/ How many munro completions
Is there a estimate out there that's based on some research on the matter. Just wondered?
Is there not an official list? Last i heard (about a year ago) the figure was over 6000. That's only the ones who declare it, so there is presumabely a percentage more than that!
I'm struggling to understand this sentence.
I'm compleationist 4327, and I finished in 2009, so 6000 could be about right, and there will be loads of people who have a) completed and not recorded and b) done multiple rounds and not recorded.
Dave Hewitt has probably done some research on this.
> I'm struggling to understand this sentence.
Yes, as a Compleater myself, I was drawn to this thread, but I'm afraid the grammar lost me..... :(
1. Some folk who think they've done them all haven't?
2. fmck's friends tend not to report their completions?
So assuming two separate issues in the one sentence!
> Dave Hewitt has probably done some research on this.
The "official" total stands at 5269 - see http://www.smc.org.uk/Munros/MunroistsCompleatists.php?T=2
That however includes two missing numbers, 284 (even though the current number of Munros is 282) and 666, and at least seven people are in twice, so that knocks the number down to 5260.
Quite how many unlisted Munroists there are is a great imponderable. I've chipped away at research into this over the years and know of around 350 unlisteds, and there's no doubt that the actual number is quite a bit higher than that. So as Tony says the overall total is quite possibly up around the 6000 mark at present, maybe even higher.
Incidentally, the proportion of women in the smaller sample of unlisteds is quite a bit higher than in the listeds. I don't have the precise figures (from when I last worked it out) to hand just now, but it was around 25% as against 19% in the main list.
Such a clever fellow.
1. Highly likely that number could be huge. I watched a fair number on Blavan alone going to the wrong summit and returning without reaching the true summit.
2. yes but so do folks I tend to meet. I don't believe it is a small number and is more likely to be what folks would like to believe. Most folks obsessive behaviour with numbers will make them blinkered over this.
3. I will add this one. What does a SMC completion number represent because it isn't for sure the number of completions before yours.
Rev AE Robertson is No.1 on the SMC list, but his claim to Wyvis is disputed as he apparently turned back before the summit due to bad weather (he didn't summit In Pinn either but he didn't need to as it wasn't included in Munro's Tables at that time). Hard to say how many others have made errors in their totals or haven't registered as 'compleationists'.
He's arguably not the first 'true' Munroist anyway, with Rev. A.R.G. Burn first to complete the Tops (which Munro clearly counted despite the 'subsidiary' classification) and doing just what we call 'Munros' IMHO being 'Munro-lite'...
I'm almost there with just one hill to go - Stob Gabhar if anyone's interested - but never really had any intention of registering the achievement. I have never kept an accurate log and don't have or can't remember the exact dates of my earliest hills.
So if I changed my mind and wanted to get on the list, what do I have to do? Will I be allowed on if I can't provide a logbook or exact dates of ascents? Does it all really matter? I know I have climbed them all, and over 50 more than once, and it is the personal memories for me that really count, so do I really need the SMC to validate it for me?
They don't ask for logbooks, all done on honesty.
In answer to the original question, of the folk I know who have completed the majority haven't told the SMC.
I don't believe he would of completed 100%. Poor maps, communication problems, transport issues, etc. I reckon the first person to do a clean (On all the true summits)is someone probably within the first 100. We wont know for sure.
Most of those who I know have registered it with the SMC.
Purely speculative - but I wonder if non-registration is commoner in climbers "stepping down" to walking up munros than with walkers "stepping up" to a round of munros.
I'd also expect non-registration to become more common as the number on the list increases - all very well being in the first 100 or 1000, but the cachet drops as the numbers swell.
thats amazing most be some kind of record
> thats amazing most be some kind of record
Yes it must be! Incredible!
That's previously been suggested when numbers were markedly lower - eg once it got above 1000 there was at least some talk of "closing the books", and from reading through the SMC archives this kind of thing seems to have been first raised when it got above 100 in the early 1970s. But if anything, I reckon the trend's going the other way - at-the-time completions appear to be submitted to the SMC as often as ever, and there's been a steady trickle of belated reportings in recent years (which makes keeping tabs on the unlisted numbers quite tricky, as people hop across to the other side).
Last year a couple reported their completions from 1994 and 1998, for instance, as did another 1998 person and a 1980 person. There were 1991 and 1992 completions reported in 2011 and just recently a chap named Hugh McNeilage (no.5218 in the list) not only let the SMC know about a this-year finish, but also about ones from 2002, 2007 and 2009.
One factor that has affected all this is the facility to record the people-list online - where it's effectively open-ended - rather than in printed form, where constraints of space come into play. (The most recent printed full list ended at no.1745 - a little historical joke by the SMC, I think.) If the internet hadn't been invented, it's arguable that the list of Munroists would have been closed already.
> That's previously been suggested when numbers were markedly lower - eg once it got above 1000 there was at least some talk of "closing the books", and from reading through the SMC archives this kind of thing seems to have been first raised when it got above 100 in the early 1970s. But if anything, I reckon the trend's going the other way .....
I've nothing against the list - it's quite a nice wee tradition.
On going back and checking however I see that only 2 of the 4 folks I know who've finished rounds this year have registered. The one from the year before didn't either.
I don't think the list should close....but it is very much an incomplete list.
...I just wouldn't be surprised if it's becoming proportionally more incomplete as time goes on.
> thats amazing most be some kind of record
A considerable achievement, but (as I'm sure Kevin's aware)...
Me neither - as you'd expect, given that I'm a researcher/writer-type bod. Maybe the question is best looked at via a massive forward projection - will there still be a people-list in 100 years' time, by when, if the current rate is maintained, it would contain something like 30,000 names?
Of course it could well be that external factors - a major war, or legal changes making it much harder to complete the Munros - will render the question rather irrelevant by then. Mind you, if numbers were to drop off markedly for some external reason, that in turn would perhaps make the list more likely to survive - as a mix of historical record and a way of reminiscing about happier times.
> Me neither - as you'd expect, given that I'm a researcher/writer-type bod. Maybe the question is best looked at via a massive forward projection - will there still be a people-list in 100 years' time, by when, if the current rate is maintained, it would contain something like 30,000 names?
