Munro bagger extraordinaire Charlie Campbell (finally!) publishes his book
It took Charlie Campbell a record-breaking 48 days and 12 hours to complete a non-stop self-propelled round of Scotland’s famous Munros… but almost 17 years for the book that he wrote about the journey to be published. Now you an find out about his record-breaking Munros round in Millennial Munros. I interviewed Charlie for my Sunday Mail outdoors column. Read the pdf or the full copy below.
Charlie’s record-break Munro round
Despite the time delay, Charlie’s account of the walk, run, cycle and swim of the 284 mountains with summits of more than 3000ft is still impressive today.
Indeed, his Munro round in June and July 2000 is all the more incredible because it was completed without use of the modern mobile and GPS technology that many hill walkers now rely on.
The former Glasgow postie held his record for a decade before Stephen Pyke, from Staffordshire, recorded a round in 39 days, nine hours and six minutes.
This Friday (March 3), the mountain bagger from Anniesland will finally see the launch of the much-anticipated book, Millennial Munros, in Glasgow.
Charlie, 47, will give a presentation and book signing. He says e will address the irony of the lengthy publication.
He said: “It is ironic that I broke the record for the fastest Munro round at the time, yet it has taken almost two decades to publish the book about my story.
“I guess I find writing a lot harder than bagging Munros and the whole publishing process seems to take a very long time.
“But my story is still relevant today and something that others might be inspired to do, even if they walk only one of two of the Munros.”
It was in 1993, that Charlie, a member of Westerlands Cross Country Club, was initially inspired to do his Munro round.
He said: “I saw a programme about the Munros and something just clicked in my head. I decided this was an adventure I had to do.”
For the following seven years he trained and planned towards the goal.
His website Munro Run 2000 reveals that Charlie started on May 29, 2000, on the Island of Mull and at 4.15pm on July 16, he stood on the top of the final Munro, Ben Hope, in Sutherland.
He broke the previous non-stop Munro round record by almost three days.
Over the 48 days, he had swum 2.33 miles, cycled 764 miles, walked and run 893 miles and climbed a total of 411,717ft.
He bagged 284 Munros, which at that time was required to complete a full round of Munros. (Today there are 282 Munros, after re-measuring demoted two mountains to a Corbett classification).
His overnight stops were either taken in motorhome driven by a support crew of friends and family or in tents and hostels.
He averaged six mountain summits each day and faced days of up to 16 hours on his feet.
Charlie said: “Although the Munro round was so long ago much of it is still very vivid to me.
“The weather was very testing at times and it was psychologically tough getting up early day after day to walk.
“There were mornings when I thought what on earth am I doing this for and I wished many times I could give up.
“But I had a goal and I didn’t want to let myself down so I kept going day after day after day.”
Charlie recalls many highlights, too, including his favourite part of the round on Skye.
He said: “I was lucky with the weather and traversed the epic Cuillin Ridge in one day. That is something I will never forget.”
Charlie’s round has never been matched in one way. While others who complete a non-stop self-propelled round kayak or sail the water sections, Charlie swam his.
In September 2005, Lorraine McCall became first woman to do a non-stop self-propelled and unsupported round.
Later in 2005, Steve Perry became the first to complete a non-stop winter round. He is also the first to have walked a continuous double round.
Charlie He said: “I wanted my Munro round to be as pure as possible and that, to me, means swimming rather than kayaking.
“But swimming is not my strongest discipline at all and I found it challenging and frightening at times.
“The 1.5-mile swim across the Sound of Mull, from the island to the mainland, was particularly difficult for me.
“I also swam between Skye and the mainland and across Loch Lomond.
“No one has done the same as me since and I think that makes my round unique to this day.”
- Millennial Munros will launch a with a presentation by Charlie and a book signing from 7pm at the Dram Bar, Woodlands Road, Glasgow, on Friday March 3, 2017. Free admission. Also see ringwoodpublishing.com to order a copy of the book.