Marhofn 84.04 - May 2002

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2001 Reviews:

Bert Barnett

Exploring Murdos, Corbett Tops and Yeamans took me to the far side of familiar hills through the year, and Munro revisits brought plenty of variety despite the constraints of FMD. An abundance of hard snow and sun gave pleasant gully climbing in the spring as areas were opened up. Car parks were noticeably empty due to access uncertainty, and the corries were not busy. Taynuilt Peak from the west proved to be a tester; a long stretch of cramponing on steep hard snow.

In May, Cononish was still closed, and I was obliged for the first time to access Ben Lui from Glen Lochy. It was natural to climb the previously untrodden Beinn a'Chleibh and so the Munro set was complete. The penultimate Munro had been Sgurr Dubh Mor in 1984. As I had climbed most of the Munros twice already, I visited the remaining singles, and in December I climbed Beinn a'Chleibh again for my second completion. I had never paid attention to Munro Tops, so a fresh look at the Murdos list took me to new ridge approaches, and I had some great days in quiet places.

CTMs increasingly played a part in route planning and provided worthy additions to outings, although my daughter is not likely to agree after a grey extended day on Ben More and Stob Binnein.

The Angry Corrie party at Laggan was a treat but I was disappointed that I did not have the opportunity to offer my rendition of Lord Byron's 'Lochnagar' and sing of 'the tame and domestic Albion's plain'. Reclaiming days were sociable and pleasant, and encouraged me to think of the benefits of joining a club, but the joys of solitude are hard to beat.

Four days scrambling in Skye in September was a great success thanks to my mountaineer chum who jollied me along when the drops were big and holding on was essential. This was followed by a fine couple of days of Murdoing around Glen Sheil, with no rain over the whole week.

Six Marilyns total for the year, but only two shy of a Murdo completion. A year devoid of pine needles down my back. Will I ever be tempted to the Mullah Khin Tyre or back to south Galloway? I confess to downloading helpful hints on Mochrum Fell and perhaps my new GPS needs testing in the thick of some border forest?

Best day: 20 April; An Tudair - Beinn Fhionnlaidh; crampons and solitude. Worst day: driving away from the signs at Castles Farm (Ben Cruachan) on 28 February.

Bert Barnett entertaining partygoers at Laggan

Bert Barnett entertaining partygoers at Laggan

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