> Of course it could well be that external factors - a major war, or legal changes making it much harder to complete the Munros - will render the question rather irrelevant by then. Mind you, if numbers were to drop off markedly for some external reason, that in turn would perhaps make the list more likely to survive - as a mix of historical record and a way of reminiscing about happier times.
Ach - 30000 names? It's just a few kilobytes of memory when people are chucking terabytes at us.
Of course when the radical Green revolution occurs they may hunt down and shoot all surviving names on the list for their outrageous petrol/diesel consumption.
Still have about 60 tops to do, including some of the NTS hills which went up to full munro in the 1997 tables.
I think the record was just over a month or the aim was a month but went over. Someone will do it in a month eventually. These types of records are done by fell runners rather than folks out hillwalking.
98 days would still be tough going but I can't see the point myself unless for charity.
> Still have about 60 tops to do, including some of the NTS hills which went up to full munro in the 1997 tables.
You'll just need to talk fast when you're up against the wall. ;)
Saw your completion photo on FB today - well done!
if you follow petestack's link you'll find the details - a little over 39 days. I don't think there was ever any intention to finish in a month, he just wanted to get close to the previous record (48 days).
Just another excuse to get out into the hills!
There's so many folk that have done it fast in ways I can't quite get my head around (yet). I've never been into running (too sore!) but this summer got me above a fitness threshold it seems, now I quite enjoy it.
Seems there's a few names missing from there. The two that come to mind is Lorraine McCall and Steve Perry. Mike Cawthorne also mentions in Hell of a Journey about doing a continuous summer round in the 80's with a pal, I think.
98 days is still a great round! :-)
That page (which I'm now maintaining along with the rest of the SHR 'Long Distance' section) perhaps no longer needs to record every continuous completion with Charlie Campbell's record (which predates my involvement) and Stephen Pyke's (which postdates it) the last two entries. But then again...
1. The text (still largely as I inherited it) could obviously be clarified if that's the case.
2. These pages can only ever be as good as the information we've got, so suggestions/details of rounds which might merit inclusion are always welcome!
For the interested, all pages updated by me now show the date of revision at the foot, so you can see how current they're *likely* (but not guaranteed!) to be.
> That page perhaps no longer needs to record every continuous completion with Charlie Campbell's record (which predates my involvement) and Stephen Pyke's (which postdates it) the last two entries. But then again...
I think that you are probably correct to limit the SHR page to the historically significant completions.
'Continuous' is nowadays synonymous with putting in a concerted effort in a relatively short space of time. Aesthetics appears to be a secondary consideration..
Am I correct in thinking the rot set in with Chris Townsend's 'trips to the office'?
Chris Townsend's 1996 round is significant for including the Tops, although it doesn't say so there and clearly should. So thinking it's time there was some visible rationale (beyond 'previous known successful trips') for inclusion and I need to get the page (which I've only tinkered with so far to acknowledge Spyke's record) properly rewritten sometime.
I agree that Chris's round is historically significant for the reasons given. It merits inclusion as the first to include the tops- But was it continuous?
Steven Fallon put in some pretty quick compleations- ? within the same year- do they count as continuous also?
You misunderstand me. I didn't mention Steve P's trip which I agree is monumental. An epic journey.
I was offering for debate whether doing a hill list in a short time makes it continuous or not.
Yes, I've got the book and (although it's a while since I've read it right through) believe it was. Although the SHR page curiously doesn't actually say 'continuous' anywhere!
If any of Steven's were faster than *all* that had gone before, they should be there (with note on style if necessary). But they're not, are they?
So give me facts and figures for Steve's round and I'll look at it. But we need something other than 'longest feat' for inclusion in a list of (generally) quickest times!
I replied to the wording of your earlier post regarding continuous completers.
No they're not, but as you earlier posted on whether or not to continue listing all continuous completers, speed of completion was not the criterion for inclusion, Continuity of trip was.
We talk of continuity as if it is self evident.
I gave the example of Steven Fallon who, whilst he completed within a year, probably had other aspects of his life to attend to over that period. It is a feat but not continuous.
As I have stated, Chris Townsend completed a historically important journey.
HOWEVER- if his journey, with his trips home, had only occured AFTER someone else had done it clean, without a break, would it merit inclusion as 'continuous?
Pretty sure Steven Fallon hasn't (yet) done a continuous Munro round - I know him slightly and have swapped the occasional email on the subject, and what he's done is a series of fast "normal" rounds. On his website http://www.stevenfallon.co.uk/compleations.html
he says this: "Throughout the 90s I was getting round the 284 munros on a yearly basis". This has always been my understanding of how his rounds (15 of them now) have stacked up.
Re the fastest known - and genuinely continuous - Munro round, that by Stephen Pyke (Spyke) in 2010, I was covering this at the time for the CalMerc and wrote a few pieces, including this when he finished:
Overall, the question of continuous rounds, self-propelled methodology etc is a tricky and complex one (eg Charlie Campbell's 48-day round in 2000 saw him swim all the watery bits, whereas Spyke - although nine days faster - opted for the kayak approach). The SHR link given upthread is useful but misses out quite a lot of rounds. I put together a list that was as complete as I could find for a 2006 issue of The Angry Corrie (the online link doesn't work these days, sorry, but it's on p4 of TAC68 for anyone who has a printed copy). That includes quite a few people not mentioned on the SHR list: Ashley Cooper 1986, Mike Cawthorne / Dave Hughes 1986, Paul Tattersall 1989, Mike Wilson-Roberts 1989, Stuart Clements / Kate Weyman 1990, Andrew Allum 1996-97, Jonathan Barclay 1998, Steve Perry 2003 (and again 2005-06), Lorraine McCall 2005.
Some of these people took breaks during their rounds (esp in the cases of those doing multiple categories of hill), whereas others just ploughed on. The Martin Moran winter round from 1984-85 is a good example of how difficult it is to categorise such things, as it was a tremendous and pioneering effort and arguably continuous in that he didn't (as far as I can recall) go home during it, but he was driving around between hill groups which allows some of the worst weather to be avoided by a switch from west to east or whatever. That kind of thing isn't an option, apart from in a local fine-tuning sense, for anyone doing it on foot and bike.
There have been quite a few continuous (or similar) Munro rounds since I compiled that list in 2006 - as/when I get my head round producing TAC again I'll try and update the list.
Incidentally, Steve P's gnarly winter round began with Ben More Mull 1/12/05 and ended with Ben Hope 31/3/06.
