Mountain Aid – Corbetts for Courses a good cause can you help climb a Corbett in May?

Mountain Aid: the hill walkers’ charity, is excited to announce its May 2019 fundraising initiative Corbetts for Courses. It seems a great idea and I hope to be fit for it and have put my name down for the Corbett. Mountain Aid do a great job for Mountain Safety and I have done their winter talks for the past two years all over Scotland. Please support them if you can and you may get to see some incredible hills. I have put myself down for Beinn na – Uamha all being well.

Mountain Aid….is a volunteer-run Scottish Charity with the objective of promoting mountain safety. A Hill Walkers Charity that promotes training and education in the skills required to enjoy the Scottish hills safely, thereby reducing the likelihood of accidents. We run an annual program of free Navigation, Winter skills and Outdoor first aid training courses. We believe that enhancing your knowledge will keep you safe on the hill and should not be dictated by financial circumstances.

For a day Mountain Aid want to encourage hillgoers to become Corbett Connoisseurs and raise valuable funds to ensure Mountain Aid can continue to offer free skills training and safety lectures.


To get involved:

Join the Mountain Aid Corbetts4Courses Facebook group (or contact them by email)

Choose a Corbett (there’s 222 of them)

Post your chosen Corbett to the Facebook group (or email Mountain Aid)

Climb your Corbett during May and share your summit photo to the group (or email it to Mountain Aid who will post it for you)

Make a donation to Mountain Aid (£10 is suggested but please give what you can).

With your help they hope to put someone on the summit of every Corbett during the month of May. Facebook:


Donate via Paypal at:

 Mountain Aid is a volunteer-run Scottish Charity (SC040294) with the objective of promoting mountain safety.

Mountain Aid activities include:

  • An annual programme of free “experiential” navigation, winter skills and outdoor first aid training courses.
  • A series of free winter mountain safety lectures at venues across the country.
  • Organising Skills for the Hills and Scottish Mountain Safety Days. These exhibition style events offer hill-goers a chance to meet and talk to agencies involved in the great outdoors in Scotland.

Further information on Mountain Aid is available at

The Corbetts are the mountains in Scotland between 2500 and 3000 feet high, with at least 500 feet of descent on all sides.

John Rooke Corbett was a district valuer based in Bristol and a keen member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC) in the years between the two World Wars. He was a distinguished student at Cambridge University and an original member of the Rucksack Club. Corbett was a regular attendee at SMC meets, a committee member and joint editor of the second edition of the Northern Highlands guidebook. He completed the Munros and Tops in 1930, only the second person to do so and, more remarkably, he climbed all Scotland’s 2000ft hills.

Out of this extensive experience and knowledge came Corbett’s eponymous tables in which he listed all those hills of height between 2500ft (762m) and 3000ft (914.4m) with a drop of at least 500ft (152.4m) between each listed hill and any adjacent higher one. In this way the separation between the Corbetts is more clearly defined than is the case with the Munros. The fairly large height drop between Corbetts ensures that they are quite distinct hills, unlike the Munros where the criterion for separation does not involve a rigidly fixed drop between adjacent summits. When Corbett died, his list was passed to the SMC by his sister. As has been the case with the Munros, the list of Corbetts has changed over the years as a result of changes in hill and bealach heights measured by the Ordnance Survey (OS). The present (September 2016) list contains 222 Corbetts.

Hillwalkers who concentrate their efforts entirely on the Munros will be in danger of missing many of the best of Scottish mountains. Height alone is no criterion and there are in the ranks of the Corbetts many peaks of great character, interest and beauty that are the equal of all but a few Munros. Dedicated Munroists in their travels will acquire a detailed knowledge of many parts of the Highlands, but not all. There will be gaps in their knowledge which an exploration of the Corbetts will fill, and this provides another very good reason for climbing these hills. Many a remote and unfrequented Corbett commands summit views of great quality. Exploration can and should be extended still further by climbing some other lower hills which are included in the book and CD-ROM, hills chosen for inclusion by reason of their character and interest.

It would be wrong to think of the Corbetts as ‘lesser’ hills, giving shorter and easier expeditions than the Munros. Many of them, particularly those which rise from near sea-level in the Western and Northern Highlands and the islands and some of the remote hills of the Grampians, give climbs that are long and demanding. Baosbheinn, Beinn Dearg Mhor and Foinaven are just three examples of Corbetts whose traverses are major hillwalking days. The separateness of the Corbetts resulting from the 500ft drop criterion means that there are few instances where three or four or more can be combined in long traverses such as are possible with the Munros. There is only one example in the book and CD-ROM where a traverse of more than three Corbetts is described.

In no part of the mainland do the Corbetts contribute more to the mountainous character of the land than in the Western and Northern Highlands. In Ardgour and Moidart, for example, where there are no Munros, peaks such as Garbh Bheinn, Sgurr Dhomhnuill, Sgurr Ghiubhsachain and Rois-Bheinn dominate the wild landscape. Just to their north, Streap, Bidean a’ Chabhair and Ben Aden yield nothing except a few metres of height to the big peaks of western Lochaber and Knoydart.

In Applecross, Coulin and Torridon the Corbetts may be rather overshadowed by the three great mountains – Beinn Alligin, Liathach and Beinn Eighe, but Beinn Bhan, Fuar Tholl, Beinn Dearg and Baosbheinn are splendid peaks which equally exhibit the classic features of Torridonian mountain.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Charity, Corbetts, Corbetts and other hills, Plants, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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