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MSP Completes Munro challenge

Posted 10 July 2012
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MSP Completes Munro challenge
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A member of the Scottish parliament has completed the task of climbing all the Scottish Munros.

Liz Smith MSP, the Conservative list member for Mid Scotland and Fife, has just climbed her 283rd peak - Slioch - some 30 years after her first ascent, when she reached the summit of Ben Nevis, the Caledonian Mercury reports.

She told the paper she had no plans at the time to claim all the summits, but the idea grew in her mind as she made more ascents.

Ms Smith added: "I have had the privilege to climb in the company of some wonderful colleagues and young people and I have also had the privilege to see some of the most outstanding scenery in the world, both of which make bagging Munros a very special experience - just so long as the well-known Scottish mist doesn’t get in the way."

The paper noted that she is certainly the first Conservative MSP to complete the bagging list, with the other politicians to do so being Labour men based at Westminster.

Among these are former cabinet minister Chris Smith (now Lord Smith of Finsbury), Alan Haworth (now Lord Haworth of Fisherfield), a former secretary of the parliamentary Labour party, plus Murray Elder (now Lord Elder), who was once a special adviospr to Scottish secretary Donald Dewar.

And while some politicians have enjoyed swapping their red boxes for walking boots, Ms Smith has gone further in her endeavours, raising over £7,000 for charities like the John Muir Trust, Mountain Bothies Association and RNLI.

Anyone climbing the Munros over the past 30 years will have encountered some changes to the list, with the last revision in 1997 increasing the number from 277 to 284.

Eight new peaks were regarded as having "sufficient separation" from neighbouring higher peaks to count as mountains in their own right. However, that revision also saw Sgurr an Iubhair in the Mamores de-listed, having only been promoted to Munro status in 1981.

And in 2009, a re-survey of Sgurr nan Ceannaichean found it was just below 3,000 ft in height, leading to its removalfrom the list. At the next revision, Bienn a' Chleibh is set to suffer the same fate, having been identified last year as being a foot too low.