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Munroists have one less to do

Posted 14 September 2012
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Munroists have one less to do
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This month has brought confirmation of what has been known by some since last year - there are really only 282 Munros.

Last year, a new study using ultra-accurate GPS-based equipment by J and G Surveys, consisting of three Welsh hill sleuths, found Beinn a'Chlaidheimh was just short of the 3,000 ft height mark.

The Scottish Mountaineering Club did not immediately confirm that the mountain was no longer a Munro and instead one of the Corbetts (peaks between 2,500 and 2,999 ft), but has now done so following official confirmation of the mountain's height on all new Ordnance Survey maps.

Until 1974, the peak had been listed as a Corbett, but a survey that year suggested it was in fact 3,005 ft, rather than 913.96 ft (2,998.5 ft) as it has now been revealed to be.

This is due to the aerial surveying method of the Ordnance Survey having a margin of error of several feet.

It is because of this that the Welsh trio - John Barnard, Graham Jackson and Myrddyn Phillips – have spent much of the last few years re-surveying summits around the margins of varying height marks.

Starting by proving Mynydd Craig Goch on Snowdonia's Nantlle Ridge is indeed 2,000 ft in height, their work has included many studies of peaks around the Corbett/Munro boundary margin.

The one other peak to have its status altered was Sgurr nan Ceannaichean in 2009, which was found to be 2,997 ft, rather than the previously surveyed 3,002 ft.

Other near-misses included Beinn Teallach, which was discovered to be a Munro by a mere 20 centimeteres, while other members of the 3,000 club such as Ben Vane were actually shown to be higher than originally thought, as was Tryfan in Snowdonia.

Similarly, a number of the highest Corbetts have been revealed to be still below 3,000 ft, including Bienn Dearg and Sgurr a' Coire-bheithe. Foinaven, which was previously listed at 2,999 ft and would have replaced Ben Hope as the northernmost Munro if it had been high enough, was actually shown to be inaccurately surveyed and is in fact 2,988 ft.

While there may be one less Munro, doing them all still amounts to a grand challenge that will test those who love to go walking and climbing in the Highlands and Islands, while also providing countless hours of enjoyment.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801449179-ADNFCR