The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

The dark history of Scots hill bagging


Stuchd an Lochain has a claim to have the first recorded Munro ascent in Scotland – 300 years before the concept of Munros was devised!

Author Ronald Turnbull, in his book Walking Highland Perthshire, tells of how, in 1590, local laird Mad Colin Campbell of Meggernie climbed the hill with his faithful ghillie.

However Mad Colin, or Cailean Gorach in Gaelic, wasn’t interested in bagging peaks; rather he wanted to chase a herd of wild goats off the summit cliffs to their deaths in Lochan nan Cat below.

Not content with killing goats, Mad Colin is said to have then ordered his ghillie to leap from the cliffs. The poor man asked he be allowed to kneel to pray first – and then pushed Colin over the edge when his boss turned his back!

Cameron McNeish also recounts the tale in his book The Munros.

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