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Hillwalking luminary Hamish Brown will receive mountain culture award

A major figure in Scottish hillwalking will receive recognition of his life’s work at a mountain festival next month.

Hamish Brown has been named as the 10th recipient of the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture.

He will be presented with the award at the Fort William Mountain Festival.

Brown completed seven rounds of Scotland’s munros and was the first to complete a continuous munro round under his own steam – bar the ferries he used to reach Mull and Skye – in his cycling and walking tour of the 3,000-footers in 1974. The adventure took him 112 days, during which he covered 2,638km (1,639 miles), scaling 289 peaks.

He recorded his exploits in the book Hamish’s Mountain Walk, and went on to a career as a writer and photographer, as well as delivering lectures.

Hamish Brown joins previous recipients Adam Watson, Jimmy Marshall and Ian Sykes in the hall of fame in the award’s 10th year.

Mike Pescod, chairman of the Highland Mountain Culture Association, organisers of the Fort William Mountain Festival, said: “Hamish embodies the passion and the excitement that exploring the wild Scottish landscape entails, and the great desire to share this sense of adventurous wonder with others.

“Not only has Hamish explored Scotland and many other mountain areas right across the globe but he has helped countless others do the same and find the same sense of satisfaction.

“Hamish is a true exponent of mountain culture.”

The award will be presented to Hamish Brown during the festival, which takes place in and around Fort William and Lochaber from 15-19 February.

Over several decades Brown has written or edited more than 30 books and numerous articles for newspapers, guide books and outdoor magazines.

He followed his 1974 munros walk with a trek over English, Irish and Welsh peaks, detailed in Hamish’s Groats End Walk. He has also walked extensively in Corsica, Norway, and in the Andes, Atlas Mountains and Himalaya, which he wrote about in The Great Walking Adventure.

Hamish Brown has also edited two poetry books: Poems of the Scottish Hills and Speak to the Hills, besides having volumes of his own poems, including Time Gentlemen, and short stories published.

He was also instrumental in instigating the Ultimate Challenge coast-to-coast annual Scottish walk, which became the TGO Challenge.

He was appointed an MBE in 2000 and is a fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. The 82-year-old also received an honorary doctorate from St Andrews University. He lives in Burntisland, Fife.

Originally published in The Grough on the 29th of January, 2017.

Sandstone Press will publish Walking the Song by Hamish Brown on the 16th of March.

Hamish Brown

Hamish Brown