The five tallest Munros in Scotland

Ben Nevis, the tallest peak in the British Isles, is the best-known Munro. Picture: Craig Cameron

Ben Nevis, the tallest peak in the British Isles, is the best-known Munro. Picture: Craig Cameron

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A MUNRO, as any hillwalker will tell you, is a Scottish mountain with a height of more than 3000ft.

The name comes from Sir Hugh Munro, a well-known Victorian mountaineer who published a list of the nation’s tallest peaks, Munros Table, in 1891.

The remote slopes of Ben Macdui, the second highest peak in the UK

The remote slopes of Ben Macdui, the second highest peak in the UK

The number of mountains with a height of more than 3000ft was previously a subject of great debate among climbers, with estimates ranging from the low 30s to more than 230.

A 2012 revision by the Scottish Mountaineering Club found there are 282 Munros, and a further 227 further subsidiary tops - summit that is not regarded as a separate mountain and which is over 3,000 feet.

BEN NEVIS (Lochaber, 4,409ft / 1344m)

The tallest peak in the British Isles and the most famous Munro of them all. Ben Nevis is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic Beinn, meaning mountain, and Nibheis, which is variously translated as either malicious or venomous. An estimated 100,000 people ascend the mountain each year, mainly in the summer months. The cliffs of its north face provide rock climbing challenges for mountaineers of all abilities. An observatory at its summit was manned continuously from 1883 and 1904 before being abandoned. It has recently become a venue for extreme skiing.

BEN MACDUI (Aberdeenshire/Moray, 4,295ft / 1,309m)

Tradition dictates that the UK’s second tallest mountain takes its name from Duncan II, Earl of Fife and chief of Clan MacDuff (Mac Duibh in Gaelic). The peak is said to mark the western boundary of lands the medieval nobleman won in battle in 1187. Ben Macdui lies at the southern edge of the Cairn Gorm range. Am Fear Liath Mòr - the Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui - a mythical creature sometimes compared to the Yeti, is said to haunt the mountain’s summit.

BRAERIACH (Aberdeenshire, 4,252ft / 1,296m)

The highest peak in the western massif of the Cairngorms is separated from Ben Macdui by the pass of the Lairig Ghru. One of the corries on its northern face, Garbh Choire Mor, contains the most durable snow in Scotland. It has been snow-free on just five recorded occasions since the 1700s.

CAIRN TOUL (Aberdeenshire, 4,236ft / 1,291m)

Another giant of the Cairngorms, found in the same range as Braeriach. A bealach, or mountain pass, links the two peaks at 1125m above sea level. Cairn Tourl translates as Hill of the Barn and is often climbed in conjunction with other mountains in the range.

SGOR AN LOCHAIN UAINE (Aberdeenshire, 4,127ft / 1,258m)

The Peak of the Green Lochan lies between its taller neighbours Braeriach and Cairn Toul in the western massif of the Cairngorms. Some older maps refer to it as The Angel’s Peak, a 19th century name which has now fallen largely out of us.

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