The Scottish Munros are a cluster of large hills and mountains that are found throughout the country and reach a height of at least 914.4m. They got their name from Sir Hugh Munro who completed the first catalogue of hills of their magnitude formally known as Munro’s tables, back in 1891.
Another associated phrase is a Munro top, which is not a separate mountain but instead the summit of a recognized Munro.
Munros are climbed on a regular basis by mountain climbers and by hill walkers and in the winter are known to be some of the most formidable ice climbs on the entire continent of Europe. Every year several fatalities result from hill walkers that are not expecting the harsh weather conditions that exist on top of the summits of the Scottish Munros.
Although their heights are modest when compared with more continental ranges, hill walking in the Scottish Monros is a challenge even in the summer time, due to the fact that they receive a large amount of versatile weather systems from the Atlantic.
During summer hill walking, conditions such as strong winds, freezing summit temps, thick fog, and driving rain can occur along the paths without warning and on a fairly routine basis.
Many serious hill walkers tackle the Munros with the objective of climbing each Munro, after which the hill walker can be termed a Munroist. The practice itself is a form of peak bagging referred to by those in the trade as Munro bagging. In total there are 284 Munros in Scotland although some will debate there is only 283 as technically the peak of Sgurr Nan Ceanniachean is now considered a Munro top instead of its own mountain.
The highest and most celebrated Munro is Ben Nevis Mountain found in the Lochaber area due to its high peak of 1,344 metres making it also the highest mountain in the UK.
Other famous Munros that are commonly climbed include the Ben Macdui and Cairn Gorm found in the Cairngorms, the Ben Lomond which is the most southern Munro, the Liathach found in Torridonm, the Sgurr nan Gillean, Sgurr Alasdair, and the Inaccessible Pinnacle found on the Isle of Skye, the Lochnagar found in Glen Muick, and the Schielhallion which is often thought to lay at the dead centre of Scotland.
As of the last formal count in 2009 by the SMC (Scottish Mountaineering Club) over 4,000 people have been able to climb all of the Munros; although ironically Hugh Munro himself was never able to complete the entire list.