In Scotland, a mountain that is more than 3000 feet high (914m) is called a Munro. There are about 282 Munros in the British Isles… and “Climbing a Munro” is kind of a big thing in Scotland.
Actually, let me clarify, Munro Climbing is a big thing in my husband’s family, so since our kids were in Scotland for the first tine, there was a strong Scottish desire to pass on the flame.
The highest and most well known Munro is Ben Nevis, which sits at 1,346m (4,414 ft).
We tackled Ben More, which is 966m (3,169 ft). And just to give you a bit of perspective, I’ve climbed Ben More twice in 2002, when my husband and I were last in Scotland together.
Off we went!
The weather wasn’t great at the start, it was a bit overcast, windy and it rained on us too.
At least the clouds stayed off the peak, so we had a clear view of our target.
The ground wasn’t all flat grassy slopes, as the picture suggests.
Some parts were rocky, uneven, slippery, wet, muddy and some parts were just over grown with ferns – taller than my 7 year old!
There’s our target!
To tell the truth, we didn’t plan to climb to the very top. It takes about 3-4 hours to climb to the top, meaning 8-9 total hours for the kids, including rest stops.
The weather was quite unsettled on this day, so we started late in the day. Therefore in order to have a good experience, we decided to stick to a 3.5 hour climb only and a 3 hour descent.
We didn’t want to risk being stuck on the mountain with three tired kids in the cold wind and rain, and 2 hours left to walk. That would have been a bad experience for everyone!
We would stop every 30 minutes, have a snack and enjoy the view.
Yep, the views were spectacular! We could see our car parked by the side of the road.
Imagine walking up some steps for 3.5 hours… then throw in lots of loose dirt, slippy rocks and ankle-twisting grass tufts.
It was challenging and so much fun.
I really enjoyed myself!!
Did I mention that the views were spectacular?!
As you can probably tell, I took sooooo many photos.
My kids were champs. They all did so well.
And this was our highest point. As we suspected the weather had turned and it became much colder and windier. Clouds were skimming the peak.
We had climbed 2/3 of Ben More. The top looked so close!
Perhaps we could have climbed for another hour to the top, but it would have added another 2 hours for the trip down.
Besides, if the top got covered in cloud, we wouldn’t be able to see anything. And depending on how thick the clouds were, there was a possibility that visibility would drop to 1 metre and someone might lose their footing and fall down a cliff?? No thanks.
Like I said, we decided to enjoy the view and be thrilled about how far we had come.
We took lots of silly family selfies, noisy videos, and epic panorama photos.
I love this photo I took of my kids taking a nap on top of the mountain haha.
On the way down, I spotted this perfect thistle – the national flower of Scotland.
And I took this postcard-perfect photo of the humble, prickly weed!
All up, it was a 7 hour adventure of a lifetime and an absolute highlight of our trip.
Maybe our family will come back in the not so distant future and do the whole climb to the top.