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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Climb every mountain

Three years ago the Faculty began its 150th anniversary celebrations. These included many academic, social and cultural events but it was also thought appropriate to add a sporting dimension. A challenge was therefore set in 2006 to get an actuary to the top of each of the 284 Munros in Scotland. A Munro is a Scottish mountain more than 3000ft in height and the pastime is called ‘Munro bagging’. Many actuaries took part and most Munros were climbed. Dave Duncan was particularly active, although nobody climbed more than Colin Ledlie, with 14 in one day.

On 31 October 2008, Allan Martin completed the ascent of his 284th and last Munro as part of the Faculty celebration. Allan runs his own consultancy business providing actuarial and trusteeship services. This is reputedly ideal for taking advantage of favourable weather and going walkabout. Mobile phone reception is apparently surprisingly good at 3000ft, although wind noise and RAF training can occasionally make it difficult.

As you will see from the photo below, Allan chose a very special last Munro, Sgurr Dearg, the ‘Inaccessible Pinnacle’ on the Isle of Skye. The mountains of Skye are spectacular and are made of volcanic gabbro rock. The Pinnacle is also the most difficult Munro, requiring an experienced guide, some rock climbing skills and a head for heights.