Munros 4 MND:
Bagging the Final 15
Scotland is home to an impressive 282 mountains over 3000ft (914.4m) known as "Munros". "Munro Bagging" is the quest to summit each of these 282 mountains across the length and breadth of Scotland. To date, around 6000 people are known to have completed the list since it was compiled by Sir Hugh T Munro in 1891; a very similar total to the number who have summited Mount Everest!
Over the past 25 years from our family home in Aberdeen, our parents have been ticking off the Munros one by one with the aim of joining this very elite group of mountaineers. Initially the idea of completing the list seemed a long way off, however once the map with the tick boxes was introduced, there was no looking back!
Retiring in 2016, the prospect of finishing the list was becoming very real. With the vast majority completed, Mum and Dad had all the time in the world to finish off the remaining Munros at their leisure... or so they thought. In 2017 Dad was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. MND is a life-limiting, rapidly-progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. MND attacks the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work.
The news sent shockwaves through our family and is something we are still coming to terms with. Currently there is no cure, nor any effective treatment. Watching anyone go through something like this is heartbreaking, but watching someone you love suffer daily, with no hope of recovery is unbearable. On top of the physical pain is the prospect that so many of Mum and Dad's plans for retirement will never be fulfilled.
At last count, Mum and Dad had completed a very impressive 267 of 282 Munros. This leaves 15 outstanding. Devastatingly, Dad is no longer able to complete these; and that's where we come in.
Dad in particular has always had trouble hiding his competitive nature, and so when it came to summiting, the box didn't get ticked unless the highest point of the mountain was reached - no matter how close he may have been! The 4 of us kids have inherited some of that competitive nature (some more than others) and have decided to put it to good use and act as Dad's proxy to get them over the line. With Dad's help on the planning front, Mum leading us kids up the mountains, and the rest of the family poised and ready to help out, we are determined to finish off the list, and in doing so raise some much needed funds for MND research.
Given that we are spread throughout the UK, and definitely in need of some "conditioning", we have set ourselves the target of completing the remaining 15 Munros by autumn 2021. You can follow our progress on this website, on Twitter and on Instagram.
Together we can beat MND.
Paul, Matt, Becky & Adam (aka the kids) x
Update [Nov 2021]
Devastatingly on Tuesday 23rd November 2021 Dad passed away.
He was so proud of what we were able to achieve in his name, having completed the last of his final 15 Munros in September 2021. Being able to celebrate this achievement with Dad is a memory that the whole family will cherish forever.
We'll continue to do whatever we can to help find a cure for this heart-breaking illness. 💔