> Pretty sure Steven Fallon hasn't (yet) done a continuous Munro round >
I was being deliberately provocative on the question of Steven F's rounds. Generally, continuous= fast-ish, but 'fast, normal' rounds may be quicker than some more leisurely continuous rounds which could remain unreported.
Just what constitutes 'continuous'?
Life is a continuous journey. Does that count?
In the climbing world, A route may be soloed, top roped, on sighted, etc. The grading of the route remains the same. The terminolgy allows the manner in which the route was done to be widely understood, and allows the reader to put the claimants' ticklist in context ( e.g. 'I did an E4').
However, regarding munros, as you say, the question of 'continuous' rounds is 'tricky and complex'. It seems to me that 'continuous' is too ragbag a descriptor. We often lack an aesthetic descriptor.
I guess not much attention is paid to this by the majority of hillgoers since they are not inclined to attempt such a challenge. But the numbers who do attempt it are growing.
The Martin Moran winter round from 1984-85 is a good example of how difficult it is to categorise such things, as it was a tremendous and pioneering effort and arguably continuous in that he didn't (as far as I can recall) go home during it, but he was driving around between hill groups which allows some of the worst weather to be avoided by a switch from west to east or whatever. That kind of thing isn't an option, apart from in a local fine-tuning sense, for anyone doing it on foot and bike.
It was pioneering indeed. A remarkable feat.
Yet I think 66 year old Gerry McPartlin used the same strategy for his ?88 day SUMMER round of 2010, which was a personal triumph and raised money for a good cause. Taken in the guise of 'continuous' and 'speed', that's much quicker than Hamish's pioneering round, so that's progress, surely?
As the question was originally raised about the recording of all compleaters- this example illustrates the folly of recording the more remarkable compleations without also including contextual info.
Of course, Steve P's winter round subsequently set a new aesthetic benchmark for the winter round, particularly in terms of continuity of journey.
Yes, we're all out doing our own thing. Some see the summit as the thing and the journey between as an irrelevance. You dont have to choose to walk/cycle or to use motor transport unless you want to. It's your choice. But maybe there should be more parameters for those recording 'continuous' rounds.
FWIW, somebody asked SHR earlier this year about cycling parts of shorter rounds (eg 24-hour Munro record) and, to paraphrase the ensuing discussion, the consensus was foot only for most things except the likes of complete Munro/Corbett rounds, where style's still relevant in making meaningful comparisons (note also the separate categories for 'Scottish 4000ers on foot' and 'Scottish 4000ers on foot/bike'). On which note, yes, both Charlie Campbell's and Spyke's rounds are still 'records' in their own way, as is that of Hugh Symonds (all run, no bike).
But it's surely not (or at least no longer) SHR's job to record every continuous completion any more than it is to record (for example) every successful Ramsay's Round or Cairngorm 4,000s.
Funnily enough, Dave, I was thinking this maybe more up your street and had thought of suggesting it!
In reply to llechwedd:
For SHR (where the key word is 'records'), I think an improvement in time and/or style, noting which.
Perhaps, but (for SHR purposes) it's neither quicker nor 'purer' than Charlie Campbell's round.
In which case Steve's round needs to be recorded on SHR if it's an 'improvement' on Martin's and I need details!
Yes, there should (and will be when I get that page sorted properly).
I have the exact date and know the team involved but to avoid getting UKC into hot water, I'll leave it there: suffice to say, like others, I have experienced a number of less blatant claims of getting to the top on hills like on Creag Meagaidh - mistaking Meg's Cairn for the Summit and so on. The list of Completionists is mostly populated by guid folk who have had both the mettle to complete and the integrity to make their claim knowing they have ascended each hill properly and fully but there are some whose consciences must be overheating!
> But it's.. not (or at least no longer) SHR's job to record every continuous completion >
> For SHR (where the key word is 'records'), I think an improvement in time and/or style, noting which.
Thanks for clarifying that!
I drew attention to the common methodolgy of the munro rounds of Gerry McPartlin and Martin Moran.
Dave Hewitt has cited Moran's motorised round as exemplifying the complexity of ascribing continuity to a claim.
I guess it was accepted at the time because no one had done it cleaner (in other words, although pioneering, there was also no conception that it could be done any other way).
As you have said, the SHR takes style into consideration. I would imagine that the new aesthetic benchmark for winter rounds set by Steve Perry's continuous self propelled one, might lead to future claims for 'fastest' only being recorded if they improve on his time - Even allowing for the rarity of winter rounds,I imagine that if someone did a faster Moran style winter round it would be an accomplishment but a retrograde one.
To reinforce this I would offer that I have not heard of anyone attempting the fastest summer munro round by motor transport, probably because the aesthetics of the summer round attempts are better established.
Speed over style is a thing of the past, when a challenge is in its infancy. For example, does anyone take the achievement of motor assisted three peakers seriously these days? But they've been cycled, run, walked and sailed between - they're the adventures that stand out head and shoulders above the tens of thousands who've driven there. I realise one person's adventure may be another's stunt- but what next- fastest helicopter assisted munro rounds?
> I have the exact date and know the team involved but to avoid getting UKC into hot water, I'll leave it there: suffice to say, like others, I have experienced a number of less blatant claims of getting to the top on hills like on Creag Meagaidh - mistaking Meg's Cairn for the Summit and so on. The list of Completionists is mostly populated by guid folk who have had both the mettle to complete and the integrity to make their claim knowing they have ascended each hill properly and fully but there are some whose consciences must be overheating!
As rounds are just summit-visiting exercises being dropped by Big Bird for the last visit sounds a great way to finish!
One of the things - as a non-running observer/enthusiast - that I really like about these kind of efforts is that while they're often competitive in terms of lowering the previous fastest time, they're also co-operative - hence Gibson and Johnston made a point of turning up to offer encouragement for Charlie Campbell during his round, and then stashed a bottle of malt in the Ben Hope cairn for him - as did CC himself when Spyke reached the end of his round.
At least with Spyke being so much faster than Charlie (39 days plays 48), there wasn't the awkwardness that might have arisen had he been say just half a day quicker and it could have been seen as equivalent to the swimming vs kayaking time/effort differential. The external factor of weather is also always a big factor in such comparisons - eg Spyke had better weather than did Charlie (although they both ended with absolutely glorious summer conditions on Ben Hope). Both great efforts, anyway.
