On my recent trip to Scotland, I became fascinated with the Scot’s quest for bagging Munros. A Munro is a mountain in Scotland measuring over 3,000 feet above sea level and there are 282 of them. The Munro’s are named after Sir Hugh Munro who first compiled the list in 1891, however he never completed the list himself.
As of 2017, over 6,000 have reported completing all 282 Munro’s with many out there working on their second or third rounds. Steve Fallon of Edinburgh has the record having completed a whopping 15 rounds and he is still out there walking those hills. What makes this accomplishment so amazing is the weather! These peaks may be modest in height, but are often shrouded in thick fog making any ascent a darned near miracle. On a clear day these peaks are absolutely stunning.
Having returned home from my 2017 Euro-Adventure a bit sullen and then viewing Caroline Gleich’s film Follow Through about her goal to ski all 90 ski mountaineering lines mentioned in Andrew McLean’s cult classic guidebook of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, The Chuting Gallery, I needed a little tick list of my own, perhaps my own version of the Munros.
Rumor has it that Utah has more peaks over 10,000 feet than any other state besides Alaska although I cannot find a source for this. With a little research I found out that Utah has 305 recognized peaks over 10,000 feet, this number includes sub-peaks so the number could be less depending on how you want to define peaks. There are sixty-eight 10,000 plus foot peaks in the Wasatch Range meaning that the majority of these peaks lie outside the Salt Lake Valley in places I didn’t even know existed in Utah.
I am calling this list the MunRoos, after Scotland and my dog Roo. Many years ago while chained to my CPM recovering from FAI surgery, I devoured a happy little book called Following Atticus. The author and his Miniature Schnauzer set out to climb all 48 of New Hampshire’s four thousand-foot peaks in one winter despite being overweight and afraid of heights and tiny (the dog). So why not set out on my own little adventure with my dog? I already spend too much time alone with little Roo anyway, we might as well have some sort of goal.
My mission is essentially doomed from the beginning considered dogs aren’t allowed in the canyons containing most of the Wasatch peaks and at the current moment no one is allowed to climb Navajo Mountain, but I like having the list anyway. If a map is a guide to adventure, a list is a guide to the map for even more adventure.
At this point I’ve only hit 15 or so of these peaks, but I am starting fresh and resetting the number to zero. I don’t plan on hitting any of these peaks until next Spring, but we’ll see since skis count!