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I’ve started, so I’ll finish

Autumn has come to the Great Glen, and the foreign tourists have been replaced by the Munro and Corbett baggers. In a sense, it seems strange that so many people would want to complete what is an arbitrary list by climbing every mountain in Scotland over a certain height. However, there is a beauty in the human urge to complete a task which you’ve set yourself.

We certainly can’t argue with the numbers. Climbing hills is hugely popular round here, and hillwalkers are our main type of guest all year round. Since taking over the hostel we have had two guests stay with us after “compleating” their final Munro. Many more are almost there and hopefully we will see them again next year when they end their quests. Because Saddle Mountain Hostel is so centrally located, we seem to be a popular base for those who are ticking their way through the list.

Although we’ve climbed many Munros, we are not Munro baggers (yet), but the desire is quite understandable to us. We have our own mountain challenges to complete. In Spain, we have 11 out of 46 stages of the GR11 to go. In the Dolomites, we have to go back to walk one day of the Alta Via 2 trek that we missed due to food poisoning. As it is, on that holiday we made ourselves walk up a 1,500m ascent on day one from the start town to the first refuge. There was no need, as the official walk started at the refuge, but the alternative was to take a cable car. That just wouldn’t be right for a completist. Once a task has been set, it has to be followed through!

Running the Hostel means that it is more difficult for us than it used to be to get up the Scottish hills. We will find a challenge which we can complete when we have more time during the winter. It may be in Scotland or it may be further afield. Probably we will work on both. Either way, we will finish it eventually. As every walker knows, there is no other way.

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