Of course - plus it's always going to be impossible to confidently claim any such list as complete (eg the Corbetteer and Donaldist lists I maintain are probably no more than 75% complete - is hard to ever get close to near-complete info no matter how much one asks around, keeps the ear to the ground etc).
Incidentally, re helicopters being present at completions, the SMC pictorial archive has this:
Possibly the number on the list may be close to correct as those who have mistakenly thought they completed are offset by those who see no point in listing.
> As rounds are just summit-visiting exercises being dropped by Big Bird for the last visit sounds a great way to finish!
Just don't leave any prayer flags to celebrate your acheivement!
Not that I've finished yet (pretty well at 'endgame' stage, despite being hugely slowed by my insistence on doing all Tops and deleted Tops!), but...
I ran up Sron Coire na h-Iolaire and Beinn Bheoil on Sunday morning to make good my negligence in narrowly bypassing the cairn of the former on a previous Ben Alder/Beinn Bheoil circuit without realising it was a counting 'Top' (the things you sometimes have to do to claim a hill you've to all intents and purposes already climbed!)
quick confirmation (as if I needed it!) in perfect visibility that I'd all but topped out before
Now, you might suppose that Irvine Butterfield knew what he was talking about when he described Meall Ghaordaidh as 'quite the dullest hill in the Southern Highlands', but Meall Greigh (being a very dull hill requiring a four-mile detour from a logical circuit of the Ben Lawers range) is possibly even duller. Especially when you miss the top and now have to go back for this hill-of-the-kind-you-swear-you'll-only-do-once another time!
So what happened? Well, nothing that struck me as wrong at the time… it was very cold and windy and I couldn't see more than a few metres, but the ground was dropping beyond the 'summit' and the altimeter said 1003 where the map said 1001 so I turned and legged it back to Glen Lyon. Then I got home, thought I'd remind myself what Butterfield and the SMC Munros guide had to say about these hills and discovered that Meall Greigh has two summit pimples separated by 200m of flat ground, with the single ring contour denoting the NW imposter neatly hidden by the 'a' of the hill name on the 1:50,000 map (silly, that). Knew instantly because of the way they described it that I'd goofed, so wasn't at all surprised when importing my Forerunner track to Memory-Map confirmed the bad news and just ever so slightly took the shine off a satisfying round!
Sounds like someone may be taking it all a bit too seriously.
I don't remember seeing a rule book but I know those who have gone insane with bagging "Marilyn baggers" have as a rule : its a bag once you have two feet on the highest point no matter how.
I think most would say that you also have to get back down again. Except for your last one, where celebrations start at the summit :-)
> as/when I get my head round producing TAC again
> Hi Dave, I'm sure I wont be alone here in really hoping this will be sooner rather than later.
Thanks (and to Kevin, too). These past two or three years I've had what I suspect is the standard middle-aged combination of head clutter, job hassle and the parental illness/death thing. Haven't been able to get my head round producing TAC in the way that used to happen fairly smoothly. Had hoped to put one together this spring with a view to it appearing around now, but other stuff got in the way. Am hopeful that there are clearer waters (and hence more spare headspace) ahead, and with luck there'll be an issue over the coming winter - with the intention of it appearing more regularly again after that (not least because it's harder to produce once it loses touch with topicality). That's the plan, anyway.
By the way, I haven't had much writing published at all this past year or so, but the kind people at one of the best independent gear shops have kindly taken me on to produce occasional pieces here:
The idea is that I write something hill-related for them every couple of months. Have filed two pieces thus far and there'll likely be another late Aug / early Sept.
Which (thanks to Steve, Dan and Google) weren't hard to find...
So don't know how that one escaped (sorry, Steve!), but will be adding it as soon as I can get the page rejigged with 'style' notes for everything that's staying. (Thinking new table columns for methods of transport other than foot, but this one clearly also merits inclusion in the text!)
+ Significance/inclusivity (eg winter, Tops, Furth etc.), of course!
Most people I talk to who are not hill walkers always ask how do you know the folks did them all. I suppose there is a point in someone could easily list themselves as done them without even touched a munro. Maybe we should put it to the test ;)
One of the first things I did was record my compleation.
Same day and same hill exactly 100 years after the (disputed) Rev. Robertson.
Seem like a long while ago now. Took me 15 years. My wife took 25 years!
I took "unlisted munroist" to be someone who'd been up them all but hadn't registered......not someone with no interest in the munro fad who wouldn't know or wouldn't care.
Not sure it does, but for clarity there are (a) people in the published list of Munroists (who may or may not have climbed all the Munros, but that's another issue); (b) "unlisted Munroists" who have climbed them all but who - as Kinley says - aren't in the published list (quite how many such people there are is impossible to really know - estimates range from about 5% above the published list to 30% above); and (c) "unlisted non-Munroists", who comprise 99.99% of the world's population.
> I took "unlisted munroist" to be someone who'd been up them all but hadn't registered......not someone with no interest in the munro fad who wouldn't know or wouldn't care.
Sounds a bit like going ex -directory!
Not such a bad idea- with an independent Scotland on the cards, who's to say the SMC wont authorize Neil Oliver to hunt down the sassenach compleaters on the list? Send them a bill for maintenance for all the path erosion caused on their munro round?
How depressing would that be? A visitation from Neil Oliver.
On the plus side...if he did leave an independant Scotland we could revoke his passport. :)
Regarding Martin M's round:
<.. it was a tremendous and pioneering effort and arguably continuous in that he didn't (as far as I can recall) go home during it>
Just found my paperback copy of Mr Moran's 'The Munros In Winter' and on page 11, writing of the challenge, he states..
"-the target was unattainable on a continuous journey..."
"The joy of continuity was sacrificed but the spice of adventure maintained..."
There are people who have climbed them all, or most of them, but have 'no interest in the Munro fad'. It's not really correct to describe, even some of them, as 'unlisted Munroists' because they 'hadn't registered'.
The description of a Scottish Mountaineer/Hillwalker has become synonymous with Munroist.
> There are people who have climbed them all, or most of them, but have 'no interest in the Munro fad'. It's not really correct to describe, even some of them, as 'unlisted Munroists' because they 'hadn't registered'.
