Mountain Walking Retreat
This three-day retreat is based in the spectacular Scottish Highlands and will combine traditional Zen practices with mountain walking. Friday and Saturday will involve spending most of each day hiking into high mountain areas (weather permitting) with a shorter low-level walk on the last day. Previous experience of hillwalking is not required but a reasonable level of fitness is essential and some experience of mindfulness and meditation will be helpful.
Our days will begin and end with meditation, led by Daizan. After breakfast and making up our packed lunches, most of our time will be devoted to walking in the mountains together as a group. Various mountain meditation practices and ceremonies will be led by Daizan. Each of the day’s walks will be led by a Penny Clay, a Zenways mindfulness teacher and qualified Mountain Leader, who will hold the final decision for route choice on the day, dependent on the weather conditions. Walks may last for up to six hours. All walks will be on established paths but they are rocky and rough at times with steep drops. Ascent (and descent) may be up to 800 metres in a day – the equivalent of climbing up and down the London Eye six times.
The Scottish Highlands are famous for being able to produce ‘four seasons in one day’ and participants must be suitably equipped for a full day in the hills. Minimum essentials include: waterproof jacket with a hood, waterproof trousers, thermal layers, a sturdy pair of walking boots, hat, gloves, water-bottle or flask and rucksack. You’ll be sent a full kit list when you register.
The retreat is limited to 12 places.
Arrival time is from 6pm on the Thursday evening for supper at 7.30pm where we will discuss the weekend’s plans.
Please note: Participants who may find the mountain walks too challenging are still welcome to attend the retreat and we can offer advice on short local walks in the area but these will not be guided. You will need your own map for this.
If you are an experienced hill walker you are equally welcome but be aware that the hill walking is in the context of a retreat experience so you may have to modify your expectations of a ‘big day out’ to fully enjoy the retreat.
We ask participants to unplug from social media and messaging for the duration of the retreat, although you are welcome to use your mobile phone as a camera.
Our base is at Glen Feshie Hostel which provides basic accommodation (www.glenfeshiehostel.co.uk). All meals are provided, including food for packed lunches and will be vegetarian/vegan. We will have a shared work rota to help with food preparation and washing up and we will make up our own packed lunches each day. Sleeping is in single-sex dorms with bunk beds and shared shower rooms. All bed linen is provided but you need to bring your own towel. There are no en-suite facilities. There is a comfy lounge with an open fire, the hostel is fully heated with drying facilities. Camping is not available.
We do not charge a fixed amount for retreats. Instead we would suggest a donation of £100 – £250 payable to Zenways at the time of booking. Accommodation, all meals & guiding costs £300 per person and can be booked with Penny at Mountain Yoga Kinlochleven once you have confirmed your booking with Zenways.
Please use the form below to send us any questions you might have or enquire about booking this event