The first woman in Glasgow HF Club to climb all of Scotland's 284 Munros

Pictured, third from the right in front row.

August 29 1982, was a landmark in Cathy McMillan’s life because it was the day she was going to climb the 3,500ft Ben Dorain, the last of the 284 Munros which she had spent the last seven years of her life climbing.

She was very excited and even had her hair done at the hairdressers the day before . She had also bought a new pair of royal blue cordouroy breeches for this important occasion. She said she felt like a bride.

Thirty three people including Glasgow HF Outdoor Club members and other friends accompanied her to help her celebrate and excitement was running high as we set off from Bridge of Orchy for the Corrie an Dothaidh route to take us to the summit of Ben Dorain .

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t very good and after the first 1,000 ft visibility was very poor but at last a large cairn loamed out of the mist , ahh the summit was in sight and cheers went up !

Everbody lined up behind the cairn and a piper piped Cathy onto the top and another cheers went up . Cathy s husband and son joined her on top of the cairn and a bottle of champagne was opened and fizzed from the bottle . There were drinks all round and nibbles from a Tupperware ‘party susan’. Everybody was cheering and dancing wildly around the cairn , it was all very exciting .

Then an HF member Peter Kemp called for attention to inform us we were not at the summit . The mist had led us astray ! The true summit was about 200 metres further along .

Hurriedly we gathered everything up and made our way to the actual summit cairn where  once again Cathy was piped onto the cairn . More champagne flowed as we carried on with the celebrations still in high spirits , Ben Dorain had not seen a last Munro like it!

Then it was back it was back down to the cars at Bridge of Orchy and another drink before setting off for the celebrations at ‘The Drovers Inn’ . Cathy gave a speech and ended up by urging us all to do The Munros , a suggestion that was taken up by many of the HF members .

The celebrations ended by us dancing ‘The dashing white sergeant ‘ to the skirl of the pipes , a fitting end to an unforgettable ‘Last Munro’.

- Words by Jean Gibson.

Some of Cathys other achievements

  • Ran 2 marathons
  • Was speed/champion  time trail cyclist
  • Climbed Ben Lomond over 100 times
  • Passed her advances driving test.


Cathy McMillans Last Munro by Wendy Gibson

When Cathy climbed her first Munro

To climb another she had to go

But when she thought she wanted to stop

To her surprise she found she could not

For by the Munro bug she had been smitten

and to climb them all was her ambition

so this at once she took to task

and seven years later she climbed her last

now at last her aim complete

She now may rest her weary feet