> The description of a Scottish Mountaineer/Hillwalker has become synonymous with Munroist.
No – you’re attempting to widen the scope of the term again.
The phrase Munroist was used to mean people who have visited ALL 282 munro summits, unlisted being used to denote that they had not registered on the SMC list.
It does not include people with no interest in munros who have visited some or many of them while enjoying hillwalking/mountaineering.
The number of people who know that they’ve visited all 282 munro summits but have no interest in munros will, I think, be pretty low. Those people, in this context, are unlisted Munroists – people who’ve been to the summit of all 282 Munros but not registered it.
To have knowingly and systematically covered so many of the high points of Scotland they'd be displaying most of the behaviour of a bagger, even if they want to call it something different.
> There are people who have climbed them all, or most of them, but have 'no interest in the Munro fad'.>
Somehow, 'munro' seems more prestigious than English/Welsh 3000'+.
For walkers nearer to the south of the border 'biggies' I wonder why this might be?
I'm not sure how accurate it is to describe something that has been going on for over 100 years as a "fad".
Way I see it the hills are there to be climbed, and lists are irrelevant. I'll probably end up climbing all 282 Munros one day, even the grassy ones. Always nice to go somewhere you've not yet been after all. I'm sure I'll be aware my 'last' is no.282 - you couldn't really not know. But unless I have a near-the-end change of heart I won't have climbed a single one from a spirit of interest in 'the Munros'.
Even having completed by mistake surely the only behaviour i'd have shared with a bagger would be putting one foot in front of the next, and enjoying it?
Is mine an unusual attitude? I'm sure I can't be alone
Dan I recognise your approach and identify with your comments.
Yep, agreed. That's what it means and *all* it means, with intent technically not even relevant.
In reply to Toreador:
From Ian R Mitchell, 'Scotland's Mountains before the Mountaineers', New Revised Edition (2013), p153:
'Here we see, as in the case of other pioneers, that by the early 19th century the figure of 3,000 ft already had about it a magical and desirable quality, later merely formalised by Munro in his Tables.'
(Assuming it's the same in the earlier edition, but can't give a page number for that!)
Fairly unusual in my experience. People seem to be either actively counting, or vocally opposed to it. Indifference doesn't seem to be common.
If you ever get to 282 munro summits visited and know it then that would make you one of those small number of people who have visited all the munros and know it, despite no interest in the munros list.
I'm sure there are very many people who have been up a lot of munros but have no interest in bagging munros.
Getting through all of the listed munros simply as a by-product of extensive walking? I'm sure there are a few, but I suspect not a large number.
As for the definition of a bagger.....that's one for another fractious thread.
Oh jeez here we go again. The I'm not a bagger brigade rises again.
I'm not quite sure you could call covering every hill in Scotland above 3000ft to be unsystematic.
Munro set out to do this. It takes quite a bit of organisation.
Getting to the point that you've knowingly filled in a the blank spots above 3000ft is fairly systematic...
Yes, they were identified 100 years ago, but it is only since the mid to late 1970s that the enthusiasm for it all has developed. Prior to that, mountaineers knew of the 3000' hills but only a very small number had climbed them. For most the 'bagging' concept didn't exist (it's a fairly modern idea) back then people went out to climb a Hill not a Munro.
> Fairly unusual in my experience. People seem to be either actively counting, or vocally opposed to it. Indifference doesn't seem to be common.
I wonder if that's more an 'artefact' of human conversation?
Say you've been out on the hills and you talk with someone else along the way, maybe on the hill or in a pub or hostel afterwards. Commonly one or other will raise the topic of 'bagging' - The response is generally conventional - for or against. As people generally seem to initiate a conversation about what's in their head at the time, and the social convention is to respond within construct of the initiator, the reply is therefore for or against.
'-yes, it is'.
'- but it was wet yesterday'.
Rarely is it:
' yeh, whatever'.
Coincidentally to this thread I've got to make a list of all the Munros I have done, so I'll soon know my tally. Actually I'm almost intrigued now.
Also, if you leave your vehicle in 'the car park' and go up 'the route', you're likely to meet a subset of hillgoers.
and if you are a day tripper you'll generally be heading up the hill and back down it again at the same time of day as likeminded others. Once again, you'll only meet a subset.
I'm sure the draw of Tollmount and Tom Buidhe will have you ticking the remaining boxes before you know it. ;)
Yes - I love that area - although I often avoid the munro summits these days as the wildlife thins out a bit due to footfall.
Areas like this with rolling uplands and rather unprominent summits wouldn't necessarily attract a non-summit bagger to the summit points listed.
What attracted you to the summits of Tom Buidhe and Tollmount?
Hey, stop dissing those two - they're nice hills especially if reached by nonstandard routes. But then I would say that, having climbed them again last week for the ninth time each...
....but sitting on Cairn Damff last month I was hard pressed to actually identify them from the rest of the upland area.
They don't spring out as "mountains to conquer". ;)
But you did call the Corbetts you'd just climbed 'Corbetts' when I met you in Knoydart the other week...
> Getting to the point that you've knowingly filled in a the blank spots above 3000ft is fairly systematic...
I think that the online fraternity sees hillwalking as synonymous with bagging. Its difficult now to opt out.
Pre internet forums I went for a walk- I didn't keep a log or diary.
Now, if I log on to Scottish Hills, there's a list of hill categories below my username all with zeros next to them. Walk Highlands informs me authoritatively that 'You have not climbed The Cairnwell'.
I have to tell you that despite those pronouncements, I'm living a lie. Wonder if I'll ever pluck up the courage to come out!
Agreed, although a good way to do them is to make them non-consecutive - suspect that isn't often done, but I once went Tolmount-Cairn Bannoch-Broad Cairn-Tom Buidhe, which added a certain something, esp as I had one of my Walshes sucked clean off in a boggy bit between the last two hills.
> Agreed, although a good way to do them is to make them non-consecutive - suspect that isn't often done, but I once went Tolmount-Cairn Bannoch-Broad Cairn-Tom Buidhe, which added a certain something, esp as I had one of my Walshes sucked clean off in a boggy bit between the last two hills.
Tom Buidhe was an easy diversion on a circuit of Caenlochan from Tulchan. I didn't bother crossing over to Tolmount.
