Wendy Young, 70 Munros challenge project coordinator looks back at an inspiring year of walking and reflecting on Christian Aid's work, and explains how we intend to continue the journey into 2016.
Reflecting on the journey
We made it! 70 Munros to mark the 70th anniversary of Christian Aid.
From February to October we scaled the mountain heights across the length and breadth of Scotland. Christian Aid supporters and staff came from all over the UK and Ireland to walk Scotland's rugged landscape, and raised over £70,000 along the way.
Throughout the year we reflected on the mountains of Scotland, mountains across the world, mountains in the Bible and the mountains of injustice that still need to be moved, both as we walked and through our online pilgrimage, Mountaintop experiences.
We are very grateful to 360 Degrees Outdoor for helping with much of the planning and preparation of these walks, and to both 360 Degrees Outdoor and Abernethy for accompanying us with Mountain Leader support every step of the way.
Special thanks are also due to Very Rev John Chalmers and Rachel Hutcheson, the then moderators of the Church of Scotland's General Assembly and National Youth Assembly.
Their Moderators' Munro challenge mobilised a large group of people to walk Ben Lomond and other Munros across Scotland in early May.
This support was a real catalyst for the challenge and helped raise much needed funds for our Nepal Earthquake Appeal.
During the challenge, there were participants who walked all 70 Munros, or a significant number of them. For others, the challenge saw them climb their very first Munro.
We are so grateful to everyone who walked with us, however far, for their solidarity and support, and for giving of their time and personal expense to participate.
All funds raised from this challenge will help Christian Aid's journey into the future, continuing to respond to the needs of refugees and communities living in poverty across the world.
As well as raising funds, the challenge allowed us to reflect on the story of Christian Aid through 70 years, a story that began in response to a refugee crisis in Europe.
We completed our season of walking conscious of the many across the world journeying through these same months in the hope of finding safe refuge.
However you may have been involved with the challenge, thank you so much for joining the journey.
Listen to Wendy being interviewed by Ian Black of Premier Christian Radio on top of Schiehallion, soon after reaching the 70th summit of the challenge.
Thank you to everyone who sent in photographs from the walks - we've enjoyed seeing them all.
And we are particularly grateful to Chris Hoskins from Hoskins Gallery for coming along to take photographs too.
We have used these mountain images, along with stories of Christian Aid's work from around the world, to create a 70 Munros calendar for 2016.
If you would like to order a calendar, for a suggested donation of £10, please email our Glasgow office, or call it on 0141 221 7475.
Having enjoyed such a groundswell of enthusiasm for the 70 Munros challenge, our thoughts are now turning to how we might continue the journey in 2016.
Four more Munros
Next year we plan to walk four Munros in the four seasons at the four compass points. Plans are still being finalised, but we currently intend to make the following climbs:
- Winter (February): Ben Lomond (south)
- Spring (May): Ben More (west)
- Summer (August): Lochnagar or Mount Keen (east)
- Autumn (November): Ben Hope (north)
Off the Beaten Track
We also intend to do a guided multi-day 'off the beaten track' trip as part of Another Way, Christian Aid Scotland's new programme of walks and cycle rides for 2016.
During this expedition, we will be exploring themes of land rights, climate and gender justice, consumerism and solitude as we journey once more through Scotland's wild places.
To register your interest in the four Munro walks or our Off the Beaten Track trip, please email Wendy Young or call her on 0141 241 6137, and she will keep you informed as plans develop.
Share this article