Munros & Marilyns

At the risk of starting another major argument about the use of Marilyns for SOTA I would like to ask a question if I dare !

In 1997 the Scottish Mountaineering Club set the topographic prominence for Munros at 500’ 152.4m. Dawson also chose the prominence of 150m to define the Marilyns. Therefore why do some Munros not appear on the Marilyn list when by definition of topographic prominence they should.

As I said I am not wanting to start another arguement just get a simple answer if thats possible. Also apoligise if this topic has already been raised before but it may have been before my time.

73 and ducking for cover


I’m no expert on Munros. But I was under the impression that there wasn’t, or didn’t used to be a prominence parameter involved. Maybe there is now, but perhaps hills from pre-1997 are allowed to remain? I’ve heard of “Munro Tops”, which aren’t classed as full Munros and such.

What I do know is that the Marilyns list is a very accurate one, and is updated as soon as a change or correction had been confirmed. Changes occur due to technological advances in the capabilities of surveying equipment and techniques, or due to other things like the discovery of a low col that is not specifically shown on existing maps, or, on the other hand, say, a disused railway cutting that has been filled in.

I think you can have confidence that all Munros that are P150 are already in the Marilyns list Glyn.


In reply to GM4CFS:

Its unwelcome news to me that the SMC in their infinite unwisdom had decided to tamper with the list published by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891, but the last edition I bothered with was 1990; one assumes that the mountains don’t change and there is no need to slavishly buy each new edition.

My guess is that differences between the Marilyn list and the “new, improved” SMC list is due at least partly to that 2.4 metre difference between the metric Marilyns and the Imperial SMCs (you can’t really call them Munros any more!)

73 and standing at the crease!

Brian G8ADD

In reply to GM4CFS:

I actually checked this some years ago with RHB as I could not determine the reason why Cairngorm was not on the RHB list from the available 1:50000 map.

Cairngorm is by RHB classification a subsidiary summit of Ben Macdui as the prominence of Cairngorm is only 147.5m - yet both are on the Munro list. I certainly have no knowledge of SMC reclassifying the Munros to include prominence and if they did I know several “completists” who would be a little put-out, to put it mildly.


Barry GM4TOE

In reply to GM4CFS:

The original Munro list was essentially those Mr Munro chose; the height requirement is 3000 feet and there is no prominence requirement.

Later, the SMC decided to add all peaks in Scotland over 3000 feet high and 500 feet in prominence to the list. However, existing Munros with less prominence were NOT removed.

To be technical, for a peak to be a Munro:

It is necessary that it be Scottish!
It is necessary, but not sufficient, that it be at least 3000 feet high.
Given that it is at least 3000 feet high, it is then sufficient, but NOT NECESSARY, that it has 500 feet of prominence.

Personally, I think the Marilyn list is fine for SOTA.