Colin's Munros


Route Planning

1. Introduction

These web pages contain routes, times and comments for most of the Munros and Tops, plus a few photos. They are accessible directly from the Munro list. Individual times for the many short sections of each walk might be particularly useful to readers because they reflect the difficulty of the terrain – something which is not always apparent from maps. The times can be scaled to match your speed. However, times are also affected by the vagaries of the weather: strong winds on ridges, navigational overheads in cloud or wet snow on the ground, for example. There are also some comments on mobile reception.

All the Tops are included as well as the Munros themselves. Consequently some of the routes are longer than one would normally choose for visiting only the Munros. Compleation took just over 100 sensible expeditions of varying lengths. The longer days in the hills were spent traversing whole ridges, averaging about 16 miles, 5000 feet of ascent, and 8½ hours each. The usual sources tend to give much shorter walks: and the SMC guide edited by Donald Bennet. So here there may be some new and sometimes challenging ideas about where to go. The best book is undoubtedly that by Irvine Butterfield, " The High Mountains of Britain and Ireland: A Guide for Mountain Walkers: Vol 1 ", Baton Wicks Publications; 3Rev Ed edition, June 2004.

Stringing together several Munros sometimes necessitated some "interesting" non-standard traverses inbetween. Particularly towards the end of bagging all the Munros, one or two of the walks covered an odd collection of hills. For example, that including Stob Ban, Stob Coire Easain and Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin was certainly a bit crazy in content. Also weather or terrain sometimes forced the plans to be curtailed so that the obvious main objective is missing. So, I am not necessarily recommending the routes that I took. Indeed, different objectives, weather or ground conditions might lead to other routes being more sensible. Certainly the routes might give you an idea of how to reduce the number of walking days for a compleation to much less than 283.

I've provided comments on the following topics: route planning, paths, navigation, kit, weather, accommodation etc. and added a few remarks on safety throughout. It's the usual boring stuff but with no disclaimers. There's a bit of distilled wisdom which you can ignore. The Cuillins are quite different from mainland hills, and so require a quite different rule book. My advice would be to start with a guide, as I did, or a walking club member that knows those hills well, until you feel comfortable with their character.

Copyright © 2007, 2012 & 2016 Colin Walter