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Beauly woman set for epic challenge to climb all Grahams after battling with cancer

By Federica Stefani

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Lorraine McCall from beauly is preparing to set off on a journey to climb all of Scotland's 231 Grahams.
Lorraine McCall from beauly is preparing to set off on a journey to climb all of Scotland's 231 Grahams.

A hillwalker from Beauly is about to embark a new continuous journey taking in all 231 Grahams in Scotland – after being diagnosed with cancer three times in the past 12 years.

Lorraine McCall (60) will be setting out on April 16 on a journey to climb all the Graham mountains (all mountains in Scotland between 600 metres and 2500 feet).

She said the journey has not been done by anyone previously and should take about four months to complete.

Talking about her journey, Ms McCall said: "I can't wait to get started, I'm busy getting organised and I just want to be out there again – but the body is older and a bit more worn out after dealing with three different cancer diagnosis over the past 12 years!

"I don't want to shy away from this, it has changed my life and made some things more difficult but there is strength in dealing with life's knocks and if that helps one more person get out there, then of course it's worth it.

"A sense of humour and a little stubbornness can go a long way. Once I step foot out the door, life will become very simple and focused."

In 2005, on her 40th birthday, Ms McCall started her journey to climb all the Munros, walking in between and sea kayaking out to the islands.

In 2014 at the start of her 50th year, she followed this up with a continual journey of all the Corbetts (221 mountains), sailing, cycling and backpacking in between.

This time to mark her 60th birthday, she will be walking and cycling in between all the 231 Grahams, which she said will be the hardest of all these journeys, due to the geographical spread of these mountains.

This time she has decided to complete the journey with a minimum carbon footprint, so will be using the ferries and maybe the odd kayak to reach the Grahams on the7 islands.

The adventurer has also wet up a fundraiser to support her journey, raising just over £3000 so far.

On Thursday, March 28 she will be in conversation with Scottish endurance cyclist Jenny Graham at 7pm at Beauly Holiday Park talking about her experiences.

Ms McCall, has spent a lot of her adult life working in the outdoor industry in various guises – working in wilderness therapy, sail training and working as a trekking guide in Scotland Africa and Asia.. She first fell in love with mountaineering in her 20s and the outdoors has always been a cathartic space for her. She writes and one day plans to get these journey's on paper.

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