I have - last summer, didn't feel too boggy although it was in a dry spell. I like Finalty Hill between the two Munros - have been on that a couple of times, nice sense of space. Last week's trip was up the other half of Jock's Road, from Callater, then back along the tops. Nice wander, and very different from a previous same-in-reverse round when a mad thunderstorm broke up top and it was a case of fleeing downhill - very impressive waterfalls (that had been trickles half an hour before) and the floodplain bit at the head of the loch was actually flooded.
Anyway, had better scoot - off to the Munro-less Lakes for the weekend shortly.
Will do. Will be spending at least one of the days with a chap who, if he's spared, is likely to reach 10,000 lifetime Wainwrights next year.
I'm not sure how accurate it is to describe something that has been going on for over 40 years as a "fad".
I'm counting them (and the tops) and have also done a fair few below 3000/2500/2000 (though I'm not counting the other lists - yet)
I've stopped counting.
Fair point - it's all relative I suppose. One dictionary entry describes the word as 'a temporary fashion', so I suppose relative to mountaineering history it might be called temporary at present - but in the future, depends how long it all lasts.
> I've stopped counting.
I'm off for a haircut now. Third or fouth one this year.
> I've stopped counting.
That's not really true is it looking at this recent link.
Baggers anonymous for you : My name is Kinley and I am a bagger!
Always nice to have at least one fanboy.
He he! Found out yet again. Moving on from Kinley making his false purist statements as ever.
Climbers all have their tick lists and are in my opinion never bothered to admit it. So why do a huge number of hill walkers defend themselves against their list ticking when clearly they do?
On a day many years ago I covered that stretch starting from Glen Doll and going up Broad Cairn, picking up all the Munros and tops on the way round (12 as then was)to finish coming down the side of the Scorrie on Driesh. It still sticks in my mind as hard going though nothing compared to coming along the side of Lochan Fada at the back of Slioch after climbing Ben Lair. Now that was hard.
Don't knock the Tolmount area. It was very popular in my youth in Dundee using Glen Doll YH as a base and I'm still that way from time to time. Doing Jock's Road seems to have dropped in popularity over the years judging by the faintness of the track in places. Can't give you lifetime totals as I only started counting when I was over 30 and it's Tolmount 12 Tom Buidhe 8. Sounds like a rugby score.
Incidentally I'd be very surprised if anyone did all the Munros without deliberately meaning to do so as there's just too many tucked away. Doing the tops as well just by wandering about without the intention of ticking them off would be near impossible I think. Be interesting to see the ones you've still to do.
It sounds as though Dan is hoping to knock off the vast majority "accidentally" and then mop up with a sense of due resignation and dread. ;)
Agreed - the upper bit on both sides, partic the north, is fading away (assuming there was ever much of a path at that level). Funnily enough, both times my pal Ken and I have been on half of Jock's Rd in the past year or so we've met someone doing the whole thing. The recent time it was an old chap crossing from Doll to Callater - he had what looked to be a tin can attached to the outside of his rucksack, all very nice and oldfashioned - cheaper and probably better than your Platypuses etc.
It does, although Stuc 34 Vorlich 42 might be more entertaining to watch.
Does seem unlikely, but is possible I guess - and there is a well-known hill person who is in the list for two rounds, and someone who knows him much better than I do says that he (the two-round person) doesn't keep a record of what he climbs. Tricky circle to square, that, but each to their own.
Is piddling down in Coniston just now in Coniston, by the way - the becks were high on the drive over Kirkstone, and it's got wetter since then.
Depends whether Vorlich scored six converted tries or fourteen penalties! :-P
"What attracted you to the summits of Tom Buidhe and Tollmount?"
You are obviously not a skier. Even in Summer, it is a joy to be on that plateau - even the bits below 914.4m
I've managed to find out that there are 137 Scottish summits 1000 metres plus, but can't find a collective name for them. Is there one?
If they haven't, I'm going to catalogue them and name it after myself. :-)
I might just 'bag' those, can't afford to get to Scotland that much to do the Munroes!
Think they've been called the Metros from time to time. There have been a couple of long walks based on these - Mike Cawthorne's very impressive Hell of a Journey trip when he went round them all in winter (although didn't attempt the iced-up summit tor on Beinn Mheadhoin), and one of the summer long-walk people (Mark Elsegood?) *just* went up the mainland Munros which meant that he did all the 1000m ones. Main downside of it as a category is that it omits Skye, given that Sgurr Alasdair is 992m.
Impressive! I'll be happy once I finally get the Cuillin Traverse done.
I think the mainland munros man was Rick Ansell. 100 days unsupported, no bike or food parcels.
M. Elsegood was 1988; 66 days, used a car between hills.
That's him, ta. (Am away from the main wodge of info just now so wasn't able to easily check.)
I also have it that Ansell's rationale was avoiding ferries so as to maintain the 'purity' of the trip.
Guess nowadays (33 years after he did it) the Skye bridge would mean he couldn't use that excuse to avoid soloing the Cuillin ridge.
I always felt he was treated a bit unfairly in terms of the avoiding-Skye thing - one or two people who hadn't ever attempted a 100-day walk in all their puff were a bit snidey about it. But he was just doing his own thing, by his own rules, which was fair enough.
> That's him, ta. (Am away from the main wodge of info just now so wasn't able to easily check.)
Ha! So now neither of us can get access to that back issue of TAC you cited upthread!
I do remember seeing it online though sometime in the past - I recall that Kathy Murgatroyd featured on that list. I had the pleasure of her hospitality last year when my journey over the British 3000's took me past her house.
It's a strange aspect of revealing a challenge to others. When I eventually let on to a fellow hosteller what I was doing, his response was-
"its been done before, you know".
I also had
"its been done in 39 days"
...I'll get my coat then?
Sorry Dave, I 've just re read my comment about Rick Ansell and Skye-it could be misconstrued.
I meant that his game would probably have been different nowadays given the presence of the bridge.
I wholeheartedly agree about the doing his own thing bit
> "What attracted you to the summits of Tom Buidhe and Tollmount?"
> You are obviously not a skier. Even in Summer, it is a joy to be on that plateau - even the bits below 914.4m
I know - it's a fantastic area, especially a lot of the bits under 3000ft. Was up there last month.
