Sport – Rev Archibald Eneas Robertson

Rev Archibald Eneas Robertson – The First Munroist

Archibald Eneas Robertson was born in Helensburgh in 1870, the son of a prosperous Victorian merchant, and he is widely credited with being the first person to successfully climb every Munro to become the World’s first “Munro Bagger”!

A Munro is a Scottish mountain with a height over 3,000 feet (914.4 metres). They are named after Sir Hugh Munro (1856–1919), who produced the first attempt at an exhaustive catalogue of such hills, known as Munro’s Tables, in 1891

He climbed his first Munro (a Munro is a Scottish mountain with a height over 3,000 feet or 914.4 metres). – Ben Cruachan – in 1889, and by the time he joined the Scottish Mountaineering Club in 1893 had amassed a total of 45 Munros. Over the next few years he accumulated further peaks at a modest rate.

However, he embarked on 2 “grand tours” during the spring and early summer of 1898 and 1899 during which he bagged 147 new Munros.

He left the 2 Munros bounding the Aonach Eagach ridge on the north side of Glencoe till the end of his campaign. Due to bad weather the ridge was not traversed, and his last Munro – Meall Dearg – was climbed 4 days after Sgorr nam Fiannaidh.

Although Archibald completed the Munros without the aid of a motor car, he made extensive use of the developing rail system and many other forms of transport as well, such as steamer, rowing boat pony and trap, mail cart, stage coach, and in particular, the bicycle. He was never without a roof over his head at the end of a day in the hills, and in an era when the glens were more populated, would often overnight at gamekeeper’s or shepherd’s cottages during his longer treks.

He developed a keen interest in photography after completing the Munros.

He was President of the Scottish Mountaineering Club from 1930-32,later becoming an Honorary Member; for a time he was the Chairman of the Scottish Rights of Way Society.

He died in 1958 at the age of 88.

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