagging” is the activity of climbing all the listed Munros. As of 31 December 2021, 7,098 people had reported completing a round. Till now 15 people from The Netherlands have become completionists.
Compared with some continental ranges, Scottish mountains might be modest in height, but walking and climbing in them can be treacherous because of their latitude and exposure to Atlantic and Arctic weather systems. Even in summer, conditions can be atrocious; thick fog, strong winds, driving rain and freezing summit temperatures are not unusual.
Winter ascents of some Munros are serious undertakings due to the unpredictable weather, the likelihood of ice and snow, and poor visibility. Some walkers are unprepared for extreme weather on the exposed tops and fatalities are recorded every year, often resulting from slips on wet rock or ice. We start in February which means it is still winter and it will demand a lot from us and our gear. We aim for the best gear available. We aim to find a few basecamps in the Highlands where we can stall our equipment and attack clusters of mountains. Most of the nights we will spend in a tent in the wild.
Planning, preparation and financing
Preparations for this huge project are now in full swing. Over the past month, many partners have joined team282peaks supplying us with equipment. There are also many media channels where we will share our story.
The month of December is mainly devoted to fundraising. We will be away from home for at least four months and to cover the costs we have created some funny initiatives. For example, as a private individual or organization you can adopt your own Munro(s) and a message will appear on our websites. You will then receive a book and a personal video message from the top of your mountain.
It is also possible to give someone a mountain as a gift for the birthday or the new year. That person will then receive a personal video message from the top.
For larger organizations it is possible to adopt a mountain and a duo presentation before, during and/ or after the adventure.
We are very much looking forward to this huge endeavor. We blog almost daily about our adventures and share images on social media. We are happy that Gearlimits is also part of team282peaks. We will regularly report on our progress and our experiences with the various pieces of equipment.
Te be continued…
Jan Fokke: www.expeditionlife.nl