The Munro Tops – some classic days especially with a dog !

There are 227 subsidiary summits over 3,000ft in Scotland, but which aren’t included in the main Munros list. First published by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. Munro Tops are considered to be a subsidary top of a nearby Munro.

I wish I had realised about the Munro Tops when chasing my Munro’s in the early 70,s it was later on when I got my dog Teallach it became a just a bit more fun and as I was chasing the tops and no one else would come with us.

Many of my hill companions would head off leaving us to it a wee top in the distance “why bother ?” Poor Teallach had no option.

Yet that journey of the tops was eased by knowing we might as well do them when Teallach was on his Munro Round! We might as well get these tops done. I was at the time chasing fitness for some big hill days and these extra tops at the end of the day helped.

We were lucky being at RAF Kinloss for a period covering the North of Scotland and RAF Leuchars in Fife covering Southern Scotland. Most weekends at least one day was bagging Munro’s and tops in all weathers . So we had the hills covered. It led to a bit more planning for weekends and weekend breaks.

Going for the tops It often led to longer days and some really interesting days. Great views where we were often alone. I often wondered what Teallach thought as we sat and looked when the weather allowed and even Teallach had a wee nap.

These are the best Munro tops some of the ones I remember : one was the Am Bastier tooth in Skye . I heard it’s status was in doubt as a Munro top a few years ago . But the result, that the Basteir Tooth is still a top pleased me. The result was confirmed by Ordnance Survey recently is that the Tooth is 917.16m (3,009ft)

I found that Am Basteirs tooth was harder than the In Pin in my mind, mainly to get my dog off. Skye is hard going on the dog paws especially a big one like Teallach but he always found a route and was so sure footed . Even Teallach after a few days in Skye on the gabbro his paws would hurt. He would be rewarded by sitting in the sun watching us climb on a crag or swimming . The nine Munro tops on Skye are all great hills but hard going.

Another great top is Meall Dearg on Liathach that was a bit of a winter epic in places but what a mountain to be on . In summer it’s loose in places. It is an incredible Corrie and ridge so Alpine at time’s and well worth the effort. The descent from the main ridge can be loose and the Torridon team had a tragic accident here in the past.

Heading to Meall Dearg Liathach.

Lurg Mor – We had many a great weekend out on these remote hills one with two young lads. Sleeping high on the tops doing some cracking Munro’s and tops. The far top of Lurg Mor not be the hardest,but Meall Mor which as is the outlying top of Lurg Mhor will test the most ardent of top baggers. It is about 800 metres from the summit of Lurg Mhor its an interesting scramble.

After a long day you are left with the hike out to the end of the ridge to take in that one in. We then walked down the tight ridge and along to the Loch Monar past Piat Lodge and back to Strathfarrar. I have done that classic day a few times.

A couple of other Tops that might involve a bit of scrambling are the South Top on Ben More Assynt. We did this on our South to North Walk what a spectacular Corrie. Coming back can be tricky as it can involve some hard navigation.

Jim Morning – The scramble on Ben More Assynt.

Kintail has some great tops and the top on the Forcan ridge Sgur Forcan is a grand way up onto The Saddle. What a summit.

On the other side Mullach Fraoch Choire and Tighe Mor na Seilge at the back end of Kintail has some crackers. This is remote country

An Teallach- 7 Munro tops classic scrambling and views yet many miss them as the two Munro’s are easily done on a good day. What a mountain how many miss these great summits. Lord Berkeley’s seat what a “wow factor”

Beinn Eighe – 4 tops a classic outing especially if you include the tops. The tops give some insight into the size of this mountain. They can also introduce new ways up this Torridon giant. Go visit these high place syou will not be disappointed.

What’s your favourite Munro top ? Comments welcome.

Sail Mhor and the superb Tripple Buttress.

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 Articles, Books, Islands, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, Munros, People, Recomended books and Guides, Views Mountaineering, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

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