Winter Munros: 69 Climbed, 213 To Go

Anna Wells is three weeks and 69 Munros into climbing all 282 Munros during astronomical winter, from December 22 to March 20.

The Munros are those mountains in Scotland above 3,000 feet. Wells has been storming along and is well on target to finish on time. More than once, she has completed an impressive nine Munros in a single day.

Several people have joined her during her whirlwind tour through the Scottish Highlands. Kevin Woods, the third person to complete the Winter Munros in 2019, accompanied Wells up the four Strahfarrar Munros. Friends, mountain guides, and a few family members have also kept her company.

Predictably, there have been a few difficult days. The first came on Christmas Eve, her third day. After a few nights of poor sleep, she felt overwhelmed and emotional.

“I had a total crisis of confidence,” she admitted. “Ultimately, I bailed on two sets of plans and decided to take a rest day, which kind of felt like a disaster on day 3!”

She came out of the rest day feeling far more positive and ready to crack on. On Christmas morning, she climbed the Slioch Munro before heading home to her family.

White Christmas

“I got my white Christmas with some pretty heavy snowfall on the summit…the beautiful type of snow that just flutters around feeling like magic,” she commented.

Christmas Day on Slioch

Christmas Day on Slioch. Photo: Anna Wells


Boxing Day was pretty epic. Over 15 hours, she managed nine Munros. The final two were the hardest of the day and linking them included a lot of ascent and descent. Often she had to trudge through knee-deep snow.

This day also made something very clear to her: She needed snowshoes. Luckily, a friend lent her a pair, and she used them the very next day.

The summit of Lochnagar.

The summit of Lochnagar. Photo: Anna Wells


The next difficulty came on December 30, when she had to take an unscheduled day off. Her foot was in incredible pain, and she had no idea why. She found a physio who managed to help. A few days later, she managed another nine Munros in a single day.

Day 8: Carn Sgulain, A'Chailleach, Carn Dearg and Geal Charn

Day 8: Carn Sgulain, A’Chailleach, Carn Dearg, and Geal Charn. Photo: Anna Wells


Longest day

On Jan. 8, her longest day so far, she covered 65km, including 3,250m of ascent, and did the nine Fannich Munros.

Each day’s distance varies dramatically, depending on the logistics of the day, the distance between the Munros, and the weather. The shorter days also mean Wells has to tackle quite a few in the dark, which can make navigating tricky.

Day 14: Spidean Coire nan Clach and Ruadh Stac mor.

Day 14: Spidean Coire nan Clach and Ruadh Stac mor. Photo: Anna Wells


Wells is not aiming for a speed record or to claim a solo or unsupported expedition. She is doing it for the sheer joy and challenge it brings.

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca McPhee is a freelance writer for ExplorersWeb.

Rebecca has been writing about open water sports, adventure travel, and marine science for three years. Prior to that, Rebecca worked as an Editorial Assistant at Taylor and Francis, and a Wildlife Officer for ORCA.

Based in the UK Rebecca is a science teacher and volunteers for a number of marine charities. She enjoys open water swimming, hiking, diving, and traveling.