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Munro-bagging: climbing the Munros

There’s a huge pull to the Munros: Scotland’s mountains above 3000ft (914m). Most hill-goers, even if they claim not to be collecting the set, will have a fair idea how many they have done.

The total to aim for varies, as re-surveys and reclassifications add a hill here and take one away there, but the total as we write is 282 and won’t vary by more than a few.

And those hills, scattered all over Scotland, from Ben Lomond in the South to Ben Hope in the north, and Sgurr na Banachdich in the west to Mount Keen in the east, offer no end of challenging and immensely enjoyable days out, in all seasons.

The Munros – and the 227 subsidiary ‘Tops’ – were originally listed by Sir Hugh Munro, who published his first tables of mountains over 3,000 feet in 1891.

Sir Hugh did not manage to complete an ascent of all the summits on his list; instead the Rev. A. E Robertson became the first person to complete 'The Munros' in 1901. Now, over a hundred years later, there are over 5000 people who have registered as ‘compleaters’, with completions recorded with the Scottish Mountaineering Club. Compleaters also become eligible to join The Munro Society.

Climbing the Munros can easily become a passion. Starting off on the right foot with suitable equipment, understanding the skills required and taking time to get necessary training, information and safety skills will lay the foundation for many enjoyable and safe days in the hills.

You can access a list of the Munros here and record your ‘ticks’.

Looking along the ridge of Liathach in Torridon

On the Liathach Ridge. Photo by Annie MacDonald