James Forrest: Two Months, 273 Irish Mountains

After 10 years in a dead-end job, James Forrest left to pursue a career as a full-time explorer. He has since become the UK’s “Mountain Man”. Last year, he climbed all 446 mountains in England and Wales in just six months. And he has just completed a record-breaking climb of Ireland’s 273 mountains, also known as the Vandeleur Lynams, traversing 1,000km in two months.

The Vandeleur Lynams individually draw thousands of hikers and long-distance walkers throughout the year, but few try to run the table. A mere nine people have completed the list, but no one has previously attempted a “round of the mountains” in one go.

Atop the mountains of Ireland. Photo: James Forrest

James Forrest has now become the tenth person to complete this route, but as with his England and Wales project, he has done so in the fastest time. A collection of smaller challenges is not uncommon in these parts, Forrest points out. Many others have completed similar lists of Irish mountains before the Vandeleur Lynams were collated.

Exploring the MacGillyCuddy Reeks. Photo: James Forrest

He wrote a book called Mountain Man about his 2017 journey that is due out in 2019. You can follow his further adventures on Twitter @jamesmforrest, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jamesmichaelforrest/and Instagram @jamesmichaelforrest.