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Walking the Munros, Vol. 1: Southern, Central and Western Highlands (Cicerone British Mountains) [Paperback]

Steve Kew
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Walking the Munros Vol 1: Southern, Central and Western Highlands (British Mountains) Walking the Munros Vol 1: Southern, Central and Western Highlands (British Mountains) 4.7 out of 5 stars (3)
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Book Description

15 May 2004 Cicerone British Mountains
This first volume of a two-part series of guides to the Munros covers the southern, central and western highlands, Glencoe, Lochaber and Mull, and details routes for these 139 exciting and challenging mountains. A comprehensive introduction provides the history of the Munros and includes vital practical information to make your quest as successful as possible. The guide includes: comprehensive information on tackling this famous collection of mountains, such as weather conditions, access, and the geology of the area; detailed route descriptions around each of the 139 Munros (all the popular routes included), with sketch map for each route; all routes prefaced by a wealth of information about Gaelic names, accommodation and access; useful 10-figure grid refererences for key points such as summits and start point of awkward descent lines; travel and other information on making the most of your walks and your stay in the area; appendix listing all the Munros covered in the guide; and outstanding full-colour photography. It has a hard-wearing, waterproof PVC cover and is part of a two-part series.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cicerone Press (15 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852844027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852844028
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 385,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'Not another book on the Munros! But this one's different - not a coffee-table book but a 'climbing style' guidebook for actually taking on a Munro trip. he guides are aimed unashamedly at the Munro collector as is evidenced by the introductory remarks that fair-weather climbers may take a lifetime to complete the round. Surely the whole point of the Munros is that they should give us a lifetime of experiences in all weathers and in all seasons? Route descriptions are well written and clearly set out with an attractive ochre-coloured panel containing essential data about the route such as distance, times, maps, access and local accommodation. Denis Rankin, Irish Mountain Log Spring 2005

About the Author

Steve Kew is a journalist and mountaineer. He started climbing in 1970, and has walked and climbed in the Himalayas, Alps and Britain. He lives in Scotland, and is a member of the Galloway Mountain Rescue Team and Committee. His writing includes books, articles and radio drama for the BBC.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expected better 7 Nov 2007
I saw this book in a bookshop had a quick flick through and bought it later on Amazon.

The book is a nice size for putting in the ruck sack or even trouser pocket and has a water proofed cover which I'm sure most people will know is a very good idea for a Highland guide book!

The book is also very well laid out with nice maps (no replacement for OS maps though) and many photographs.

Unfortunately though, this book as not as impressive as it first looks.

Route times are very optimistic (sometimes by hours), the distance and ascent figures are also underestimated and the routes themselves are often very long, demanding and definately not for beginners. The authors chosen routes can also be a little strange, often choosing to descend near vertical slopes (at best crippling on the knees, at worse possibly dangerous) when paths exist nearby.

As has been mentioned the Gaelic pronunciations are consistantly wrong and sometimes even laughable (especially the pronounciation of Buachaille Etive Mor!) and although there are many pictures, they are often not of the best quality and several of them are incorrectly captioned.

Overall the book is well set out, a handy size and the authors writing is fine but there are just too many 'factual' mistakes in this volume to truly recommend it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book 19 Jun 2007
What a fantastic little piece of kit this book is. Small, waterproof, well laid out and easy to follow. Munros are broken down into areas with all the information you could ever need.

Each walking route starts with a helpful list giving, Distance, Ascent, Maps needed, Where to park the car, Start point, Accommodation and Access numbers for the appropriate estate. This is followed by a detailed route giving map referances and estimated times.

The author has a straightforward and positive attitude towards walking, unlike Cameron Mcneish, who in my opinion has a pompus and arrogant attitude towards certain types of walker.

The only downside I have with the book is the route times. I dont believe for a second some of the times he has in the book. I have done over 50 munros using the book, class myself as a fit person but still cant see some of the times he has marked down. Besides this the book is a wonderful read and a great buy.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars walking the munros 24 Aug 2009
I feel I ought to comment on the negative reviews for Steve Kew's books. We have used these guides for a few years now and they are excellent. You have to appreciate that the Munros are big mountains and many of them are not conveniently placed so long trips are inevitable. Even with good guide books you cannot go without map and compass and the ability to use them. GPS tells you where your destination is, and is superb for summits on cloudy days, but it does not tell you how to get there so good mountain practice is required. For us the times he gives are just about spot on, clearly you cannot give a time for a trip as such but if you know you are generally quicker or slower than the 'book' time then you can get a good estimate of how long your trip will take. You also have to be aware that his times do not include breaks.
I get the impression the other reviews are not from serious munroists or they would not take issue with YHA or the notoriously difficult pronunciations. I recommend these books unreservedly.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good guide 15 Jun 2010
Routes I have walked are very good. A bit dubious about some of the timings given
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10 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slipshod 2 April 2006
By A Customer
First the good bits. My comments apply to both volumes.The books are in a durable water resistant format. Ideal for the pocket or sac. They contain enough ideas to keep you happy in the Scottish hills for years.
The author's style is breezy and will certainly make you get the boots out. I found some of his estimates and descriptions to be on the optimistic side, he is perhaps too much of a climber for a hillwalker's book. It is always difficult to translate one's own experience into a general guideline.
Now the bad bits. He consistently refers to YHA hostels. There are many such references throughout the two volumes. There are no YHA Hostels in Scotland. The youth hostels in Scotland are run by the Scottish Youth Hostel Association and are referred to in every other publication you will meet as SYHA hostels. This implies bad editing for these books. Accuracy is very important in a book of this type. I wonder what other errors may have passed unnoticed.
There is one other point which grated on my nerves. The author supplies a hint to pronunciation for all the Munros. Gaelic pronunciatition is a vexed problem but there is a little booklet produced by O.S. which gives the received pronunciation for those who are not native Gaelic speakers. The author, however has chosen to give his version. I can assure anyone who uses his attempts that they will be the life and soul of any hostel common room. He or she will be asked to pronounce every Gaelic name on the map. They are far and away the worst attempt I have ever seen. Three out of five is the best I can do.
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