Thursday, October 11, 2012

#13 Scotland

In January 2012 Torben Wiborg sent me this email:

“I have a 10-year goal to climb all the 1 600 metre named peaks in the ‘old’ Western Cape, as published in the MCSA Journal about 10 years ago.  There are 133 peaks on the list.  In  the past three years I have managed to climb 58 of them... interestingly enough, only 8 peaks on the list require rope work...”
I was reminded of Torben’s letter on our recent trip to the Scottish Highlands, where we came across this cairn on the little pass between the Bridge of Orchy and Glencoe.

I’m sure many MCSA members might be familiar with the cairn; but for the benefit of those who are not, the upper inscription reads:

This Cairn is dedicated to the memory of the many hundreds of mountaineers who have lost their lives climbing Scottish mountains.
They died in a place they loved.
Also in memory of Sir Hugh T. Munro of Lindertis, who prior to his death in 1919 published the “Munro Tables” after a meticulous study of locations and heights of all Scottish Mountains in excess of 3000 ft [914.4 metres].
Thereafter all mountain summits and associated peaks over 3000 ft became known as “Munros” and “Munro Tops” respectively.

The second inscription reads:

Each stone in this cairn was taken from peaks over 3000 ft by W.G.Park and number 795 in total. The headstone is from the ruins of Lindertis House, former home of Sir Hugh Munro.
Cairn built by W.G.Park – May 2000

The rugged Munros might be just a little more than half the height of Torben’s 1600 metre Cape peaks, but they’re at a latitude that would generally freeze the cotton socks off your average African. The memorial is poignant and, in its wild, wild setting at the edge of the Rannoch, Britain’s largest pure wilderness, evocative beyond measure. Do we have similar memorials to the brave souls who have conquered our own Munro’s? Good luck on the 133 “Torbens”, Torben!

– Kaartman, October 2012

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