6 Of The Highest Mountains In Scotland
Scotland is famed for its rugged wilderness, and there is maybe nowhere else in the British Isles that feels as distant from civilisation as at the summit of one of Scotland’s mighty Munros.
Climbing a mountain can bring an incredible sense of achievement, and Munro-bagging - reaching the summit of all 282 of Scotland’s mountains taller than 3,000ft.
But which are the greatest challenges of them all?
We have a look at six of Scotland’s highest Munros, and how difficult each is to scale. Always remember that mountains are dangerous and extreme environments, even in the most favourable of conditions, so always ensure you are fully prepared with the right equipment and research before you tackle any of these.
1. Ben Nevis
Standing at an impressive 1,345m/4,412ft, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK. It can take up to nine hours to complete the mountain track, and up to four and a half hours to ascend to the summit. It’s not an easy stroll, so be prepared. You might feel sore the next day, but the views and sense of achievement make it worth it.
2. Ben Macdui
The second highest mountain in Scotland is Ben Macdui, standing at 1,309m/4,294ft. It is found on the Cairngorm plateau, an arctic environment home to the UK’s only herd of reindeer.
In summer conditions, it should take between six and eight hours to walk, with a staggering ascent of 932m/3,057ft. Be forewarned, the plateau is exposed to all the elements and can be tough to navigate, so you’ll need excellent navigational skills and equipment.
It is argued that Braeriach, also part of the Cairngorms, is the finest of them all. It stands at 1,296m/4,251ft and had a long, ten-hour walk to reach the summit. Its remote location has made it less popular than Ben Nevis and Ben Macdui, but its wilderness creates drama and rugged beauty. A tough walk, but recommended for experienced Munro-baggers.
4. Cairn Toul
Only a few metres shorter than its Cairngorm neighbour Braeriach, Cairn Toul stands at 1,292m/4,325ft. It is usually climbed alongside other neighbouring peaks, but if you’re tackling this one on its own, then you will have a 27km/17 mile-round trip trek. The views are spectacular but expect some rock scrambling.
5. Sgòr an Lochain Uaine
Sgòr an Lochain Uaine is 1,258m/4,127 ft and part of the Cairngorms mountain range. Sgòr an Lochain Uaine means 'peak of the little green loch' which it has on its southeast peak. Some old maps call it The Angel's Peak, and it's usually climbed alongside other Munros like neighbouring Cairn Toul and Braeriach. This route takes around 13 hours and can be split over two days.
6. Cairn Gorm
Cairn Gorm, a mountain so good, they named the whole mountain range after it. Standing at 1,245m/4,085ft, it has a ski centre, restaurant, and funicular railway so is probably the busiest Munro on this list. From the car park, the walk is just under 9km and takes two and a half to three and a half hours.
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