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Munros for beginners?

TheChaoticScotTheChaoticScot VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
What a scorcher last Sunday was. I could've had a BBQ in the garden, or gone for a paddle at the beach, but instead I chose to climb my first Munro! It wasn't a particularly pleasurable walk in the heat, but we made it to the top and felt pretty chuffed with ourselves. 

I'm climbing Ben Nevis for charity in August, but plan to continue my 'munro bagging' thereafter, and was wondering if anyone could suggest some non-hardcore Munros to tackle within a 3 hour drive from Edinburgh? Or any that are on a train route? :)


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Comments

  • VisitScotlandIntroVisitScotlandIntro Administrator
    The hill I always hear spoken of as a good 'beginner's Munro' is Ben Arthur (AKA, the Cobbler), which is within driving distance of both Glasgow and Edinburgh, has stunning views, rugged terrain and offers a good challenge while not being too remote.
    It's on my list of places to try out. I even worked out that it's possible to get there by bus, as there's regular Citylink services from Edinburgh > Glasgow > Arrochar.
  • FofomaFofoma Member ✭✭✭
    Schiehallion and Ben Chonzie  both in Perthshire are so called 'easier' Munros. 
  • VisitScotlandAngelaVisitScotlandAngela Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    edited June 2016
    What a view @TheChaoticScot !!

    Here in Balloch Ben Lomond dominates the landscape but I have yet to reach the top!  How long did it take you?
     
  • DMWScotlandDMWScotland VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    @TheChaoticScot Schiehallion in Perthshire was my first Munro last month.

    Good path for the first half, then a boulder field, a few false summits, then the top! There is no trig point. I loved it and it really felt like I was on top of the world! The scenery is just stunning and it's the heart of Scotland.

    Photos on my blog: https://loveexploringscotland.com/2016/05/26/fairy-hill-of-the-caledonians :)
    I blog about places I've explored in Scotland on Love Exploring Scotland  <3
    Follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram  :)
  • CookieCookie Member ✭✭
    edited June 2016
    My daughter did her first Munro the other weekend. Her boyfriend persuaded her to start off with Ben Wyvis just north of Inverness. Part of her My Peak Challenge to get fit and raise money for charity started by Sam Heughan aka Jamie Fraser in Outlander. Apparently it is an easy one to do. They posted a photo of themselves at the top on Instagram and my daughter was thrilled to have a comment posted on her photo by the gorgeous Sam Heughan. 
  • DMWScotlandDMWScotland VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    @Cookie me too! My Munro was for My Peak Challenge  :)
    I blog about places I've explored in Scotland on Love Exploring Scotland  <3
    Follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram  :)
  • LeodhasachLeodhasach Member ✭✭
    The hill I always hear spoken of as a good 'beginner's Munro' is Ben Arthur...
    S'not a Munro I'm afraid. It's a Corbett.  :)

    Although that shouldn't take anything away from it being a fine hill. In fact I try and climb hills on their own merit rather than whether they're on a particular list. Some of the Munros are mind numbing slogs, I'm looking at you Ben Chonzie!

    To the OP, 'non-hardcore' probably comes with the caveat that the weather can be anything but! When I started out on the hills I was exploring the Trossachs and surrounding areas. Ben Ledi, Ben A'an, Ben Vorlich and Lomond were all pretty straightfoward in some stunning countryside. Another good non-technical round to do is Cairngorm and the Northern Corries. You get a head start because the carpark is so high and you have the option of Ben Macdui if you have time. The plateau can be tricky to navigate if the clag sets in but it's a great day out. 

    Just watch out for the Big Grey Man  :)

    For music reviews and previews in Inverness and the Highlands: http://invernessgigs.co.uk/
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  • TheChaoticScotTheChaoticScot VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    What a view @TheChaoticScot !!

    Here in Balloch Ben Lomond dominates the landscape but I have yet to reach the top!  How long did it take you?
     
    Hi Angela,

    It took us 5.5 hours up and down, but that was with a picnic stop and at a slow pace given the heat. I reckon most people would do it much quicker!
    Follow my adventures on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram 

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    Former tour guide and current blether. Edinburgh girl whose <3 is in the Scottish Islands. Talk to me about scenic walks, photography, places to eat, public transport, exciting adventures and history  :)
  • TheChaoticScotTheChaoticScot VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    @TheChaoticScot Schiehallion in Perthshire was my first Munro last month.

    Good path for the first half, then a boulder field, a few false summits, then the top! There is no trig point. I loved it and it really felt like I was on top of the world! The scenery is just stunning and it's the heart of Scotland.

