Chapter 2: Andy (Scotland)

Hi, I’m Andy @the_mountain_goat1977 Walking/ mountaineering began for me a long time ago when I was a kid in the Cubs and Scouts. I was always outdoors but life got in the way as I grew up.

4 years ago when I started to recover from depression I rediscovered the mountains and it saved my life. The previous year I had been on heavy medication and sleeping tablets and kept myself away. My mood was very low I’d had enough in life. I lived in a deprived part of the country, my doctor suggested I head to the hills. The rest is almost history.

I started to feel better in myself and it made it easier to process my thoughts in the outdoors.

Me and a friend started travelling further afield from the Lake District and hit Scotland. A land of beauty and excitement.

2 years ago I turned 40 and instead of celebrating like most would I devised a plan to walk Ben Nevis everyday in October. Talking about how the outdoors has saved my life whilst raising money for the local mountain rescue team. At the same time it was about rebuilding my confidence and respect that I had lost during my dark days.

One of my greatest achievements was when I finished the ascents on the 31st October! As well as being able to help so many others that have been following my journey on my Facebook page “The Lone Walker “. People who were either struggling with mental health issues or knew of a close friend or relative who was.

I appeared on BBC news and in the papers encouraging others to head outdoors. Not just into the mountains but any open or wooded space and reap the benefits for the mind.

I have since moved to Scotland and currently live on the Isle of Skye. The Cuillin is my back garden.

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