Bag a Munro


Bag a Munro this Autumn

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to conquer Scotland's Munros, a list of Scottish mountains which are named after Sir Hugh T Munro, who surveyed and catalogued them in 1891. Climbing these peaks is a great way for experienced walkers to explore some of Scotland's finest scenery and further-flung locations.

Neil Patterson, Manager at our Goil Inn, is a keen hiker and has some advice for guests looking to explore Scotland’s peaks.

There are many great Mountains in Argyll which makes choosing a favourite difficult.  Around this time last year, I was leading a group of nine to the summit of Ben Nevis via Carn Mor Dearg and the Carn Mor Dearg Arete.  What a day that was!  This was the culmination of a twelve-week programme I created called ’Sofa to Summit’.  As part of this programme, our group walked every Wednesday with our ‘Wednesday Wander’.  The smaller hills which make up the Arrochar Alps were perfect for what we were looking for.  Easy access from Glasgow.  Steep enough to provide a challenge but short enough to allow us to get back home at a reasonable time, most of the time.

Summit of Beinn Dubh looking across to Ben Vane. This was taken on a bright and sunny 11th June.

I won’t lie, I was a ‘Munro snob’ and wouldn’t consider a hill that wasn’t on Sir Hugh’s list, but this challenge exposed me to some fantastic smaller hills, and I realised I had been missing out.  They can still provide a challenge, be as much fun, less busy and views to match the best Munro’s.

Having said that, we are fortunate to have several impressive Munro’s in the Argyll area.  They can be climbed individually and provide all you need for a good day out.  The more adventurous might want to combine with other hills in the area to create an epic day adventure.

Summit of Ben Vane looking across Loch Lomond to Ben Lomond.

If I had to pick a favourite in the area (and I do for this article), it would be Ben Vane.  At 915 metres, it only just makes the Munro list but do not underestimate the steep and rocky challenge this mountain provides.  There is ample car parking and facilities at Inveruglas Visitor Centre or if you are staying at our Loch Lomond Holiday Park, you can access this walk from here.  There is a good track with easy walking and impressive views of Ben Vorlich.  After around 3km the real fun begins.  There is a very good path but you have an unrelenting 715 metre climb ahead.  Be prepared to get hands on, especially for the final section which leads you on to the summit plateau.  You will be rewarded with fine panoramic views across the Arrochar Alps, Loch Lomond and the mountains of the North.

Summit of Ben Vane looking back across to Beinn Dubh.

Most hikers will re-trace their steps for the return but there is the possibility of extending your day by carrying on and climbing some of the attached peaks.  Whatever you choose.  Whatever the weather.  You will have a good day in the Scottish mountains.

Remember.  “Determination!  It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves!” - Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Mt. Everest

Summit of Ben Vane on a wet, windy and very cold 10th June this year.

Even in summer the Scottish mountains can be a challenging environment. Check out Mountaineering Scotland’s section on safety and skills to learn more about the equipment you'll need and the skills and knowledge you should acquire to be safe and self-sufficient in the mountains.

Once qualified, Neil plans on offering guided walks to local summits with various route options available. We here at Argyll Holiday’s wish Neil all the best in his upcoming exams and cannot recommend him enough for any of our guests looking for a mountaineer guide for their next hike.

Keep up with Neil’s upcoming hiking adventures through his Website or socials @mountainguidescotland on Instagram and Facebook. Plenty of great routes and stunning photography from the summit of Argyll’s majestic mountains.


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