    Photos on my blog: https://loveexploringscotland.com/2016/05/26/fairy-hill-of-the-caledonians :)
    I'll definitely add this to my list Dawn. Well done on completing your first - and on your amazing weight loss! 

    Great blog - the photos are stunning and I love the birds eye view of Craigh na Dun  :) 
    Follow my adventures on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram 

    Have a wee nosey at my blog  

    Former tour guide and current blether. Edinburgh girl whose <3 is in the Scottish Islands. Talk to me about scenic walks, photography, places to eat, public transport, exciting adventures and history  :)
  • TheChaoticScotTheChaoticScot VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭

    Cookie said:
    My daughter did her first Munro the other weekend. Her boyfriend persuaded her to start off with Ben Wyvis just north of Inverness. Part of her My Peak Challenge to get fit and raise money for charity started by Sam Heughan aka Jamie Fraser in Outlander. Apparently it is an easy one to do. They posted a photo of themselves at the top on Instagram and my daughter was thrilled to have a comment posted on her photo by the gorgeous Sam Heughan. 
    I've noted your suggestion, thanks  :) Well done to your daughter, especially on the interaction with Sam Heughan  ;)
    Follow my adventures on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram 

    Have a wee nosey at my blog  

    Former tour guide and current blether. Edinburgh girl whose <3 is in the Scottish Islands. Talk to me about scenic walks, photography, places to eat, public transport, exciting adventures and history  :)
  • TheChaoticScotTheChaoticScot VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    Thanks very much for the suggestions @Leodhasach - all are noted  :)
    Follow my adventures on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram 

    Have a wee nosey at my blog  

    Former tour guide and current blether. Edinburgh girl whose <3 is in the Scottish Islands. Talk to me about scenic walks, photography, places to eat, public transport, exciting adventures and history  :)
  • EwanEwan VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭

    @TheChaoticScot Some 'easier' munros (in height terms - noting @Leodhasach's warning that you need to be prepared for conditions on all hills) would be: The Cairnwell group (Glenshee), Schiehallion, Fionn Bheinn, both Ben Vorlichs (Loch Earn & Loch Lomond), Mayar & Driesh, and Mount Keen.

    This listing of most popular munros (among hill-baggers) might be of use.

    On the subject of munros accessible by public transport, in theory 75% are possible.  However, you need to have lots of time at your disposal to do this.  My blog post gives more details but these are the pick of the bunch for me:

    • take the  Citylink bus to Fort William from Glasgow and get off at Sloy Power Station to climb Ben Vane.  There’s a visitor centre here with a cafe and toilets while you’re waiting for the return bus;
    • take either the train or Citylink bus to Bridge of Orchy to climb Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh, both immediately accessible, and have a pint and a bite to eat at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel afterwards;
    • climb Ben Cruachan and Stob Diamh from the Falls of Cruachan rail station on the Glasgow to Oban line.  A Citylink bus also plies this route.  This gives you around 8 hours to climb the hills;
    • take Stagecoach bus 41 to Glen Nevis Youth Hostel from Fort William to climb Ben Nevis via the ‘tourist track’;
    • climb A’Bhuidheanach Bheag and Carn na Caim via the train or Citylink bus from Dalwhinnie (there are another 5 munros in this area which involve a walk of up to 6km each way);
    • climb Sgurr Thuilm and Sgurr nan Coireachan from Glenfinnan Station on the West Highland line between Fort William and Mallaig;
    • after staying at Glen Shiel Youth Hostel overnight, persuade a friendly hosteller to drop you at the layby in Glen Shiel (near the 1719 battle sign) to climb the Five Sisters (ie the North Glen Shiel Ridge), walking back to the Youth Hostel (I’ve done this).  Or from the layby, walk the South Glen Shiel Ridge and then take the Skye/Glasgow Citylink bus home from the Cluanie Inn;
    • take the train to Achnasheen Station to climb Fionn Bheinn.

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  • DMWScotlandDMWScotland VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    @TheChaoticScot Schiehallion in Perthshire was my first Munro last month.

    Good path for the first half, then a boulder field, a few false summits, then the top! There is no trig point. I loved it and it really felt like I was on top of the world! The scenery is just stunning and it's the heart of Scotland.

    Photos on my blog: https://loveexploringscotland.com/2016/05/26/fairy-hill-of-the-caledonians :)
    I'll definitely add this to my list Dawn. Well done on completing your first - and on your amazing weight loss! 

