Marhofn 93.05 - May 2003

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Corridor at last

Chris Watson

When I strolled up Great Whernside from Hag Dyke scout hut near Kettlewell in 1961, I certainly didn't realise it was the start of a peak-bagging addiction which would last (hopefully) the rest of my life. However, by the end of university in 1968, I had done all the major Lake District fells (Poucher's list) and had made a start on the Munros. Marriage and a family slowed me down quite a lot, but lists were ticked off fairly regularly - Wainwrights in 1986, Welsh Nuttalls / Bridges in 1991, and English equivalents in 1996.

I'd heard of Marilyns from the Liverpool University website through my eldest son, who was keeping pace with my bagging (he's ahead of me now) but I didn't want to dilute my Munro hunt. However, in late 1998 Dave Hewitt sold me the TACit Tables and a copy of RHB, and I was hooked. With all the English and Welsh 2000ers and a hundred Munros under my belt, I was dismayed to find that my Marilyns totalled only about 230. This would have to be remedied! 1999 started well, but Bradford City's amazing promotion into the Premiership put bagging onto the back-burner as brownie points were used up following my other passion around the country every weekend.

Purchasing a caravan near Dundee in August 2000, plus City's deterioration during the 2000/2001 season, gave me the impetus to get back to the hills, and I have averaged 50 Marilyns a year since then. A rush around Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire in December got me to 398, and I reached 400 on Meall nan Caorach (1A) on 30 December 2002. Some rain, a bit of snow and some watery sunshine summed up the past 40 years' weather nicely.

Highlights of the last two years have been Rob Woodall's trips to Barra and Harris, and it has been a pleasure to meet so many fellow baggers - you tend to feel a bit of a freak amongst 'normal' folk who have no understanding of why we do what we do. Even my wife Lorna thinks I'm mad.

Chris Watson fails to fall in a loch on Taransay, 2 July 2002

Chris Watson fails to fall in a loch on Taransay, 2 July 2002

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