The point was that if you gave a map to someone with "no interest in munros" they probably wouldn't choose routes visiting all the munro summits in the area while enjoying the plateau. :)
Sorry, my comment wasn't very clear either - I didn't mean that anyone on here was being narky about Rick Ansell's walk, rather there was a bit of that around years ago.
Anyway, it's too nice to be indoors at a keyboard - I'm off (to the Howgills, probably) with the 9k+ Wainwrights guy. Howgills = Ochils without fences, as someone once said.
Is this the route that started in Wales?
A fair few around the head of Glen Lyon too, and east of Drumochter, which is funny considering they're both reasonably accessible for me - but my reasoning is once you've driven that far you might as well have gone to the Cairngorms proper or Glen Coe or somewhere better. Dare say I'll get round to them eventually. Maybe wait for winter and bungle my way on skis.
A couple I can see little merit in are Am Faocagach and Fionn Bheinn; hard to justify ever doing them after a long drive when Torridon, Fisherfield etc are so near at hand.
Notable must-do omissions are drying up a bit. Slioch (but then I've not been up Beinn Airigh Charr in that area either and that looks about as worthwhile). Ben More (Mull. Never been to Mull, major hole in life but when I do go it won't be solely about one hill). Wyvis (always en route to better things). That nice-looking quartet just north of glen Strathfarrar.
Sorry for being misinformed there when Hugh Symonds' (still very impressive!) running time appears to have been narrowly bettered by Mike Cudahy four years later.
In reply to petestack:
Now up at http://www.shr.uk.com/LongDistanceRecords.aspx?LongDistanceRecordID=1 (which I think a vast improvement), but would still welcome help to fill in any of the 'Style' or 'Notes' blanks. (NB SHR site currently running very erratically!)
Fionn Bheinn make a fine bad-weather-in-winter destination.
> Fionn Bheinn make a fine bad-weather-in-winter destination.
I disagree with that! In bad weather, it's a dull trudge up and a dull trudge down, without the benefit of decent views. Not that I'm speaking from experience ...
I've seen a couple (just a couple) folk online, invariably without a real name, getting a bit snidey about the fact I started self-propelled before making a clear decision to take lifts (which eventually led to going car-based.) All I think to myself is "you try it in under 100 days biatches" ;-)
> "What attracted you to the summits of Tom Buidhe and Tollmount?"
Hills like this are maybe not the most exciting to walk, but are quite different on ski or mountain bike.
My former boss was on his umpteenth round (5/6/7 - I lost count and interest), yet he'd never been up the Cobbler, Stac Pollaidh, Suilven, Canisp, Quinag, Arkle, etc. Found that pretty sad. Despite starting when I was barely in my teens, I've still not managed to "finish" the Munros yet. I'm in no hurry.
Because I just finished, the area that reamains most strongly in my memory was Torridon, Ullapool and the Far North. Continually, I was on stuff like Affric, Monar, Beinn Dearg's, looking east down to the winding glens thinking I better get myself into these areas some day.
Rather than finding myself most taken by the big meat of stuff like Liathach and Fisherfield (which were all amazing), it was the recognition that there's so much I still haven't seen that caught me.
So it's a good case for going to the out-of-the-way places, and see how things look from there.
I'm pretty certain I'll climb the Corbetts, finish a 2nd Munro round, etc, but now I'm home I'm just reminded again how much it costs to go up north. *eyes water*
Similar with myself. I started doing the Munros to keep fit for climbing during months climbs were out. After a while it seemed daft and I started Corbetts, Graham's as well. I got the idea to finish the Munros, Corbetts, Graham's & Donald's all on the same day ( my 40th) and the madness began.
I still have a number of peaks to revisit during daylight.
For me it was the only day in a week that the weather was "good" enough to get onto the hills, so my memory probably gives it more credit than it deserves!
In reply to Fat Bumbly2:
They'd maybe be just as likely to choose Tops! So, while I'd agree that doing the lot (ie *all* Munros and Tops, or Munros, Tops and deletions) by accident is most improbable, I can't see anyone just thinking 'I like the look of that' rejecting Stob Coire nan Lochan or the 'Affric' Sgurr na Lapaich because they 'don't count'. Although of course IMHO they *do* count and the prevalent concentration on the 'separate mountains' seems to me very much at odds with Munro's standpoint!
For many years I was gradually ticking off the Munros and not the tops. But when I was up there, I was visiting anything vaguely summit-like in the general vicinity - either on-route if a ridge traverse, or not-too-far-off-route otherwise. When I eventually got round to checking which of these were tops and adding them up I found I'd done over half the tops this way. So now I've decided to finish these as well, and am doing it a bit more methodically.
I accept though that you'd be unlikely to visit (for instance) the northern Tops of Ben Avon by this method!
Just did all Tops (+ deleted Tops and several other Munro-height pimples) of Ben Avon last Thursday... but quite intentionally! On which note, an 'accidental' traversal should logically go all the way to the 912m Meall Gaineimh (which I did actually consider) and not stop at East Meur Gorm Crag.
As if cycling and walking in from the Braemar side and climbing Square Face wasn't a big enough day my mate then dragged me even further from the car out to Stob an t-Sluichd on Beinn a' Bhuird afterwards so he could bag that top "Seeing as we're here anyway"!
> Is this the route that started in Wales?
In reply to Steve Perry
It is Steve. Pure coincidence, but I was up on the Carneddau today and have just got back. Last time I did today's route was Day 1 of that trip.
We did them intentionally as well - all the Tops of Ben Avon and Bheinn a' Bhuird, though not the deleted tops. In hindsight, I'd miss out East/West Meur Gorm and add on the much more interesting-looking deleted tops instead.
> For me it was the only day in a week that the weather was "good" enough to get onto the hills, so my memory probably gives it more credit than it deserves!
A fine walk with great views. A good half day, or worth wandering over the nearby Graham.
I have now done 66munros
Ben more Mull 60 times
Ben Nevis (4)
Done Ben Nevis today and it was miserable ,and damn cold up top
Which is one good reason (among several) to do everything... and, yes, I'm susceptible to 'visiting anything vaguely summit-like' syndrome as well! On which note I thought the most interesting tops of Beinn a' Bhuird Stob an t-Sluichd for its (quite unsettling) crash wreckage and string of small tors and the deleted A' Chioch for the situation (despite negligible reascent) of its single cracker.
