Munroist in Progress

I’m currently in Scotland for the extended Easter/Royal Wedding/Bank Holiday break, and have been taking advantage of the current unusually fine weather – and a special cheap train fares deal – to make multiple excusions up into the Highlands to indulge in a spot of Munroing – climbing a few of the 283-odd peak in Scotland that are over 3000 feet and so become “Munros”. So far I’ve been twice up on the West Highland Line to Loch Lomond and to Tulloch, and tomorrow, if all goes to plan, I’ll be up in Glen Tilt tomorrow.

If you are ever travelling on the West Highland Line, which by some measures is the world’s most scenic railway, I recommend sitting on the left going up – or the right going back down. With the exception of the Loch Lomond section, the views are generally finer on that side. Particular highlights are the elevated views over Loch Long, Loch Lomond, Loch Tulla and Loch Trieg, and to several of the many mountains – The Cobbler, Ben Lui and Beinn Dorain to name but three. The Cobbler is too low to be a Munro itself, but its three thrilling summits (one requiring a scramble, one requiring an exposed move and one perched above overhanging cliffs) make it far finer than its surrounding Munros. It is one of the classic mountains of Scotland.

Obviously the Glenfinnan Viaduct (hello Harry Potter) and the rest of the section that continues to Mallaig is also incredibly scenic, but I haven’t made it that far this time, partly because there aren’t many Munros that far along and partly because the train takes over five hours to get there from Edinburgh…

The photograph above, which has come out surprisingly well on my geriatric 3-year-old iPhone, was taken on Wednesday and is looking south over to Loch Trieg, from the summit of Beinn Teallach, a mountain which has the dubious distinction of being the lowest of all the Munros.

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