Marhofn 58.03 - May 2001

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Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal

Largo Law (26)

Chris Watson: The path from the cemetery is now Fife path No. 14 -it's official (but no dogs). Well signed, but oh, the mud! Very slippy up the steep slope -glad I had my sticks. I reckon the farmer drives his tractor up and down to discourage folk.

Cairnie Hill (26)

Chris Watson: If you nip over the fence at the bottom end of the woods, it's possible to avoid further obstacles on the way to the summit (apart from gates which don't open). No cairn (despite the name) but a nice boulder sticking out of the ground to mark the top.

Foel Goch (30D)

Gary Westwood: You'll be pleased to hear of a very welcoming and affable farmer due south of Foel Goch. He allowed us to park in his farmyard and entered into conversation about all things hill. He'd done the big three peaks but found Scafell too rocky.

Y Golfa (30E)

Bill Fairmaner: Golf course across top of the hill but a trodden path to the trig, squeezing between tee and green, suggests access is tolerated. I was there early enough to avoid testing this theory.

Garreg-hir (31A)

Bill Fairmaner: Approached from the south. The map shows a bridleway climbing the hill behind Parc-y-rhiw unfeasibly directly -this appears to be a figment of OS imagination. I used a track climbing up and across the flank of the hill before taking to slopes covered in deep bracken, which at least served to conceal my presence from below. The summit ridge is very nice though.

Pegwn Mawr (31B)

Bill Fairmaner: Excess density of wind turbines. They're the type with comparatively short rotor blades. I was on Lowick High Common back in February and my route to the trig point went directly below the sweep of the long-bladed rotor variety. Though the tip of the blade is at least 15-20ft above the ground, you can't help but duck and scurry past as the blade whooshes round. However, I'd been on Black Combe and Whitfell earlier that day, with very clear views of Sellafield -and I know which I prefer and find less dangerous.

Hirfynydd (32B)

Chris Pearson: Approached from Seven Sisters. Easy track led to the mine/quarry which has expanded at different levels across the hillside, making nonsense of tracks on the map. A frontal assault was tried by climbing up spoil tips linking the different levels. The first climb to level 1 was 100 metres of steep crawling through a tangle of dense wet pine trees, coming across a set of mouse bones next to a freshly dead mouse -waiting the return of who knows what? Level 2 was guarded by steep highly unstable rock spoil, part of which had avalanched across the track. Even as we watched a rock rolled down uninvited. Kicking steps up the finer scree led to a flat lagoon of sock-deep grey liquid clay. We wallowed across, failed to climb a band of protruding coal, and struggled up a final shifting scree treadmill to the safety of summit grass and bog. Even trying a longer descent on tracks failed, as the quarry ate into the hillside, cutting right across the track with a sudden 100-foot drop. Gulp!

Rogan's Seat (35A)

David Hoyle: On a visit seven years ago there were weird whirring / screeching noises with no apparent source. The noises continued throughout the afternoon but were louder in the summit area. There may have been a logical source but we couldn't think of one.

Staple Hill (41)

John Abbott: The wood is quite pleasant (wonderful show of bluebells) but the trig point is very tricky to locate. I stood on what is fairly obviously the high point then spent ten minutes looking for the trig point itself which I eventually found nearby. It is camouflaged to look exactly like a tree stump: covered in moss with the large base overgrown by a tangle of greenery.

Win Green (41)

Charles Knowles: By courtesy of the National Trust, the summit trig point and view indicator are accessible by wheelchair from the car park 500m away, provided you have a 'radar' key to open the locked barrier gate to a surfaced track. Perhaps ageing Marilynists should bear this in mind.

Kit Hill (40)

Charles Knowles: Another easy one -a country park with a public road up to a car park virtually on the summit. As it is a site of old quarry and mine workings, it is not quite as wheelchair friendly as Win Green. I estimate the base of the trig point to be all of four feet above the car park level, but there are no ramps for wheelchairs.

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