ViewRanger ambassador Hetty Key is a hillwalker, cyclist, runner and climber based in the English Peak District. Hetty’s outdoor adventures have taken her from the Highlands of Scotland to the summit of the highest mountain in western Europe, so we caught up with her to discover her three favourite outdoor adventures, which you can download for free below.
Hetty says: “When ViewRanger asked me to pick my three favourite routes, I thought it would be a fairly easy job. But looking back through where I’ve been just this year, so many contenders jump out. There have been stunning hikes, muddy rides, sunset runs and some adventures that were simply epic. It’s been tough to choose but here are my 3 favourite routes - one running, one biking and one hiking…"
Hetty says: “Reaching the summit of Mont Blanc was one of the best (and hardest) things I’ve ever done. Not for the fainthearted, there are many ways of tackling this challenge. I climbed from Mont Lachat to Tête Rousse on day one, camped overnight on the glacier, then went from there to the summit via the south side of the ridge up to the Aiguille du Goȗter and back in a day. Although you can stay in the hut I loved the experience of camping. Stepping out of the tent into the quiet night to see a trail of tiny head torches already starting to climb up toward the Goȗter Refuge was magical. I was blown away with the whole environment. For me the highlight had to be watching the sun rise over the tops of the mountains, bathing the snow in an array of pastel colours. It is by no means your average hike, but if you get the opportunity to do this I full-heartedly recommend going for it!"
Route 2 – Kentmere, Lake District (Mountain biking)
Hetty says: “This was probably the hardest one to pick! Back in November 2015 I attempted a two-day cycle from Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands to the Loch Chiarain Bothy and back. I think this would have made it to number one, but sadly Hurricane Barney meant I had to abandon the adventure only a few miles off the bothy (a story for another day). However, this route around Kentmere in the Lake District is equally good. Pack your snacks and be prepared for a great day out! I love this ride because it has a bit of everything. After a climb out of Kentmere you are treated to enjoyable wide switchbacks down Gatescarth Pass towards Haweswater Reservoir. Next is a hike-a-bike up Nam Bield Pass (be prepared to sweat!) followed by a challenging technical descent into some beautiful flowing single track, before taking on the third and final pass of the day – Garburn Pass, a rocky but scenic end to the ride"
Hetty says: “Of course this top three wouldn’t be complete without a route from my local playground, the Peak District! This is without a doubt one of my favourite runs. From green valleys to snowy gritstone, one of the things I like most about this area is how much it changes with the seasons. It is beautiful. Be warned though – there are a fair few hills! The most painful of these (I’m really selling this!) is the climb up Whitemoor Clough – just near the end of the run, it’s a real thigh burner. But trust me, all the effort is worth it. By the end of the run you will have scrambled up Grindsbrook, scampered down Jacob’s Ladder, conquered Mam Tor and be ready for a well-deserved pint or piece of cake in Castleton."
Check out Hetty's blog here!