The Scottish Munros

Height: All mountains greater than 3000ft (914.4m)

Location: Throughout Scotland

The Munros are mountains in Scotland with a height of over 3000ft (914.4m). They were named after Sir Hugh Munro who produced the first list of these hills in his tables of 1891.

Munro did not set any measure of topographic prominence by which a peak qualified as a separate mountain, and much debate has since taken place over how distinct two hills must be if they are to be considered as two separate Munros.

The Munros of Scotland are known for presenting challenging conditions to hikers, particularly in winter when a number of fatalities are reported each year. Nevertheless, a popular practice amongst hillwalkers is “Munro bagging”, the aim being to climb all of the listed Munros.

Currently there are recognised to be 282 Munros.

Ascent

Compleation date: 18th December 2004

When I scaled my first Munro, or started my Munro bagging career, there were 277 Munros and I did not have any intentions to complete them all. My first Munro was Ben Lomond on 19th May 1990. This was part of an organised hillwalk by the Marr College Hillwalking Club.

Over the subsequent years at secondary school I progressively reached the summit of various Munros, including Ben Nevis. By the time that I went to the University of Aberdeen I had ascended about 50 Munros. Upon joining the Lairig and Exploration Societies at the University I became very Munro-focussed in my hillwalking – if it wasn’t a Munro then I wasn’t interested.

During my time at university, there was a revision to the Munro list and the total number of Munros was increased by 7 to 284. Thankfully I had already been up most of the additions so that was a good arm chair Munro bagging session.

After university, I progressively continued to bag Munros but it was involving more and more travel to pick up new ones that I had not ascended before. When I returned from my mountaineering expedition to Greenland in June 2004, I did not know what I was going to do with myself for the rest of the year and, having only 46 Munros left to do, I set myself a hard target of finishing the Munros before the year was out. It was just feasible but there were few contingency days built in so I had to go out in all kinds of really foul weather.

On Saturday 18th December 2004, at the age of 26, I completed my 284th Munro to become Munroist 3326, one of only about 0.005% of the UK population that have completed this grueling challenge.

My round of the Munros was completed on Ruadh-stac Mor on Beinn Eighe in Torridon. For my “final” Munro, I was joined by a group of friends to celebrate the achievement. The ascent was in full winter conditions and the final walk out was in the snow and dark – definitely a quality mountain day.

The Munros have given me many memorable experiences and a few scary moments as well.

Some of the frightening experiences include:

  • getting avalanched on Beinn Achaladair in 1995
  • having to cross many fast flowing rivers (without the aid of bridges)
  • lightning storms
  • being in various vehicles that have crashed or been crashed into during the travelling
  • taking the occasional slip on steep wet rock, etc.

 

Some of the more memorable times include:

  • “bumsliding” down snowy slopes
  • rescuing a stuck climber on the Inaccessible Pinnacle on Skye
  • skiing up and down some of the Munros
  • getting superb views and visiting different parts of Scotland, etc.

 

During my round of the Munros, I was continually learning about the Scottish countryside and about myself. I feel that doing the Munros was an enjoyable challenge.

During May and July 2009 several mountains were re-surveyed by The Munro Society to determine a more accurate height reading for those mountains which are known to be close to the 3000ft figure. In a press release on 10th September 2009 it was announced that the mountain Sgùrr nan Ceannaichean, south of Glen Carron, has a height of 913.43 metres (2996.8 ft). As a result of the re-surveys the Scottish Mountaineering Club removed the Munro status of Sgùrr nan Ceannaichean.

Following a Summer 2011 height survey by The Munro Society, Beinn a’ Chlaidheimh was confirmed by the SMC in September 2012 as having been demoted from Munro status.

There are now only 282 Munros, so I had to work a little harder to complete them in 2004 when there were 284 of them 🙂

Having completed the Munros, I still get out into the Scottish countryside regularly and am now not Munro focussed. I have been ascending Corbetts, Grahams, Marilyns, Donalds and other hills and occassionally I repeat some Munros. I often ascend Ben Hope doing a load carry as training for my overseas expeditions to the Seven Summits. The first hill that I did after completing my Munros was Kilimanjaro so it feels like a nice natural progression from one hill listing (The Munros) to another (The Seven Summits).

Online links

Evidence of becoming Munroist 3326 – The Scottish Mountaineering Club website

Marr College Hillwalking Club White Minibus Video Part 1 – YouTube

Marr College Hillwalking Club White Minibus Video Part 2 – YouTube

Marr College Hillwalking Club White Minibus Bynack More Munro Bagging Trip 1994 – YouTube

Marr College Hillwalking Club Aonach Eagach Munro Bagging Trip 1995 – YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *