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Bag a Munro: Part 1

Life is just like bagging a Munro.

A Munro is any mountain in Bonnie Scotland with a height over 3,000 feet (914.4 m) the best known being Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. 

Hill walking
Nothing beats hill walking with friends

Munro’s are named after Sir Hugh Munro, 4th Baronet (1856-1919), who produced the first list of such hills, known as Munro’s Tables, in 1891. 

The saying bagging a Munro refers to the challenge of taking on all 282 peaks.

The History of the Munros 

The Munros were first listed by Sir Hugh Munro (1856 – 1919) in his ‘Munros Tables’, published in the Journal of the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC) in 1891. Sir Hugh divided the summits into 283 seperate mountains (now known as the Munros), whilst 255 further summits over 3000 feet were considered to be only subsidiary ‘Tops’. His list caused quite a stir at the time, as it had previously been thought that there were only around 30 mountains of that height.

Sir Hugh never managed to complete the ascent of all the summits on his list, and it was left to the Revd A E Robertson to complete the first round of the Munros in 1901. 

Since then, attempting to ascend all the peaks (‘Munro-bagging’) has become a popular pursuit among British walkers and mountaineers.

Sir Hugh had been planning to revise his list of Munros, and after his death the SMC took over the job of keeping the list upto date. 

The first revised edition was publised in 1921, and several further changes were made – the most recent revision being in 2012. There are currently 282 Munros and 227 Tops.

Sir Hugh Munro himself never did complete all the ascents; at the time of his death he had omitted Carn an Fhidhleir and Carn Cloich-mhuillin (which was demoted in 1981 and which he was saving until last as it was nearest to his home). He never climbed the Inaccessible Pinnacle (“In Pinn”) on Skye but this was not regarded as a Munro on his original list – being omitted in favour of the lower summit of Sgurr Dearg from which it protrudes.

Instead, the Reverend A. E. Robertson became the first to complete the summits, in 1901. The final mountain reached was Meall Dearg (on the Aonach Eagach) – where the Revd famously kissed first the cairn, and then his wife. 

Recently some doubt has been cast as to whether Robertson was truly the first to complete the round as some researchers believe he may have missed the summit of Ben Wyvis. 

In 1923 another Reverend, Ronald Burn, became the second Munroist as well as the first person to climb all the subsidiary Tops.

The real explosion in the popularity of Munro-bagging came in the late 1980s and today the numbers are huge. 

Those who climb all the summits are, following old SMC tradition, known as ‘compleaters’.

Information taken from

So far I’ve bagged 

Carn Aosda and carn-a-gheoidh

Cairn Asoda
My first ever Munro my boots fell apart 🙁

Ben Lomond (twice)

At the summit

Ben Vorlich (twice) and Stuc a’Chroin

ben vorlich
ben vorlich summit

Ben Nevis by the Carn Mor Dearg Arete

Ben Nevis war memorial
Britains highest war memorial

3 sisters at Glen Coe bagging Bidean nam Bian and Stob Coire Sgreamhach

3 Sisters climb
3 sisters summit

Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh Mor from Glen Feshie

Glen Feshie
walking down

I love a great day out on the mountains especially when we have beautiful weather. On a good day the views are truly incredible. 

Scotland is such a wonderful and beautiful country. 

Having bagged a few Munro’s I have come to conclude that they are a real metaphor for life. I’ll explain what I mean in Bag a Munro Part 2.

Yes, I really am leaving a blog about mountains on a cliffhanger.

Until next time, “Strength for Life”



Davie McConnachie

Davie McConnachie is Scotland’s leading health and wellness coach, multi-award-winning gym owner, motivational speaker and the founder of DMC Fitness, a fitness education facility known as the premier choice for 1-2-1 personal training. He has inspired thousands of people to fall in love with fitness – his true purpose and mission in life.

Diving into the world of fitness and wellness has helped Davie to deal with his own trauma and inner demons. He, overcame many dark times using his own unique methods to continue his cycle of healing.