Hill Classifications

So what is all this hill terminology about anyway? Well, here goes…

Official Terminology

A Munro is a Scottish mountain over 3000ft, on a list originally created by Sir Hugh Munro, and subsequently fiddled about with by the Scottish Mountaineering Council. Unfortunately this included classifying the Inaccessible Pinnacle on Skye as a Munro, which Sir Hugh himself had put firmly in the ‘too difficult’ box.

A Corbett is a Scottish hill over 2500ft with a drop and reascent of 500ft (150m) on all sides. List complied by John Rooke Corbett.

A Graham is a Scottish 2000 footer again with 500ft/ 150m drop. List compiled by Fiona Graham. Bit of a theme here..

A Wainwright is any hill included in A. Wainwright’s pictorial guides to the Lakeland fells. These are great because they have no height criteria or drop and reascent criteria. Some – e.g. Helvellyn – are classics: others you have to wonder why he classed them as hills. But I’m not complaining!

A Hewitt is an acronym for a Hill in England and Wales In excess of Two Thousand (feet)

A Marilyn is a hill of any height with a drop and re-ascent of 150m to an adjacent higher hill. There are currently over 1500 of these and only a few people have ever finished the list. This is because two of them are fiendishly difficult St Kilda sea stacks (which are a bugger to get to as well as actually climb). Anyone who does more than 600 is listed in the ‘Marilyn Hall of Fame’. I’ve done 104, sort of by accident..

Very definitely unofficial terminology

FFS: short for f’ing false summit. Should be banned, and always appear when you are particularly knackered/ hungover/ soggy or otherwise likely to be unamused.

Bogatory: That specific type of purgatory that involves a particularly glutinous underfoot walking surface. Particularly annoying if there is a path that is even boggier than the surrounding actual bog.

Vertical bog: Same, only going uphill. Feels vertical, even if it isn’t. Commonly found in Corrour, Glen Lyon and the far North.

Ydiott: A Yorkshire Dales ‘Ill over Two Thousand.

Post walk drink: The well earned reward for a hard days walk. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Hill Classifications

  1. You could have a section on hill walking ‘rules’? A couple of Kathy’s to start you off:
    1. Never mess around (I’m being polite here) in forestry plantations.
    2. We really mean it about rule 1.
    3. Told you so!

    Or the classic – The amount of ‘fun’ had on any given walk is directly proportional to how long ago the walk took place.

    Liked by 1 person

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