Is it just us, or has 2022 flown by in a flash? We know for many this has been a challenging year and that the freedom to explore outside and benefits of exercise in fresh air really has never been more important. So to help spread a little cheer this festive season, we wanted to share some of the highlights from our extended community. Having challenged you all to Find Your Unknown, here’s how you got on…
“I Found my unknown in August by hiking Half Dome via the John Muir Trail. It was my first night hike. For years I’d put off walking in the dark because I was afraid I’d not be able to navigate. Turns out that the darkness brought with it a calm focus and Half Dome quickly became one of my favourite experiences of all time.”
“Finding our unknown was hiking with a baby…Now we have summited 12 peaks with our daughter all before she turned 12 months old!”
“My unknown was definitely doing the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra, 1 year and 3 months after my knee construction. I honestly didn’t think I’d get back to doing stuff like that!”
“I found my unknown in a couple of different ways this year. One was leading the first “Terres Des Extremes” expedition to the Horn of Africa. 12 volunteers took part in a social impact adventure which involved monitoring whale sharks, trekking across the Afar desert, learning to survive in extreme conditions and volunteering at a school that we had fundraised to build over the last 5 years.
Another way in which I found my unknown was getting engaged (Montane style!). I took my partner for a hike up Tonaglee Mountain in the Wicklow National Park in Ireland to reveal the iconic “Lough Ouler” (heart-shaped lake). As the clouds parted, I asked the question!”
“In 2022, I competed in several ultra races. My highlights were the Brocken Challenge 94k in February, the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra in March, the Eiger Ultra Trail 250k in July and, finally, the Montane Dragon’s Back Race in September.”
“The photo was captured during a sunrise walk in the Brecon Beacons in December. The mountain is called Corn Du. The individual you can see in the photograph is my partner. I loved how the scale of the mountain made him look so small!”
“Back in August, I climbed Zinalrothorn (4221m) with fellow #TeamMontane climber Jack Thompsett. We climbed it mostly without ropes until the last section, making a fast and light raid to the summit and back down before lunch!”
“In mid October, I spent a chilly but sunny day in the Kenmere Valley, exploring the slate mines and valley trails.”
“I started the year off by winning the Montane Winter Spine Race. I then completed Badwater 135 in July. Going from the Pennine Way in winter to Death Valley in summer was an interesting transition! I rounded off the year by winning the Autumn 100; I’ve now won all 5 of the Autumn 100 mile races that have taken place!”
“This year, I seem to have had a bit of a random love affair with the Matterhorn - skiing around it, climbing it and then FLYING myself over it!”
“I spent three weeks in the Alps and, despite the poor conditions, we climbed eight 4000m peaks as part of Project Alpine Spirit, a quest to become the first all-women's team to climb all the alpine 4000ers. Five of these 4000m peaks were ones the project hadn't climbed before, the three summits of the Grand Combin which were climbed with Katie Mackay, and the Täschhorn and the Dom with Tania Noakes climbed via the Täsch-Dom traverse. Climbing these peaks was a big milestone for the project as it completed the 48 Swiss 4000m.”
“At the beginning of the year in January, I won the Montane Spine Challenger North. This was followed by a win at the delayed 2021 Montane Cheviot Goat!”
“My highlight of the year was definitely running across the Himalayas! I ran 1041km with 60000m of ascent between Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp. Some of this is along the amazing trekking routes of Annapurna Circuit, Manaslu, Langtang and Everest Base Camp, but some was also remote countryside where we depended on the locals to take us in for the night - such a wonderful experience!”
“Running day 4 of the Montane Dragon’s Back Race as part of the #TeamMontane relay. With the mixture of road and trails over 72km, this was completely different terrain than i am used to and it pushed me out of my comfort zone - I loved it!”
“The highlight of the year for me was getting to work on adventurer Jenny Tough’s SOLO film. It was a huge project and the workload took over most of my year editing her archive content and filming interviews - it was a privilege to be able to tell her story.”
“In October I completed what is as far as I am aware the first vertical marathon (marathon of ascent in a run). I did 223 reps of Pendle Hill, covering 193.29 miles and 138,706ft of ascent (26.27 miles) in 112 hrs 5 mins. During the run, I passed the highest known vert total for a UK or Irish athlete in the first 24 hrs and set new double, triple and quad everesting on foot records. I also raised £2300 for Covid Aid.”
Looking for more inspiration?
We’ve loved hearing from you all throughout the year and now have some great additional resources to share as a result! For more #MyMontane insights take a look at our winter hiking tips.
Want to get involved? Share your adventures over on Instagram and tag us so we can see, you might just feature in a future Montane blog!