Thursday, 9 February 2012

Munro bagger for a day

A munro is the name given to a Scottish mountain whose peak reaches 3,000 feet or more. There are 283 in total.  Yesterday I had a grand plan - to climb all of them. To become a munro bagger and a munroist. This would combine my love of mountain flora and spectacular scenery. It would keep me fit. It would add adventure to my otherwise safe life. This morning I decided to look at this challenge in a bit more detail and started to consider the task a shoe-in, a done deal, not a problem at all. Then I came across this on Wikipedia:

"The usual ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle itself is by its long east ridge, a climb of 50 metres vertically involving two roped 30m pitches. Although graded Moderate (the lowest grade now in use in the British grading system), with good holds, the ridge is narrow and exceptionally exposed. This route was described by an early climber as "a knife-edged ridge, with an overhanging and infinite drop on one side, and a drop on the other side even steeper and longer". Some climbers prefer to tackle the much shorter west ridge (20 m), graded Very Difficult. It is usual to descend from the summit of the Pinnacle by abseiling off the west end, and a permanent anchor is sited on the summit for this purpose."

The Inaccessible Peak is a munro. Even the name sounds scary. I have seen a picture of it - it is scary! For someone who cannot go higher than a single storey on a ladder, it is the stuff of Room 101.

Today I have abandoned my plan to conquer all 283 Munros. I might manage 282 of them...

4 comments:

  1. Steve, I struggle just to climb out of bed in the morning.

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  2. I climbed up to the base of Inn Pinn on my first winter mountaineering trip that required crampons and ice axe. After a few hours in near white-out the Inn Pinn just loomed out of the snow at us like a big rocky sail. The peak just to the west of it is almost as tall but In Pinn itself is definitely that little bit taller. We'd been blown about and had too many newbies like me in the group to risk climbing it but I reckon provided the weather's calm it should make for an awesome day out.

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  3. Having done a few Munroes, not the Inn Pinn though, quite a few are a bit necky, a good head for heights is handy. Bagging them is a bit of a bore, especially because it means that you ignore the Corbetts (slightly lower ones) that are often a much better walk (motorway free). That is not to say some of the Munroes don't provide a wonderful day out - a particular day in winter in Cairngorm, on the tops and in complete snow cover, a search and rescue chopper used us as a practice target and in the process flushed about 100 Mountain Hares right in front of us - finding breeding Snow Bunts on a wonderful summer day of 14 hours walking and scrambling in perfect weather - I could go on, and on, and... I'd just recommend using the map not the Munroe basher's books as bibles, they're useful but those routes can be very busy and disturbed and don't miss the Corbetts, there are some gems of places often relatively little visited.

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  4. Jerry: if I'm honest I too have that problem

    Rob: Winter? Crampons? I'm more of a flip-flops and sunhat mountineer myself...

    Alastair: I really enjoy the Scottish peaks when I visit, my problem is that I don't visit them enough

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