Craig ascends Bennachie 100 times

The group at the summit of Oxen Craig - Craig Thomson is pictured 4th left
The group at the summit of Oxen Craig - Craig Thomson is pictured 4th left

A Kemnay man ascended Bennachie 100 times in just one year.

Craig Thomson completed the achievement on Sunday, December 30, 2018.

His friend, Ross Henderson, joined Craig on the milestone expedition.

Ross said: “I met Craig back in 2016 and a few months after, he spoke about wanting to do Bennachie 100 times in a year.

“The main motivation behind this was the memory of a friend of his, Malcolm, who died of Neuofibromatosis.

“Malcolm succombed to the condition shortly after he and Craig had completed an ascent of Bennachie so it is entirely fitting that he should complete such a challenge.”

“I quite often saw Craig’s car heading out towards Bennachie on many an occasion, sometimes when it was dark.

“I did join him on a few expeditions out on the hill, one of them we timed well as we returned to the car park when it was dusky.

“I hadn’t heard much from Craig until a few days before Christmas when he sent me a text asking if I wanted to join him for the 100th ascent.

“On the day a few of us met up at the back of Bennachie car park, there were 17 of us and three dogs so an excellent turnout.

“He handed us all a program for the day which contained a written discription of his previous ascents and how he had built up to the full 100.

“In 2016 he managed 52 and in 2017 he reached 70 and then stopped counting as it was getting late in the year.”

The group set off and after an hour or so they had reached the summit of Oxen Craig, Bennachie’s highest peak.

After the ascent Craig said: “I am planning to try and do something similar next year, but perhaps do it for charity or even do 120 ascents - it’s only another climb up Everest.”

Ross added: “I may have walked up Bennachie a number of times but I doubt if I will ever complete 100 times, even in a lifetime.”