My Munro-bagging efforts have been lacklustre in 2011 (and, for that matter, 2010). Living in England hasn’t helped. I managed 38 in 2009 (at a time when home was Inverness). My Munro count plummeted to a miserable one in 2010 (not including repeat ascents on the bens Nevis and Wyvis), although the one was at least a good one: the Inaccessible Pinnacle.
This year I’ve managed a paltry three: Sron a’Choire Ghairbh and Meall na Teanga, both by virtue of my participation in the Loch Lochy Munros race in June, and, earlier this week, Beinn Narnain (pictured below), The Cobbler’s higher but less illustrious neighbour. I once convinced myself I’d climb all the Munros before I was 30. Yet, here I am, aged 30 and marooned on 62, with further Munro pursuits in the calender year highly unlikely.
Still, at least the Munros got a little easier this week. The Fisherfield peak of Beinn a’Chlaidheimh has been found to be too short for the Munro party, therefore going the way of Sgurr nan Ceannaichean in 2009. Beinn a’Chlaidheimh – 1.5 metres or 6.7ft shy of the necessary mark – has thus been sent packing into the lower reaches of the Corbetts. So where there were 284 Munros two years ago, there are now 282. Time to get updating those guidebooks.
The downgrading of Beinn a’Chlaidheimh has sparked an interesting debate about Scottish 4000ers, Munros and Corbetts in general, not least on the Caledonian Mercury website. It’s a shame to lose any hills from the Munro list – especially, as one commentator has noted, there don’t appear to be any promotions on the horizon – but it does, at least, make my Munro quest a tiny bit easier.