23 things I’ve learned this year about Munro walking
Munro bagging made it’s way into my vocabulary more than a decade ago. At first I ignored it. Then I wondered about it. Then I started doing it. Now I am a little obsessed by the pursuit. Here are a few things I have learned about Munro bagging over the last year or so.
1) Some of my friends – and especially the southern relatives – still don’t know what a Munro is. When they look at me blankly I tell them: “Scottish mountains with a summit of more than 3000ft. There are 282 of them. People like to walk – or bag – them. They are called Munro baggers. I am one of them. I am slightly mad. But then you already know that.”
2) Once you realise that you have walked more than half of the 282 Munros an obsession takes hold. This happened to me earlier this year.
3) Until you start totting up the number you have walked, it doesn’t really bother you where you hike. Once you know you have less than half to walk you pursue them avidly and methodically.
4) Walking Munros with friends is a great way to spend a day.
5) Walking Munros with friends on a warm summer’s day is an even better way to spend a day.
6) You get to start and finish long conversations while walking Munros.
7) The walk to the base of a Munro usually feels quite long. The walk out always feels far, far longer.
8) Mountain biking adds fun – and aching leg muscles – to some Munro hikes.
9) This summer I mountain biked all the way to the top of a Munro, Shiehallion.
10) It is possible, when fit enough, to walk multiple Munros in one day. Notably, this year, the G-Force and I walked Five Munros in Glen Etive, 4 + 2 = 6 Munros and 1 day, 7 Munros and 4 new friends.
11) Seven Munros as part of a Quadrathlon event might seem like a truly ridiculous idea but I managed it this summer. See Quadrathlon.
12) When the weather is fab, Munros seem oh-so amazing.
13) When the weather is terrible they can still be amazing if you have the right mindset (and warm/waterproof kit).
14) It’s vital that you think positively when starting a Munro outing. If not, you’ll turn back at the first steep ascent or blast of wind.
15) It turns out I can make it to the top of a Munro even when the wind is gusting at 75mph.
16) Munro baggers like to chat on-line and share experiences. This year I started the Munroaming page on Facebook so as to connect more Munro baggers.
17) I get frustrated if I am not out most weekends bagging Munros.
18) Being realistic about Munro bagging is essential for your sanity. (Which is why I am not out every single weekend bagging Munros!)
19) I still have all but one of the scary Skye Munros to bag – and they do scare me. April 2015 is my aim for these.
20) Having an outdoors goal is important for motivation. Walking Munros is just one of mine.
21) Munro baggers are generally very friendly people.
22) After Munro round comes Munro round number 2. The G-Force is currently pursuing this one. Many others are on rounds three and four. Steve Fallon has walked 15 rounds so far.
23) I have a goal of 2015 or 2016 to finish the Munros. I wonder if that will ever happen…