Marhofn 84.04 - May 2002

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Cellar Field:

Mark Trengove (172)

FMD severely hampered my activities in 2001, but I still managed 40 hills. Each hill took that extra level of planning, and checking for the latest access information - often woefully outdated and inadequate as it was.

Many of the memorable incidents of the year occurred on the lower slopes of the hill. Slipping on a rock while crossing a stream below Arenig Fach (30D) and emerging with only one arm dry sticks in the mind as one of those strangely pleasurable incidents in retrospect. Edging past a herd of highland cattle below Garreg-hir (31A) was one of the more incongruous events. Searching for a mislaid ten-year old son on Beinn na Selig (18A) was one of the more tense moments (when found he wondered what all the fuss had been about).

Thorns have featured much this year - on Creag Each (1A) and particularly on the SubMarilyn Mynydd y Cwm (30C). It would be nice to see another Welsh hill promoted, but this hill needs tidying up. A machete is the best piece of kit for this pin-cushion of a peak. For the full pain effect, make sure you do it in shorts, but if you value your legs, greaves are recommended.

There have been many inspiring days too. Seeing the Wicklow hills for the first time from a snow-laden Yr Wyddfa is a clear memory before the striking of plague upon the land. Watching summer, autumn, winter and spring pass through the Lairig Ghru in the course of a single hour I will never forget. Dawn over Cadair Idris from Craig y Castell - how many tones of pink are there?

Poor England has not featured much this year, but there was a semi-suburban pleasure in doing Worcestershire Beacon amidst a sea of foot and mouth.

I really do think that RHB needs a health warning on it. Marilyn bagging is far more addictive than nicotine. Although healthier (if it doesn't kill you), cigarettes are a lot less prickly. What they do have in common is getting dried leaves in your mouth.

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