7 of the best walks in Scotland - according to an Everest climber
Edinburgh mountaineer Mollie Hughes reveals her seven favourite climbs in Scotland.
One year ago Mollie Hughes became the youngest female to climb Mount Everest from both Tibet to the north and Nepal to the south.
Before her second ascent from the lofty Tibetan Plateau, Hughes prepared for her expedition in the mountains of Scotland - the bitter winter conditions and plethora of classic ice climbs serving the mountaineer well before her second visit to the roof of the world.
Speaking to the Scotsman, Hughes revealed: "There was a couple days [on Everest] where it was really snowy and windy and we didn’t have to go particularly far, but people started dropping out and they seemed to think the weather was too rough. Me and my British teammate were like if you were in Scotland right now this would be a nice day out."
A year after her triumphant second climb, Hughes revealed nine of her favourite Scottish walks.
The Ring of Steall
Consisting of exposed scrambles and narrow aretes, the Ring of Steall is revered and feared by Scottish walkers, but not the Everest conqueror.
The classic Scottish walk takes you to the top of four Munros and offers superb views of Ben Nevis and of the ridge itself.
West Island Way
This long distance path offers an extraordinary tour of the Isle of Bute exploring the island's beautiful coastline and forests.
The route is a firm favourite of Hughes and it's easy to see why given the extraordinary views of Bute and the Isle of Arran itself.
The 45 kilometre route can be completed with relative ease in three days.
Five Sisters of Kintail
This quintet of peaks are perched threateningly above Glen Shiel and possess an almost palpable moodiness.
The spine of peaks consists of three Munros, a Corbett and a top, each as beautiful as the next.
The rocky terrain, and the extraordinary views along the ridge and the Sisters' setting among some of Scotland's most rugged peaks make this route a favourite with Mollie Hughes.
Carn Mor Dearg arete on Ben Nevis
As well as climbing Everest twice, Mollie Hughes has also frequented Scotland's tallest mountain several times.
Her preferred route is along the wafer thin Carn Mor Dearg Arete, which provides the best vantage point for views of Scotland's most famous mountain.
The route involves lengthy but easy section of scrambling.
The words Aonach Eagach strike fear into seasoned Scottish walkers; the country's most narrow ridge looms over the capricious Glen Coe.
Despite her fear of heights, Hughes ranks Aonach Eagach as one of her favourite Scottish walks, “I’ve only done it in winter, but I’d love to go back and do it in summer as well.“, reveals Hughes
Once complete we recommend retreating to the comfort of the Clachaig Inn and rewarding yourself for your brave efforts witha pint or a dram following your efforts.
Situated to the north of the Isle of Arran this Corbett is a popular walk among locals and tourists.
Hughes recommends approaching the mountain via Corrie in order to "avoid all the traffic".
Keen hikers might consider combining this route with neighbouring mountains Cir Mhor and Beinn Tarsuinn.
East Cairn Hill and Mount Maw Cicruit
Being based in Edinburgh it is unsurprising that Hughes often finds herself striding between through the Pentlands - a far cry from the Himalayas.
Her preferred walk involves climbing the peaks of East Cairn Hill and Mount Maw. The views of Edinburgh from the summit of East Cairn Hill is the highlight of the walk according to Hughes.
"This route is pretty awesome and its only eight and a half miles so it’s a reasonable distance," she explains. "It goes quite high and from East Cairn you get an amazing view of Edinburgh."