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Corbett climbing collie close to completion

Posted 11 May 2012
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Corbett climbing collie close to completion
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Most walkers setting out to complete a mountain tick list will be glad to have a good pair of walking boots and will have developed good navigational skills involving Ordnance Survey maps and a compass.

However, one climber set to become a 'compleater' of the Corbetts has never done either of these things - though her owner has.

Molly the collie has accompanied owner and Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCoS) member Ann Butler on hundreds of Munro and Corbett bagging missions during her five years and will complete the latter feat this Saturday (May 12th) when she joins her owner in reaching the 2,904 ft summit of Garbh Bheinn.

MCoS spokesman Mike Dales said: "This dug is a fraction of my age, but she has beaten me to that elusive last Corbett. Well done Molly - give that dug a bone!"

While the Munros list covers Scottish peaks over 3,000 ft in height, the Corbetts - a list drawn up in the 1920s by John Rooke Corbett - covers peaks between 2,500 and 2,999 ft.

The criteria laid down for what constitutes separate mountains in the list is stricter than the vague and subjective "sufficient separation" stipulated by Sir Hugh Munro. For a summit to be a Corbett, it must have at least 500 ft of re-ascent from its nearest higher neighbour.

In total, there are 220 Corbetts, with this number being increased by one in 2009 when a re-survey of Sgurr nan Ceannaichean by Welsh hill sleuths G & J Surveys revealed it was only 2,997 ft, causing it to lose Munro status.

And the next revision of the Munro lists will see another Corbett added, as G & J's investigation of several peaks in the Fisherfield area last year showed Beinn a' Chleibh to be just below 2,999 ft in height, rather than 3,005 as previously measured. If she has not climbed it yet, Molly will still have another Corbett to bag after Saturday.

The Corbetts may be lower than the Munros, but they are spread farther afield. While everything above 3,000 ft lies north of the Highland fault line, there are Corbetts further south, including lowland hills such as Merrick and Cairnsmore of Carsphairn.

But as Molly has shown, dogged climbers can have a great time sniffing them all out.