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A guide to Munro-bagging

Kintail

The history of Scotland’s Munros

A Munro is a Scottish mountain with an elevation of more than 3,000 feet (914 metres), and you can ‘bag’ one by reaching the summit. These lofty peaks take their name from Sir Hugh Munro (1856–1919), whose groundbreaking list of the 283 highest mountains in Scotland was first published as Munro’s Tables in the Scottish Mountaineering Club’s journal in 1891.

The first person to become a ‘compleater’ (the name given to people who bag them all) was Rev A E Robertson in 1901. Sadly, Sir Hugh himself never bagged all of the Munros on his list, as he died from the flu epidemic at the end of WW1, with 3 left to go. 

Today, the official list of Munros contains 282 peaks (and 227 ‘tops’). Here we’ve put together a list of some of the Munros in the Trust’s care, to get you started.

Popular Munros

Many of Scotland’s mountains – the likes of Ben Nevis and Schiehallion – are household names, but which of the Munros in our care are the most renowned?

Buachaille Etive Mór in Glencoe is one of the most recognisable mountains in Scotland – you’ve probably seen it on postcards and calendars – and more than 30,000 people try to climb it every year. This beautiful ridge is only a short drive from Glasgow and is home to two Munros: Stob Dearg and Stob na Broige.

Height: Stob Dearg 1,021m; Stob na Broige 956m

Time: 79 hours

Starting point: Laybys on the A82 at the base of the mountain


Ben Macdui is the second highest peak in Britain, behind Ben Nevis. Macdui sits in the centre of a vast wilderness in Mar Lodge Estate, and the remote hike from the Linn of Dee up to the summit (avoiding the ski slopes on the Cairngorm) is 18 miles long.

Height: 1,309m

Time: 910 hours

Starting point: Linn of Dee car park


Liathach in Torridon is known to many hillwalkers and climbers as Scotland’s finest mountain. With breathtaking views over the neighbouring Beinn Eighe and Beinn Alligin, as climbs go, the route along Liathach’s ridge is hard to beat.

Height: 1,055m (Spidean a’Choire Leith) and 1,023m (Mullach an Rathain)

Time: 810 hours

Starting point: Parking area east of Glen Cottage


The famous Five Sisters ridge in Kintail takes a 10 mile route across three separate Munros. This is one of the finest hill walks in the Highlands, but prepare for a challenging day out – the terrain is steep and rough, and navigation is tricky even in good weather.

Height: Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe (1,027m); Sgurr na Carnach (1,002m); Sgurr Fhuaran (1,067m)

Time: 810 hours

Starting point: Glen Shiel car park just off the A87

Other famous Munros at our places include Beinn a’Bhuird (1,197m) at Mar Lodge Estate, Bidean nam Bian (1,150m) and Aonach Eagach (967m) at Glencoe, and An Socach (921m) in West Affric. See the full list.

Munros for beginners

There’s no such thing as an easy Munro – that would take the fun out of it. But every Munro-bagger has to start somewhere, and these climbs are less arduous than others …

Ben Lomond is the Munro in Scotland that most people bag first. The gradual path to the top is wide and well-maintained, although it can often get quite busy, so don’t expect to be alone with your thoughts for very long. From the top you’ll get magnificent views over Loch Lomond and out towards the Trossachs.

Height: 974m

Time: 5 hours

Starting point: Rowardennan car park


Ben Lawers is a favourite with climbers all over Scotland. The highest mountain in the Southern Highlands teems with wildlife and there are sublime views over Loch Tay from the summit. The relatively easy route to the top even takes you via another Munro, Beinn Ghlas (1,103m), so you get two for the price of one!

Height: 1,214m

Time: 46 hours

Starting point: Ben Lawers car park



The iconic Cairn Gorm isn’t strictly at one of our places, but it neighbours Mar Lodge Estate – in fact, some serious climbers like to bag Ben Macdui and Cairn Gorm in one go. Thanks to the different starting points along the climb, those of us who aren’t such confident climbers can still bag this famous Munro and enjoy the incredible Highland vistas from the summit.

Height: 1,245m

Time: Various

Starting point: Check the different car parks to see which one suits you best.

Not sure where to start? Try a guided walk with one of our rangers.

Munro-bagging essentials

There are things that every walker needs to consider before they tackle a Munro. Even the simplest mountain climbs require proper awareness, equipment and planning.

Equipment

First things first: make sure you’ve got a good pair of walking shoes/boots. You’ll also need lightweight layers and waterproof clothing, to stay dry and warm. Take a map, a torch and a safety kit in case of any accidents, and make sure you carry lots of water and food.

Hiking boots

Preparation

Know your routes, check the weather before you leave, and learn how to properly navigate using a map and compass – lots of Munros are remote, so you won’t have phone signal if you get lost or stuck. Be honest about your ability, and remember that even a simple 5-mile walk feels much harder when you’re going uphill.

Safety

Respect your surroundings (it helps to know the Scottish Outdoor Access Code) and take care all the way. It’s easy to relax when the car park’s in sight, and accidents tend to happen when you’re not focused on your footing. It’s also a good idea to tell people where you’re going. We suggest you leave a route card and an estimated return time with someone who can call for help if you don’t come back on schedule.

Most importantly, have fun! Scotland’s Munros are some of the most spectacular places on Earth. Take the time to soak up the views and appreciate the grandeur of our wonderful wild spaces.

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