Almost 5,500 people have bagged a full Munro round. But there are some who take the challenge that bit further
Photograph:Â Richard Lyon prepares for ‘Fiddling the Munros’ -Â Â R Lyon Collections
One round of the Munros is enough of a challenge for most people. And while some Munro baggers go full tilt to finish their round in one or two years, on average it takes walkers eight years to â€œbagâ€ all of Scotlandâ€™s 282 official mountain peaks with a height of more than 3,000ft (914.4m).
As I write, the records held by the Scottish Mountaineering Club show that 5,427 people have bagged a round of Munros. Some 120 walkers have gone on to do a second circuit, while more than 30 have completed three rounds.
One extraordinary Munro bagger, Steve Fallon, has walked 15 rounds and holds the world record for the number of Munro rounds.Â There are also other Munro baggers who are intent on record-breaking rounds.
So what is a Munro?
Scotlandâ€™s highest mountains are named after Sir Hugh T Munro, who in 1891 set out to make the first survey of all the countryâ€™s mountains with summits more than 3,000 feet. In his Munro Tables he listed 236 individual mountain peaks.
Thanks to more modern surveying techniques, there have been several official revisions to Munroâ€™s original listing and the current Munro collection totals 282.
Tradition decrees that if you walk a Munro round you â€œcompleatâ€ rather than complete.
Munro record breakers
The first recorded person to walk a full round of Munros was the Rev AE Robertson in 1901.
While Fallon holds the world record, the SMC list includes a couple of dozen walkers who have completed a non-stop, non-car round, walking or cycling between each Munro.
It was Scottish walker Hamish Brown who became the first, in 1974, to walk a full Munros tour in one go covering 1639 miles and climbing a total of 449,000ft in 112 days. He has also walked seven rounds of Munros.
Chris Smith became the first Member of Parliament to complete the Munros in 1989.
Youngest to complete a Munro round
There are a few contenders, including Ben Fleetwood, from Cumbria, who climbed the final Munro of his round â€“ Ben More on Mull â€“ on August 30, 2011 at the age of 10 years and 3 months.
Then, last year, 10-year-old twin girls Cliona and Nuala McCheyne were claimed to be the youngest yet to summit all the Munros when they climbed Sgurr Choinnich Mor in Lochaber.
The youngest compleatist to have done the round without the presence of a parent or a guardian is thought to be Andy Nisbet, who finished his round in 1972 aged 18 years and 1 month.
Non-stop Munro rounds
The first woman to complete a continuous round was Kathy Murgatroyd in 1982.
In September 2005, Lorraine McCall claimed to be the first woman to do a non-stop â€œself-propelledâ€ and unsupported round.
Later in 2005, Steve Perry became the first to complete a non-stop winter months round. He is also the first to have walked a continuous double round.
Other compleations include the fastest, by Stephen Pyke. He took just 39 days 9 hours and 6 minutes in 2010 to reach all summits.
The first person to complete a winter round (all the Munros in one winter season) was Martin Moran in 1984-5.
Challenge Munro in 2014
Next year, Paul Wilson hopes to break Englishman Pykeâ€™s record with the aim of finishing in just 37 days.Â The Ayrshire plumberâ€™s goal is to bag the 282 Munros â€“ and another one, Beinn aâ€™Chlaidheimh, which was demoted after modern measuring in 2012.
He will travel between each mountain by walking, running, cycling and kayaking.
Paul, who will be supported by a friend, Calum Paterson, said: â€œIâ€™m a keen fell runner and when I saw Stephenâ€™s Munro round record in 2010 I decided that one day Iâ€™d like to try to break it.
â€œThe training and fundraising has been tough but it will be great to bring the record home to Scotland if we can.â€
Challenge Munro is set to start on 1 June. The pair are still looking for support to fund the attempt. They are also raising money for two charities, Royal Blind and the MS Society.Â See Challenge Munro.
Some bizarre Munro rounds
Hamish Brown also claims a â€œcalendar roundâ€ (climbing a Munro on every day of the year) and was the owner of the first dog to walk a Munro round.
Other Munro rounds have included a Munroist who claims to have danced a jig on every summit.
And in 2014, Richard Lyon, of South Ayrshire, is planning to walk continuously to 150 Munro and Corbett peaks in the north of Scotland playing the fiddle on the top of each. (TheÂ CorbettsÂ are Scotland’s peaks between 2,500 and 3,000 feet high.)
Richardâ€™s project, called Fiddling The Munros, will raise funds for Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow, where he was treated for prostate cancer, and Prostate Cancer UK.
Richard says: â€œI wanted to combine my two hobbies of walking and playing the fiddle in some way â€“ and also raise funds for charity â€“ so Fiddling the Munros is what I have come up with.
â€œI have around two months to dedicate to my project and I have chosen the Munros and Corbetts above the Great Glen as my goal.Â It will be a self-supporting round, and I will transporting myself between each of the mountains on foot or by bike. I will mainly sleep in a tent during the challenge although there will be a dozen or so nights of comfort in B&Bs.â€
Richard has composed a different tune to play on his fiddle at the top of each Munro or Corbett. He says: â€œI started writing fiddle tunes in November 2012 when my grandson Cameron was born in Australia.
â€œSo he got one and then another and then my wife got one, then someone else and it sort of took off from there.
â€œThere’s just short of 800 tunes in the book now but nobody believes this until they see the book. My wife is very clever and it was her idea to write a tune for each summit I’m doing.Â I will play a different tune on my fiddle on each summit.â€
There is a rumour that he has written a tune called Fiona Outdoors’s Reel, but that is as yet unconfirmed.Â Richard has bought a cheap fiddle to take with him and has worked out a way to keep it safe and dry as he walks.
He adds: â€œI am really looking forward to the challenge and while some people think I am off my trolley I think most believe the project is a great idea.â€
Richard is looking for help with funding the walk, which will cost about Â£7,500 for advertising, B&B, food, equipment and fuel for his support vehicle. If you can help or if you would like to sponsor the effort, see Richardâ€™s Fiddling the Munros.
Other Munro tales
Perhaps you are taking on the Munros in a more unusual way â€“ or you know someone who is. Please do get in touch to tell us more.