Scotland’s Munros are fabled, beautiful, sometimes treacherous mountains that have long captured the imagination of hikers and climbers. Named after Sir Hugh Munro, who surveyed and catalogued them all in 1891, Munros describe any Scottish mountains taller than 3000 feet. With 282 of them across the country –some in incredibly isolated spots– completing or ‘bagging’ all the Munros can be a life’s work for walkers.

But for 26-year-old Hollie Jenkins, and her two trusty spaniel sidekicks, completing all 282 Munros is an achievement they are set to reach within just two years. Like many people, Hollie began spending more time in the outdoors during Covid lockdown and decided to scale Ben Nevis for her 25th birthday in June 2021. Awestruck by the scenery and sense of physical accomplishment, she decided to do another the next day, soon finding herself bitten by the ‘Munro bug’.

Seeing how much Hugo (a five-year-old brown cocker spaniel) and Spencer (a two-year-old tan cocker spaniel) enjoyed being out on the hills, the trio began chalking off more and more Munros in quick succession. Within a year they had climbed 70, then 100, and soon Hollie (who describes herself as a ‘determined’ individual) set the hugely ambitious challenge of doing them all within two years.

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“All my time at the moment is spent either working or hiking,” she laughs, “but I’m passionate about doing it and achieving this goal. I ended up selling my car and buying a half-converted campervan, so I spend a few days at a time living in it. Last year I was living out of it for two weeks at a time, working remotely at my day job [in marketing] from the van and then hiking in the evenings after work.”

With some of her hikes involving more than 10 hours of walking over 40km of distance, Munro-bagging in such quick succession is certainly not for the faint-hearted. And with Scottish weather often meaning conditions are cold, wet and windy, what is it about climbing Munros that Hollie has been so captivated by?

“I love the remoteness,” she explains, “and the feeling of how small you are compared to the awe of the mountains. To look around and know you are just a speck in all this amazing stuff, I find that incredible. And living in a city, having a job where you are on a screen all the time, then finishing work to sit on another screen… hiking is such a complete opposite, being in the middle of nowhere.”

As a young woman on her own, Hollie perhaps doesn’t fit the bill of what you imagine when you picture a hillwalker. But rather than being scared to climb remote mountains alone, she says she finds it “empowering”.

“I really enjoy taking myself out on my own, on my own terms and knowing I can keep myself safe and the boys safe. I get a huge sense of satisfaction and empowerment from being completely reliant on myself. When I am hiking there will be days on end that I don’t see another person, but then whenever I meet someone I find the outdoorsy lot to be very friendly and happy to help.”

And, as Hollie points out, she is never really on her own anyway. With the exception of some of the most technical Munros on Skye, which require ropes and climbing equipment, she has had Hugo and Spencer by her side for every one of her hill walks. She got Hugo when she was still a student at Edinburgh University, followed by Spencer a few years later, and set up an Instagram account called @theedinburghspaniels. It has since grown to 157,000 followers on Instagram and 60,000 on TikTok, where Hollie shares videos of her outdoors adventures to a community of enthusiastic supporters.

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She will of course, share all the details online when they climb their final Munro, Ben Lomond, later this month. Usually considered one of the easiest Munros to attempt, Hollie chose it in the hope her friends will join her for the momentous occasion, exactly two years on from when she scaled Ben Nevis. But with Munro-bagging being such a huge part of her life for the past two years, is she worried that she’ll feel at a loss when she completes them?

“I think initially I’ll be relieved not to be in a constant space of packing, unpacking, worrying about weather and route planning! Then I plan on going back and redoing the ones that I didn’t have views for (which was a lot of them) or go back and revisit the ones I really enjoyed. I would like to try the ‘Three Peaks Challenge’, I want to do Loch Ness Marathon in October, and I also want to do the West Highland Way. I like a challenge!”

The dogs, of course, will be coming along for the ride...



“The Cuillins on Skye were pretty epic. The fact you’ve got the water, and you can see across to the other islands, even as far as Ben Nevis, is insane.”


“The Fisherfield Six was a real physical challenge because you hike out the day before and stay in a bothy or wild camp. You then climb six peaks, in a 30km hike (with a fair amount of ascent) and then have to hike all the way back.”


“Mayar and Driesh are two that I would recommend to try first. Ben Vorlich at Loch Earn has a clear path up and you are rewarded with a really good view. Ben Challum and Ben Chonzie are also quite straightforward.”