You have to start somewhere, right? And this year in Scotland, I bagged my 3rd Munro (pause for applause!!). I was insanely proud of my achievements even though Beinn Na Lap only just qualifies as a Munro at 934m. It is described on the walkhighlands website as remote; it is most easily accessed via Corrour Station, as there are no roads to this area.
So, I did it, I bagged a 3rd Munro, battered by the strong winds and the unrelenting (and rather surprising) hot sun. The view above the Corrour estate was well worth it, taking in Loch Ossian, the Black Water reservoir and the sweep of Munros all around.
For those who have never experienced the Munros of Scotland, there is a lot to know about these hills; Munros were first surveyed and catalogued by Sir Hugh T Munro (1856-1919). They are separate peaks over 3000ft (914.4m) and there are 282 of them to ‘bag’. All but one (Sgurr Dearg and the inaccessible pinnacle requires climbing ropes to reach the summit) can be walked, which kind of rules me out of ever ‘compleating a round’ (ie doing them all – NB: this is no spelling mistake; the old-fashioned spelling is part of the charm of the Munro bagging).
I do admire the tenacity of those that are spending their time achieving their aim of bagging all the Munros and I was delighted to meet a young guy at the Corrour Station Restaurant who, in just 2 years had hiked all but 10 of them; these he was hoping to bag very soon. I look forward to seeing his name on the register.
Having admired the achievements of this young guy and his partner (who had done 96 of the 282), I very soon got into conversation with a couple of guys in their 60s who were there with their mountain bikes on a similar but very different quest. “We’re doing the Grahams,” one guy told me. “Have you heard of the Grahams?”
I had not.
It was only last year that I found out about the Munros. But I got a short lesson on Grahams, life, the universe and everything!
- Munros are separate peaks above 3000ft (914.4m). Munro ‘tops’ are secondary peaks over 3000ft.
- Corbetts are separate mountains over 2,500ft. Distinct Corbetts must have a 500ft drop between them. The Corbetts are named after John Rooke Corbett; he was the first person to climb all the 2000-feet-high peaks in Scotland.
- Grahams are separate mountains over 2,000ft. They are named after Fiona Torbet (nee Graham) who published her own list of these peaks in the early 1990s.
Munros = 282
Corbetts = 222
Grahams = 224
Altogether there are 728 peaks to trek, with or without climbing ropes, and that doesn’t include the Munro tops of which there are 517 and I am sure there are tops for Corbetts and Grahams too making a huge task for the trekker to complete (or compleat!) over a distance of some 80,000km sq.
And just when I think that I have got this mathematical problem sorted, I find out that there is something called a Donald…..
I am very admiring of those who are, as we speak, running around Scotland collecting their trophies/awards/rewards….but you know, I think I will just stick to enjoying the walk, taking in the odd Munro, Corbett or Graham, or Donald without the need to collect the whole lot. There is so much to miss out on when trying to achieve such goals, and life is already about the rush, the hurry, the goal scoring. Scotland is a de-stress. And de-stress I have, whilst, of course, admiring the mini-heroes I have met on the way!