I have a new summit bagging hobby – and, thankfully, I have friends who a willing to indulge me this new passion. A trip to the Scottish Highlands mountain range, the Fannichs, to run-hike “a couple of Munros” turned into a five summits adventure and include three Munros and two Munro Tops.
Munros, Munro Tops and Murdos
Munros are the original list of Scottish mountains for people who enjoy summit bagging. They were created in the late 1800s by Sir Hugh Munro. He listed all the mountains of at least 3000ft in Scotland.
The Munro list has been revised several times since, especially thanks to modern measuring techniques, and currently includes 282 summits.
Munro Tops are summits that are more than 3,000ft (914.4m), but considered to be a subsidiary top. There are 227 Munro Tops.
Just to add to this bagging geekiness, there are also Murdos, which are mountains more than 3000ft tall with a minimum drop of 30 metres on all sides. All Munros are Murdos, but not all Munro Tops are Murdos. There are 442 Murdos.
My new Munro Tops hobby
Since finishing my first round of Munros, I have been ticking off Corbetts. I have reached almost 130 Corbetts of the 222 listed and most since I moved to the Highlands a couple of year ago. Corbetts are Scottish mountains with a height of between 2500ft and 3000ft (762m to 914.4m).
I also like doing Munro repeats, especially if it’s a new route, such as combining the Kintail “brothers” and “sisters”. I also like the idea of completing a list of the Munro Tops. So, now, when I am looking at a Munro bagging route, I’ll make sure I include nearby Munro Tops. For example, when. hiking Conival and Ben More Assynt, I took in a Munro Top.
This is how I came to be in the Eastern Fannichs yesterday with friends bagging Munros and Munro Tops.
Fannichs Munros and Munro Tops
The Fannichs mountain range lies between Loch Fannich in the southeast and Loch Broom in the northwest of the Highlands. There are nine Munros in the range.
Our group of seven, Katy, Geraldine, Morgane, Lynsey, Victoria, David and I, had an original plan to reach two of the eastern Fannich Munros, Beinn Liath Mhòr Fannaich and Sgùrr Mòr. The outing also included a Munro Top, Càrn na Criche, as a natural part of the route.
Then I spotted an out-and-back section to another Munro Top, Meall nam Peithirean. It was an extra 1km or so and a bit more ascent and descent, before heading up Sgùrr Mòr, but Geraldine, Victoria and David were happy to join me.
After Sgùrr Mòr. and Càrn na Criche, Victoria pointed towards another Munro, Meall a’ Chrasgaidh, which the whole group decided would be a fine addition to the day’s adventuring.
You might normally walk Meall a’ Chrasgaidh with the Munros Sgùrr nan Clach Geala and Sgùrr nan Each.
So, in total, we ticked off three Munros and two Munro Tops. The distance was just over 19km and with more than 1400m of ascent. See Strava (note the elevation gain states 1190m, which is wrong. The watch I was testing did not record it accurately) and also OS Maps.
We enjoyed fine and sunny weather at the start of the outing although as the day progressed the clouds rolled in and the wind picked up. It was gusty at higher altitude and chilly at times, but we kept moving and we all had the right kit for the conditions.
We were surprised to discover paths and trods to follow for most of the route. We had been prepared for a fair amount of off-trod tramping on rough terrain but, as it turned out, there were many kilometres of decent paths. There were a few rocky sections but nothing too daunting and much of the outing was on enjoyable and rolling terrain.
As we ran or walked, we chatted almost non-stop. It’s a wonderful feeling being out in the Scottish mountains, surrounded by stunning landscapes, with a group of keen outdoorsy people.
It is also so fantastic to have these mountains so close to home and so accessible.
I am still totting up my tally of Munro Tops. I’ve reached 92 Munros in my second round.
- Thanks to Victoria and Morgane for some additional photos.