Ain't no mountain high enough for former ET reporter

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WHAT would you do with three glorious months off?

WHAT would you do with three glorious months off?Explore the seven wonders of the world? Hone your golfing technique?

Not if you are Jonny Muir.

The former Evening Telegraph politics reporter raised eyebrows when he announced he was going to scale 92 of the highest county peaks in the UK in just 92 days, by foot and bicycle.

Why would someone swap the heights of journalism at the ET to embark on such a wacky trek, taking in everything from the not-so-dizzy heights of Boring Field in Huntingdonshire, the lowest peak, to Scotland's skyscraping Ben Nevis?

Was he prepared for the relentless rain, murderous midges, terrible car drivers and bouts of boredom?

But with the seed of the idea sown, Jonny couldn't rest until he had completed the challenge.

Mission now accomplished and chronicled in an often hilarious and poignant book documenting the soul-destroying lows and life-affirming highs of his 5,000 mile journey – the equivalent to climbing 14 Mount Everests – the question of "why" seems a little irrelevant.

What is clear when reading Heights Of Madness, is that it is the pulsating sense of adventure and the thrill of just being alive – whether soaked to the skin in a bog or bathed in sunlight on a dappled moor – that willed him on.

The book is also Jonny's love letter to his homeland – the eccentric characters he encounters and the breath-taking sweep of countryside he surveys from its summits.

Jonny (28) said writing the book fulfilled one of his life's ambitions and is thankful he didn't turn back when the obstacles mounted up.

"There were frequent moments of boredom, cold, fatigue and hunger, as well as the burden of expectation that I put on myself, but that would be balanced by the joy of reaching summits and the overwhelming sense of achievement," he said.

"Every night for the first 10 days I thought about packing it in, partly due to tiredness, partly due to the dire weather – the wettest May in 27 years.

"But I stuck to it, and the journey became my life's purpose.

"I thrived on the thought that every day was a new horizon and that every day brought a new challenge."

Peterborough even garners a few mentions, described by Jonny as "possibly the flattest place on Earth".

But it is obvious his passion is for Scotland and its giant peaks, so it is no surprise that he is now dreaming up his next big adventure while working as a reporter on a paper in Inverness.

He said: "The journey proved that the UK can be as challenging and chaotic, yet as beautiful and inspiring as anywhere on Earth, and will hopefully show people that there are adventures to be had on our own doorstep."

Heights Of Madness is published by Metro Books.