    Great blog - the photos are stunning and I love the birds eye view of Craigh na Dun  :) 
    Thanks @ChaoticScot! It has been a new journey of discovering myself too this year! I look forward to reading about your hike!
    I blog about places I've explored in Scotland on Love Exploring Scotland  <3
    Follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram  :)
  • SneckySnecky Member
    Hi I climbed Ben Nevis yesterday (June 11th) :-) as part of MPC.
    I climbed my first munro last year... We chose Ben Wyvis as it is one of the easiest to climb. I can see it from my house and I've always wanted to climb it. Sam Heughan climbed Ben Wyvis in January 2014, ( in the snow and ice) when he visited Inverness, however we waited until September and had a beautiful day for a climb. 
  • TheChaoticScotTheChaoticScot VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    Thanks so much @Ewan - this is very useful  :)
    Follow my adventures on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram 

    Have a wee nosey at my blog  

    Former tour guide and current blether. Edinburgh girl whose <3 is in the Scottish Islands. Talk to me about scenic walks, photography, places to eat, public transport, exciting adventures and history  :)
  • TheChaoticScotTheChaoticScot VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    How did you find Ben Nevis @Snecky? I've still got a couple of months to train for it. 
    Follow my adventures on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram 

    Have a wee nosey at my blog  

    Former tour guide and current blether. Edinburgh girl whose <3 is in the Scottish Islands. Talk to me about scenic walks, photography, places to eat, public transport, exciting adventures and history  :)
  • VisitScotlandNikkiVisitScotlandNikki Administrator, VisitScotland Staff
    I'm actually quite jealous - not tackled a Munro yet myself but must admit I am very tempted and must get it on the list of things to do this summer!

    These all sound like great places to start - but what about clothing/gear to take with you - what would everyone recommend to a first-timer?
  • LeodhasachLeodhasach Member ✭✭
    @VisitScotlandNikki ;

    Get yourself a decent pair of boots, they don't need to heavy clunky leather ones either. There's a good selection of lightweight and robust boots out there. I bought a pair of Merrells that have been brilliant and have done well during some typically 'scottish' days out. I even know guys that do summer hillwalking in trail-shoes/approach shoes although the down side of those is there's a little less ankle support and if it's wet then your feet are more likely to get soaked! A decent base layer, waterproof shell and walking trousers would be the next on your list. You don't need to spend £££££ on fancy Arcterxy or Patagucci but you do tend to find the quality improves the more you spend. 

    My first days on the hill were spent in a pair of Brasher boots, a Peter Storm waterproof and fleece and a pair of cargo trousers from a cheap shop in Glasgow! That got me through my first summer without too much grief, although the waterproof was showerproof at best! A day rucksack is essential to carry food, water and spare clothes and a map and compass too of course! The best thing you can do is to go with someone who has a reasonable amount of experience and they can hopefully pass on some hillcraft and compass/map reading skills.  
    For music reviews and previews in Inverness and the Highlands: http://invernessgigs.co.uk/
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  • VisitScotlandMurielVisitScotlandMuriel Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Located a short distance from Pitlochry, Ben Vrackie was a nice Corbett to try for a fist timer like myself (only 75 meters short of a Munro) with an easy path to start, a beautiful Loch then quite a steep climb to the top. Beautiful views and I was lucky enough to have good weather for it at the end of March with 2 friends.
    Take plenty of layers (and waterproofs) as you can get hot while walking but it's likely to be chilly and very windy at the top. You don't need to invest in expensive gear - I borrowed everything from my son's scouting expeditions!!  :D
  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    I loved Mayar and Dreish in Angus which you reach via the stunning Corrie Fee. A fairly easy walk to bag both.  I liked Chonzie too. Gorgeous views from the top and Comrie is a lovely wee town for a well earned lunch afterwards. Loved Schiehallion but my legs ached next day from stepping over those giant, never ending boulders at the top third of the mountain.  
    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • FofomaFofoma Member ✭✭✭
    I agree with @Leodhasach - decent boots are a must. Look for ones with a Vibram sole you need all the shock absorbance you can get. I have Karrimor boots at the moment which didn't cost me an arm and a leg and they are great. Because I am old and a bit creaky I also invested in a pair of good insoles and they help tremendously. Don't go mad though - you may not enjoy it and then end up with all this stuff languishing at the back of your wardrobe! Clothing made from quick drying material is a good idea too...there is nothing worse than tramping the hills in wet clothing. Do not wear jeans as when they are wet....they stay wet! Gaiters and waterproof trousers are also an essential. Best bet is to start off on smaller hills and gain experience before you head for the big ones. 
  • AmyNessAmyNess Member ✭✭
    Hello @VisitScotlandNikki! Very exciting you're planning your first Munro :)

    I totally agree with @Leodhasach ;and @Fofoma ;above re. proper boots (no trainers!), layers of quick drying material (no jeans!), a good waterproof, and maps/ directions. I too now buy cheaper walking boots (rocks like gabbro eat boots, no matter how much they cost!) but a good pair of insoles can transform boots quite cheaply. 

    Just a couple more things:
    1. A comfy hiking rucksack for food, plenty of water, maps, etc. I'd definitely recommend a proper one that supports around your waist/ chest as well as over your shoulders for more even support/ comfort. It's a long way to carry kit in a sports rucksack just on your shoulders. 

    2. A buff (piece of lightweight stretchy fabric sewn into a tube). Sounds simple, but super useful and cheap. I wouldn't go out hiking without (at least) one now! I use mine for all sorts depending on what I need - windproof round my neck, headband (for hot or cold!), hairband, balaclava (protection from cold and beasties!), and even once as a bikini top to cool off in a loch when too hot! You can pick them up for less than £15. 

    3. Don't forget, it's also a good idea to tell someone when/ where you're going, and when you anticipate getting back down :) 
  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Not sure if anyone's mentioned it yet re equipment but always make sure you have a tick remover with you and know hiw to use it.  It's an invaluable piece of kit.

    I'd also back up the good boot comments.  Mine are currently North Face goretex and they keep my feet nice and dry.

    Also know how to read a compass and map and know how to use them. Don't rely solely on a devise which could run out of battery. 

    Munros are fantastic fun to climb but remember too some of our finest hills aren't Munros so don't overlook them.  Hills like the Cobbler, Ben A'an and Stac Pollaidh are all beautiful. 
    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • VisitScotlandNikkiVisitScotlandNikki Administrator, VisitScotland Staff
    Thanks very much everyone - some great suggestions and things to watch out for from you all. Most important thing for me and something we're always aware of when talking about hill walking in Scotland is safety first!

    Hopefully at some point over the summer I'll be enjoying amazing views like these on Ben Lomond thanks to all your pointers!


  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    In Angus we have the beautiful Mount Keen. the most easterly munro.  Drive up Glen Esk from Edzell to the car park beyond Tarfside.  Follow the track signposted Ballater which follows the Ladder Burn where you will pass the Queen's Well. After the path rises up uou reach a clear split in the track and the right hand one will take you to the summit of Mount Keen (939m) Another starter munro is Broad Cairn out of Glen Doll.  Drive to the Glen Doll car park and follow the path towards Loch Muick via Bachnagairn.  Once on the plateau a track leads off to the left up to Broad Cairn ( 998m).  Both these munros are on the OS44.  I've done them both so they can't be difficult! We did get a blizzard on Broad Cairn one year in late June though! 

  • bronzebronze Member
    edited June 2016
    Hi theChaoticScot
    I hope you don't mind me crashing your thread

    I'm hoping to climb my first Munro this summer and was wondering if anyone thought any of the ones on the Corrour estate were doable as that's where we're staying. I'm not a complete and utter novice in that when I can I walk up the odd hillock. For example last weekend I was up Berwyn and Bronwen in Wales. I'm just limited for opportunity as I live in Norfolk.
     I don't know much about the Munros though and don't want to challenge myself with anything unmanageable. Especially as I'll probably be on my own. 
    Thanks in advance
  • LeodhasachLeodhasach Member ✭✭
    The Corrour estate Munros are reasonably remote so probably not ones to tackle if you're on your own and still relatively inexperienced. They're not the most exciting of hills to climb though so shouldn't provide any technical challenges.

    http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/sgor-gaibhre.shtml
    For music reviews and previews in Inverness and the Highlands: http://invernessgigs.co.uk/
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@leodhasach
  • SneckySnecky Member
    @TheChaoticScot  it wasn't too hard climbing up, we took our time and stopped often for food and water breaks...it was a cloudy day but very humid so we had to take our layers off...but a the top it was cooler and lots of snow still around.
    It was harder on the way down as it's all little rocks and you are concentrating more as you need to watch your step. (the back of my legs hurt for a couple of days after). Just take it slow and steady and remember it's not a race! 
  • bronzebronze Member
    @Leodhasach it was technical difficulty that was my main worry. We're staying next to one of them so even though I'll be on my own when walking I'll have someone to call help if I don't come back or something. Thanks, that's a great help. I'm going to go for it. 
  • HayleyforsonHayleyforson Member ✭✭
    I think they have all been mentioned above but I would agree the following munros are definitely achievable and within easy reach of Edinburgh; Schiehallion (particularly easy. We had severe fog when we climbed it, but apparently the views are amazing on a good day!), Ben Vorlich (in Perthshire) is challenging but definitely rewarding and there are a couple of other munros in the area you could tackle together if you're feeling fit. Ben Lomond is also very scenic but we did it in winter, which I wouldn't advise unless you are well prepared! We definitely didn't have the right kit so it was a bit scary, but I'm sure it's lovely in summer & autumn! 
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