He was the man who literally sparked a mountain of an obsession, but ironically Sir Hugh Munro never climbed all the peaks he logged over 3000 ft.
Now the Munro Society is appealing for help in staging a seminal exhibition in Perth next year to mark the 100th anniversary of mountaineer Sir Hugh’s death.
The creator of the ‘Munros’ list of Scottish mountains over 3000ft died in March 1919, unaware of how much of an obsession he would inspire in the hillwalking world.
There are 282 Munros in Scotland – attracting thousands of Munro Baggers every year.
The Munros were first listed by Sir Hugh in his ‘Munros Tables’, published in the Journal of the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC) in 1891. His list caused quite a stir at the time, as it had previously been thought that there were only around 30 mountains over 3000 feet.
Sir Hugh never managed to complete the ascent of all the summits on his list and it was left to the Rev A E Robertson to complete the first round of the Munros in 1901.
Sir Hugh had been planning to revise his list of Munros and after his death the SMC took over the job of keeping the list up to date.
The first revised edition was published in 1921 and several further changes have since been made – the most recent in 2012.
Recently some doubt has been cast as to whether Rev Robertson was truly the first to complete the round as some researchers believe he may have missed the summit of Ben Wyvis. In 1923 another Reverend, Ronald Burn, became the second Munroist as well as the first person to climb all the subsidiary Tops.
Now the AK Bell Library in Perth has invited The Munro Society to mount an exhibition about Sir Hugh.
The society has decided to broaden the theme to ‘The Munro Legacy’ by tracking what has happened from the birth of ‘The Tables’ and the pioneers through the ensuing decades up to current times. The exhibition is planned for March to May 2019.
David Batty, at The Munro Society, said: “We need to gather appropriate archive material such as photographs and artefacts and are seeking help with selecting what is best to bring the exhibition to life.
“The birth and growth of hill walking and climbing clubs is an important part of the story and we have contacted a few long established clubs to see if they can help. If you have relevant photographs and or artefacts going back to the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, or know of sources of them, we would appreciate being able to tap into them. There are old photographs in various books but copyright problems exist with them and they will already have been seen by readers of those books.
“Pictures of those early days depicting bothies, howffs, camping, hostelling, modes of transport, bus meets with a flavour of the camaraderie of the times, are what will bring the exhibition to life. Artefacts might be more difficult as most of us will have thrown away ‘old gear’ when worn out, but there might be items of interest lurking somewhere.”
Mr Batty stressed that the society is only looking to borrow such items and any of value will be displayed in a safe place in the AK Bell Library and in closed display cabinets. Copyright will be respected.
Anyone who can help can contact David Batty at firstname.lastname@example.org.