The popularity of Ben More as the last hill is interesting - anyone looking at a map of Scotland without worrying about Munro's Tables would make Mull a pretty high priority to visit.
Then again my last corbett was on Mull.
> For me it was the only day in a week that the weather was "good" enough to get onto the hills, so my memory probably gives it more credit than it deserves!
I have to admit my memories of the hill itself are few but the Graham Meall a chaorrain next to it has always stuck in my mind due to the incredible maze of peat hags to reach it. Once on the summit I remember taking a picture with the digital camera so I could use it later to find the easiest way through.
> I have now done 66munros
> Well,not quite
> Ben more Mull 60 times
> Cruachan (2)
> Ben Nevis (4)
> Done Ben Nevis today and it was miserable ,and damn cold up top
I guess being a munro bagger living on Mull will have its limitations: (
More than 10% of all Munro completions take place on Mull, which is kind of remarkable. Over 500 finishes there, including several instances of otherwise unconnected parties on the same day.
Incidentally, andymac's 60 Ben More ascents out of 66 Munros total is good going. Switching sports, it's the equivalent of Glenn Turner's celebrated scorecard-dominating innings for Worcestershire against Glamorgan in 1977:
Think (despite the chronology of my teenage Munros now getting a bit hazy after > 30 years) it was my second...
It is one of the easiest Munro you can get, and it is a nice spot too, with a great train ride to access it too. No hurry though , I might keep going at the Corbetts and perhaps finish them with the Munros ( maybe someday, or maybe never) I don't think I will record it if I do ever officially complete though, but who knows.
I have also still got two of the Irish ' Munros' and Snowdon on my to do 'list '.
I guess it must be the most popular. It was my last also in a way. I did Beinn na Cloiche(last Graham), Leum Uilleim(last Corbett) then Ben na Lap. I met up with friends at the café which was a bizzare experience to walk off the moor into the café full of folks you know pissed as farts! Some unbelievably got lost coming off Ben na Lap but all accounted for in the end. They all continued partying while I shot off to the ochils to do my last Donald.
It has to be the ease of climbing coupled with the fact there's beer at the bottom of the path I imagine.For me it was handy to have all the required hills in a row.
> I guess it must be the most popular.
Beinn na Lap's the third-most popular last Munro. Incidentally, I think you were the third person to complete Munros/Corbetts/Grahams on the same day (after Brian Ringland over Glenelg way 2/6/04, and Roderick Manson with Seana Bhraigh etc 17/6/06). Is interesting that it's been done in three completely different places. None of the others added a fourth list, though - that's good going.
When I did this I was unaware of the other 2 having done Scottish 3 lists. It would make no difference as the complete set has to include the Donald's. its the true Scottish mountain meal leaving out the pudding ( Donald's) seemed senseless. They are the 4 main Scottish lists and in the future it would make sense to try and include the tops. I do know of a couple about to complete the four maybe they might go there.
Btw : Percy Donald will turn in his grave at his list being referred to as an add on : )
Under the section headed "Feeling driven to perform certain acts over & over again"-
Q13 Do you perform counting..
Q14 do you collect useless objects
Q16 Do you need to touch objects
Q19 Do you avoid certain names that are associated with unpleasant thoughts ? ('x' is NOT a munro?)
Q20 Do you feel a need to repeatedly ask for reassurance that you did something correctly? (anyone for another Trip Report on Liathach?)
Not sure what score was needed for OCD labelling, these look like the pertinent ones.
On the subject of health warnings - it'll soon be Dorothy Grace Elder season..
> On the subject of health warnings - it'll soon be Dorothy Grace Elder season..
When does the DGE season open? I think Dave Gibson winged her last year but she made it to the thaw and close of season. ;)
I assume you count everyone on UKC that completes climbing logbooks in that comment too?
> When does the DGE season open? I think Dave Gibson winged her last year but she made it to the thaw and close of season. ;)
Not sure. I think it's weather dependent- she hasn't yet become predictable enough to give a calendar date.
If you can hear her distress call you can assume it's open season:
..Dignitas for the young, dignitas for the young...
As discussed earlier. Climbers do seem to not give a four X about their personnel tick lists in the same way walkers who get somewhat number obsessed. : )
Makes me wonder what an unclean ascent would involve?
> A fair few around the head of Glen Lyon too, and east of Drumochter, which is funny considering they're both reasonably accessible for me ... A couple I can see little merit in are Am Faocagach and Fionn Bheinn; hard to justify ever doing them after a long drive when Torridon, Fisherfield etc are so near at hand.
> ... Slioch, Ben More (Mull). Wyvis . That nice-looking quartet just north of glen Strathfarrar.
Dan, forgive the rough editing of your reply but given the length of the thread no one would ever work out what this posting refers to. Thanks for your reply. Though I coudn't predict which ones you still had to do it's the type of Munro I expected: ones that were in out of the way areas or that you just drive past thinking one day, maybe. A bit surprised at the couple north of the Tarf - Sgarsoch and Ealar? - but that's maybe because I'm based just N of Aberdeen and they are easily accessible from here using the mountain bike. Easily accessible is not the the same as a short easy day!
To me and to many others doing the Munros took me in to areas I would not otherwise have visited and this is the position you are now in. Some of those you mention come in to the easy half day category which can often work in with the first or last day of a trip or even an easy day part way through.
A word in praise of Fionn Bheinn. I was last up there in 2002 and had tremendous views W to Fisherfield. Sat on top for a good half hour watching merlins swooping all round about me. Even on the most unpromising of hills you can have a good time (sounds a bit like advice from the Readers Digest! - sorry).
I couldn't agree more, great views to Slioch and Fisherfield. Your right about the merlins in that area I was nearly hit by one chasing a small bird at Lochan Fada just north of Slioch.
Elsewhere on the site
2012 saw the release of the beautiful first volume of definitive Yorkshire Gritstone climbing, produced by the YMC with Robin... Read more
Make the most of this months HALF PRICE OFFER on the Five Ten Guide Tennie Mid!! Designed as a hybrid approach and... Read more
Hot Aches Productions premiered their latest film Redemption: The James Pearson Story at Kendal Mountain Festival on... Read more
The Christmas Gift Guide at Outside.co.uk Check out our top selection of Christmas Gift Ideas for climbers,... Read more
Over the years I've been asked many times about work as a Rope Access technician, often by Instructors and Guides working for... Read more