- You start the year on a positive note, exercising in the fresh air.
- By committing to climbing a hill on New Years' Day, you moderate Hogmanay drinking and avoid the regrets next day.
- You meet old friends and have a great natter.
- You get to be somewhere incredible like this:
If you were on holiday, wouldn't this be your new Facebook picture? A place just an hour from Glasgow?
So How Can You Climb a Scottish Hill for New Year?
- Find a local who likes to climb hills (quite a large group).
- Find a local who likes to climb hills and intends to stay sober on Hogmanay (a slightly smaller group).
- Have basic equipment (boots, waterproof, warm clothes, map, compass, food) and fitness.
- Cross your fingers for good weather (nobody likes climbing a hill in a howling gale and horizontal hail).
Safety note! There are also reasons why you must *not* climb a Scottish hill at New Year...
- You've got a crushing hangover and would rather die than drive an hour to some of the best scenery in Europe.
- The weather forecast isn't perfect - most Scottish hills aren't too dangerous in good weather, but in high winds, driving rain or snow, they are killers.
- You don't like cold, wet, strong winds, hard exercise, pain, avalanches, or blisters.
- You are alone - I love solo walking but the extra risks of winter beg the safety margin of companionship.
- You can't use a map. Most problems in the hills start with navigational errors.
- You're unfit or aren't well equipped.
- You've set off late in the day. If it is lunchtime and you haven't started yet, maybe do a shorter walk than a Munro? I love a summit sunset but the pay-off is descent in the dark.
So why wait? If you are going to experience Scotland properly, you need to have climbed a hill!
Heading towards Beinn Ime, Arrochar: