The Angry Corrie 15: Oct-Nov 1993

A Grand Unified Scottish Hill Theory

Many attempts have been made in recent TACs to analytically measure the position of the Scottish Munro Centre and, more importantly, the position of 'the Lost Munro' - assuming, for the moment, that one exists. Meanwhile, the search for the most Boring Square continues using a crude exhaustive search methodology which could no doubt swallow up the lives of many a valuable research scientist.

In TAC13, Prof David Summers writes that "Munroness is a dynamic spatial system". In this he is of course correct although he fails to quite grasp the nature of the moments analysis - Loch Uisg is in fact the maximum distance away from the SMC for a 3000ft mountain. It is also extremely unlikely that any of CalMac's ferries could have become so lost as to allow New Hampshire to be mistaken for one of the Outer Hebrides on Sir Hugh's epic trip. Settler and Rennie (TAC14) suggest that munroness is somehow related to mass. Not so. In the theoretical extreme, we may conceive a Munro of infinitesimal thickness, and therefore effectively zero mass, that may still rise to the height of 3000ft - imagine a 3000ft long needle. This clearly provides a solid counter-example to the validity of their model. (But you'll have to share your Nobel with Prof Warbeck above - Ed.)

The essential point missed up to now is that mountains have existed since the dawn of time, well longer than we remember anyway, whilst Munros are essentially a human creation - or rather a labelling, open to interpretation and possible variation: witness the 1984 revision. This still leaves the central question unsolved: how indeed are we to measure munroness? Since height appears in the definition of a Munro we must surely include it in the final formula. However, we must also include another term which we shall now describe.

Following Descartes' ideas on the physical and spiritual aspects of nature, we define physical and spiritual munroness. Physical munroness refers to the height, or as we prefer, the Normalised Relative Reascent (NRR). Spiritual munroness is somewhat more complicated. We measure it not only in terms of the number of people who have climbed each Munro over a set period, ie its popularity, but also in terms of the Munro-aestheticism of each particular person. This is also then normalised to produce the Normalised Ascentionist Aestheticism (NAA); the true measure takes account of all sentient life forms that climb the Munro, eg sheep, midges etc. This accounts for the dynamism, dare we say "chaotic", nature of the whole system.

We must now turn our attention to the Scottish Munro Centre (SMC). Since this has always refered to a static position and may now cause confusion in the new model, we define the Munro Pivot of Scotland (MPS) to be its dynamic equivalent.

Unfortunately, another grave mistake has been made by our fellow researchers. It has been suggested that the MPS is currently situated on a cairn just to the north of Beinn a'Chaorainn. This was derived using the argument that the cairn was quite close to where the SMC was calculated to be and that it can have no other purpose. Since the previous method has been shown to be wrong and since cairns can quite often exist for no particular reason, we may discount this claim.

A brief examination of the Murdo Munro World Tour T-shirt (now a collector's item! - Ed.) shows Murdo visiting the Nevisport Bin Shelters on the 29th February 1992. This can trivially be seen to be the historical position of the MPS. Let us argue by contradiction. Why would Murdo, in all his omniscience and politically-correct wisdom, visit such a site, representative of commercialism and unrecyclable waste, unless of course it had such historic status? There is no other possible explanation! This is also backed up by local Chemical Analyses and recent advances in Chaos Theory. This may even explain the very positioning of Fort Bill itself! We may now reformulate the familiar equation:

where the error term may include a possible "Lost Munro"!

Before we evaluate this, we must include other threads of research. Firstly, White Holes. Dr Alan Bowring-Square suggests (TAC14) that these may start to be caused by erosion because of high numbers of people swarming around the Highlands in the future. Think along the lines of a tourist for a second. Why climb a Munro when you could visit the more prodigious MPS instead. Thus, any who may have been considering climbing something will instead make the pilgrimage to visit the MPS, hence the creation of a White Hole on the eastern shores of Loch Linnhe. While all this is going on, all the climbers/walkers, desirous of a bit of peace and quiet, will move away from this area, by definition causing the MPS to follow them. We consider it likely though not absolutely proven that the MPS will follow Murdo's Tour round the Highlands.

The Electric Lochs, as described in TAC12, may simply be explained as a potential difference in munroness as you go away from the MPS; and as to whether Scotland would be bigger than Albion's Plain if flattened - ask yourself if you really want to know the answer to that one!

Back to the issue at hand, the above equation was fed into the very latest of artificial intelligence machines built for this very purpose. The results are quite enlightening. The good news is that the Lost Munro has not been destroyed, it is in fact the relatively relative bulge at the bottom of our unit's back garden. Although not 3000ft, the analysis clearly shows that it must be a Munro anyway, since applying Dawson's Relative Uncertainty Principle, the model maintains its validity. If anyone would like to visit the Lost Munro, tickets are now being sold at 5 each, profits to the Jack Wills Fund for people in Bishopton called Brian to have their heads examined. Also available now: MPS T-shirts, journals etc. (No ads please: this is TAC, not TGO - Ed.)

We hope this lays to rest the mystery of the Scottish Highlands once and for all. Can we have some articles on something else now please?

Dr Rupert Weare and Dr Fumble Bum
Munro Pineapple Society Research Unit

TAC 15 Index