What is Munro Bagging?

Munro bagging is a strange phrase that always brings to the mind an image of bagging shopping. Munro bagging?  What is it? Simply put, munro bagging is the process of climbing all the munros, which in turn are Scottish mountains over 3000ft high. 

The first list of climbable munros was published in 1891 and are so called after the namesake of the list writer, Hugh Munro. The job is now given to the Scottish Mountaineering Club, who have concluded that there are 283 Munros that can be ‘bagged’!

The view from Ben More

Monroes are found in Sutherland, the Cairngorms, Glencoe, Balmoral, Loch Lomond near Glasgow and on the Isle of Skye.

The buttresses of  Ben Hope, Ben Lomond, Ben Macdui, Ben Nevis, Beinn Eighe- there are plenty of ‘Ben’s’ to be climbed, but despite their name, the munros are extremely difficult to climb, as they sit close to the cold, foggy and often freezing Arctic weather. In Winter, the danger is even more difficult, with ice routes,

After completing all the munros your name is attached to a ‘completers’ list, which is over 4000 at the time of writing. You need to keep a log of dates that you climb the munroes, and also have a photo of yourself at the peak of your final summit. Include how long you have taken, the first and last hills, your age, and plans for the future and send it of to the SMC.

For completing them all you receive a Munroists number so you can purchase a tie, or a brooch and you will also get a Completion Certificate.

Many mountaineers comment that climbing munros is a great way to get into the outdoors and climbing Scottish mountains, but that Munro bagging becomes less of a motivating force after you get out on the hills. Either way, many people still complete and send off forms to enter the completers form with the SMC, so munro bagging is still popular.

Starting to bag munros is a choice usually made on the height and steepness of the munros, as well as your fitness, although most of them are steep and short.

Schiehallion, Corrie Fee and the Tarmachan ridge are usually recommended as the paths are relatively clear for easier navigation.

What to wear for munro bagging depends on when you intend to go. A Scottish winter is severe, so you will need a waterproof, insulated mountaineering jacket as well as a inner midlayer, a long sleeved baselayer, thermal baselayers for your legs as well as waterproof overt trousers.

You would also be well of with B3 boots that can hold crampons. Take some in your rucksack, along with a first aid kit and plenty of other essentials.

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