Marhofn 106.06 - May 2004

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Ticking over: Jennifer Thomson

With all the Munros and Corbetts and over half the Grahams completed, new hills encouraged me to return to familiar areas. I now get immense pleasure looking from (usually excellent) viewpoints on smaller hills to the surrounding mountain ranges.

In 2003 tradesmen and a broken foot restricted my Marilyn ticks to 70, mainly in Scotland but including my first in England (The Wrekin) and my first in Wales (Corndon Hill) while at the Ludlow meeting in September. The Shropshire hills were quite a new experience for me, as it often took longer to navigate to the start and find a parking place than it did to reach the top.

The first high of 2003 was in February with an icy climb up Meall nan Eun in Knoydart from Kinloch Hourn, to complete this challenging section. The previous year I had climbed its neighbour Slat Bheinn from Inverie on a long hot July day, when only the thought of a pint in The Old Forge (the most remote and friendly pub in Britain), gave me strength on the return walk. Shorter forays in March and April completed sections 7 and 26 of RHB. In May a few Grahams in the Borders were ticked, and in July Cauldcleuch Head (28B) certainly lived up to its name.

June was by far my most successful month, with seven Marilyns claimed on the island of Harris during a week of mixed weather. The bunkhouse in Tarbert was an excellent base, with a fish-and-chip shop next door. The social life was also good, with an interesting slide show featuring St Kilda (by Bill Lawson) and two ceilidhs. I am fully convinced that Marilyn bagging sojourns should also be holidays. While on Harris I met Angela Gillespie who was booked to 'guide' three German tourists around Shetland a week later, so I arranged to join them - but that's another story.

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