Scotland is famed for its rugged wilderness. And there is perhaps nowhere in the British Isles which feel farther from the bustle of civilisation than at the summit of a mighty munro.
Climbing a mountain brings with it a spectacular sense of achievement. So much so that in Scotland there is a challenge known as ‘munro-bagging’ –reaching the summit of all 282 of Scotland’s mountains which are taller than 3,000ft.
But which are the greatest challenges of them all?
We take a look at the very highest munros in Scotland, and how difficult each one is to climb.
Remember these mountains are dangerous and extreme environments, even in favourable conditions. Make sure you are prepared with the correct equipment and research before you take any of these on.
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1. Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis is the king of the Scottish Highlands. Standing at a whopping 1,345m (4,412ft), it is the highest mountain in the UK. It takes between seven to nine hours to complete the mountain track, and around three and a half to four and half hours ascent to the summit. It should go without saying this is no walk in the park, so come prepared. You'll be sore the next day - but the views and sense of achievement will be immense.
2. Ben Macdui
Ben Macdui is the second highest mountain in Scotland and Britain, at 1,309m (4,294ft). It can be found in the Cairngorm plateau, an arctic environment which is home to Britain's only herd of reindeer. It takes around six to eight hours to walk in summer conditions, with the ascent a staggering 932m (3,057). Be wary as the plateau is exposed to the elements and tough to navigate. If you want to take this on, you'll need top navigational skills and equipment. Not for the faint-hearted or unprepared, and nearby Cairn Gorm is actually said to have better views.
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Braeriach is also in the Caingorms, and it's argued to be the finest of the lot. Standing at 1,296m (4,251ft), it takes a long approach walk to reach its vast summit, about eight to ten hours in favourable conditions. Braeriach is less popular than the previous two due to its remote position, but its wilderness is said to be dramatic and ruggedly beautiful. This is a tough yet incredibly rewarding walk recommended for experienced walkers.
4. Cairn Toul
Another from the Cairngorms, Cairn Toul stands at 1,291m (4,235) - only metres shorter than its neighbour Braeriach. It is often climbed alongside other peaks, but walkers doing it alone will have to trek at least 27km for the round trip. The views from the top are said to be spectacular, but expect some rock scrambling and perhaps a stay in a bothy before you make it to the top.
Photo: Getty/ Canva Pro