The Unofficial Grahams

December 2015

The list of hills published by the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC) in its book The GrahamS & The DonaldS is by their own admission not the official list of Grahams. The SMC version may therefore be accurately described as the Unofficial Grahams, as explained further below.

In 1997 the SMC requested permission to publish the list of Grahams in its book of Munro's Tables. Permission was swiftly granted and the correct list of Grahams was published, as Part 4 of the book, along with accompanying notes.

In 2006 the SMC decided to prepare a guidebook to the Grahams and Donalds, so the SMC again asked for permission to: 'reproduce the list that you compiled for our Munros Tables book'. This book took a long time to prepare, and it was not until 2014 that agreement was reached for the SMC to reproduce the list of Grahams in its forthcoming guidebook. In October 2014, Alan Dawson submitted a copy of the current list of 221 Grahams to the SMC for publication in the book.

By the time The GrahamS & The DonaldS was published in 2015, the SMC had made substantial changes to the list of hills that they referred to as Grahams. These changes were made without the knowledge or agreement of the list compiler, author and maintainer, Alan Dawson. The SMC book asserts (page 7) that the 1993 version of the Grahams was used as the basis for the SMC list, although in practice there are several differences from both the 1993 list and the 2014 list.

The following nine hills that are not Grahams are included in the list on pages 319-323 of the SMC book:

Uamh Bheag East Top (page 319)
Stob na Boine Druim-fhinn (page 319)
Beinn Dearg (page 320)
Corwharn (page 320)
Ladylea Hill (page 321)
Meall nan Damh (page 322)
Sidean a' Choin Bhain (sic) (page 322)
Cruachan Dearg (Mull) (page 323)
Ben Aslak (Skye) (page 323)

Stob na Boine Druim-fhinn was included in the 2014 list but removed in 2015 when it was discovered that it no longer qualifies as a Graham. None of the other eight hills were in the list of Grahams sent to the SMC. Four of them have never been Grahams and four were deleted from the list of Grahams in the first half of 2014 after it was discovered that they do not qualify.

One Graham was omitted from the list published by the SMC: Creag na h-Eararuidh (pronounced Creag na Herra), near Glen Artney.

As there are so many differences between the official list of Grahams and the list published by the SMC, a term is needed to distinguish the two. The SMC book correctly acknowledges (pages 7 and 318) that Alan Dawson continues to maintain the official list of Grahams. The SMC list is therefore by implication not official and so is referred to as the Unofficial Grahams.

Apart from the different hills in the unofficial list, the names of several Grahams have been changed, e.g. Suilven has been changed to Caisteal Liath (Suilven). There are also differences in list structure and organisation, heights of hills, summit locations and so on. The contents of the SMC book do not match what a walker might reasonably expect from its title.

It is regrettable that the SMC guidebook has introduced confusion and inconsistency into the Grahams, as this is precisely the sort of confusion that Alan Dawson and Fiona Torbet worked together to avoid in 1992 and 1993.