Having spent so much time as a youngster in the country during my
summer holidays, it was only natural that later in life I’d have a
calling back there. From around the age of 14, most of my spare time had
been dedicated to my golf and after I embarked on the Ladies European
Tour, there was little time for much else.
In 1996 with more spare time on my hands, I spent a memorable day up Lochnagar with some of my family – glorious blue sky, a warm breeze on
the summit and fantastic views over the Cairngorms. From then on, I
started to spend most of my days off up in the hills enjoying the peace
and solitude. After quite a scary experience getting lost in the mist, I
decided it was time I learnt a bit more about mountain safety and
navigation. My sister and I joined a class run by Alan Crichton
Mountain Skills and that opened up a whole new world for me, giving me
the confidence to venture out on my own and explore the mountains of
Scotland. It was a fantastic way to see my own country.
I have travelled to the trekking peaks of the Nepal Himalayas a
couple of times and done an expedition on the Patagonian Ice Cap and
although those trips were unforgettable experiences, I am never happier
than tramping through Scotland’s hills.
I completed the ‘Munros’ in 2004 but that has not stopped me from
enjoying my days out in the hills. Scotland’s hills have given me
years of pleasure and wonderful memories – the smell of the heather in
my nostrils, the wind in my hair, hearing the deer roaring in the glen,
scrambling across a challenging ridge, and even the wonderful Scottish midgie!
Anyone who hasn’t spent a day in the hills doesn’t realise what they