Helen and Paul Webster, who run the Walkhighlands website, know the Munros better than most; Paul has ascended all 282 peaks, while Helen has ticked off all but eight.
They now have poured their knowledge and expertise into a new handbook, The Munros: A Walkhighlands Guide.
Here they talk us through three of their favourite Munro routes –Ben Lomond, Beinn a'Bheithir and the Five Sisters of Kintail. A note of caution: ice-axes and crampons may be needed at this time of year, in light of the recent spate of accidents on Scotland's mountains.
FIVE SISTERS OF KINTAIL
Time: 8-10 hours
Terrain and hazards: steep climb to the ridge; ridge involves some minor scrambling and rocky terrain
THE Five Sisters provide an elegant backdrop at the head of Loch Shiel. Their traverse is a classic ridgewalk, taking in three Munros with magnificent views.
Starting from the Glenshiel car park on the A87, there's no denying the steepness of the climb to the Bealach an Lapain, but the reward for your slog is the superb ridgewalk ahead. The first objective is Sgurr nan Spainteach ('the peak of the Spaniards'). Another steep climb takes you to the huge summit cairn of the first Munro, Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe (peak of the dark chest).
Sgurr na Carnach (1002m, rocky peak), which only became a Munro in 1997, is reached via rough and stony slopes. You then face another steep descent and a bouldery climb up to Sgurr Fhuaran (peak of the spring), the highest of the Five Sisters and the last of the three Munros. The route continues over Sgurr nan Saighead. The usual descent route passes round Beinn Bhuidhe before dropping to the Allt a'Chruinn and following an old stalkers' path down to the loch.
Time: 6-8 hours
Terrain and hazards: start of climb is pathless on steep heather and the descent is muddy; rocky and exposed to summit of Sgorr Dhonuill
Beinn a'Bheithir – it's not hard to see why its name means Hill of the Thunderbolt – rises grandly above the mouth of Loch Leven. Though moated by dense forest plantations, the ridge itself offers excellent walking and the view stretches along miles of the western seaboard.
The route starts from Ballachulish. The first part of the ascent up to the north ridge of Sgorr Bhan is a relentless steep grind. The two routes join at Sgorr Bhan's summit – and from here a superb ridge curves gracefully round to Sgorr Dhearg (Red Peak) – the first of two Munros. This section is a delight.
The route drops steeply to a bealach before climbing once more. The slopes are grassy at first but become rockier with a very simple bit of scrambling in an exposed position just before the summit of the second Munro. Sgorr Dhonuill (Donald's peak) is surprisingly spacious and is an even better viewpoint than Sgorr Dhearg, especially when you look down Loch Linnhe to the islands of Lismore, Mull and even Scarba or Jura on a very clear day. The usual route returns to the bealach before descending through the forests to the north.
Time: 4.5-5.5 hours
Terrain and hazards: excellent ascent path; return via Ptarmigan is rougher and rockier
IT'S one of Scotland's favourite mountains, and even if your chances of enjoying some solitude at the top are lessened by the fact that around 30,000 people climb here every year, the views on a clear day are dazzling.
On a fine summer's day, Ben Lomond is an excellent choice for your first Munro ascent. The usual start point is Rowardennan, at the very end of the road up the east side of the loch. The ascent climbs up through the oakwoods before reaching the open hillside. Once a hideous 25m wide scar that could be seen for miles, the path has been expertly repaired by the National Trust for Scotland. Near the top, the route runs around the rim of the dramatic eastern corrie. Any thoughts that this is a tame, rounded hill are dismissed by a glance down the craggy mountainside. Those looking for a circular route can descend the rougher and rockier Ptarmigan ridge back to Rowardennan.
It takes a determined eccentric to ascend Ben Lomond from any other direction, though it is possible to make a longer ascent from the east, starting along the forest tracks at the foot of Loch Chon.