Catherine’s story

This walk had been on the cards for a while and ever since it had been first mentioned I both really wanted to do it but also wanted to put it off at any cost. Having had a couple of surgeries on my back in 2015, I had no idea what my body was capable of and the idea of doing this hike up a larger-than-average hill was slightly terrifying. On the other hand, the idea of a change of scenery and spending the day with a family friend was exactly what I felt was needed.

Once I was in the car, the whole thing was indeed exactly what I had needed. I suffer from anxiety and depression and being outdoors, pushing my body and being outside of my comfort zone was strangely cathartic, if also a little scary. Something about being in the middle of nowhere with someone you trust just screams ‘ideal situation for deep meaningful conversations’, with nothing forced; walking seemed to aid this even further. The walk was the perfect balance of humour and thought provoking conversation, something I definitely benefitted from.

For me, doing this walk conquered quite a few personal obstacles I had, some of which I’d put in place myself without realising. Hiking out into the open, with very few people around seemed to put everything in perspective and I quickly gained the ability to focus on the important things, as well as a confidence in myself and my body that I hadn’t had before. Having spent the night before the walk pretty terrified and imagining every possible outcome/injury/emergency helicopter situation, I can definitely say that the day with Up Mountains was one of my favourite days of 2016. I learnt a lot about myself, my mind set towards challenge and some pretty handy map reading skills!

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