Marhofn 106.06 - May 2004

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Emerging from obscurity:

Emerging from obscurity: Lindsay Munro

2003 started on familiar territory with ascents of a snowy Birnam Hill on 1 January and a squally Ben Ledi the next day. Progress towards the Hall was delayed until the 5th, however, when a promising forecast saw three of us head for Oban with Dun da Ghaoithe in mind. Thanks to icy roads we arrived just too late to board the Mull ferry, but in plenty of time to watch it sail out onto the glass-like water in beautiful, crisp winter sunshine. I suppose it was just as well that it was us, not the people on board, who experienced that sinking feeling. Compensation came in the shape of Beinn Lora (3B) with mesmerising views, and an afternoon visit to Lismore, where we saw otters on the way to the minor bump of Glas Dhruim. A late-January day trip to Suilven was also plagued by dodgy road conditions, but at least there were no ferries to miss. February brought, amongst other things, Wendover Woods (39), my first English hill south of Yorkshire. The short horizontal stroll required to reach its summit made Mount Eagle and Burgie Hill seem like proper walks.

Superb summer weather yielded a good crop of long-awaited north-west Corbetts including Ben Aden, Arkle, Quinag, Baosbheinn and Beinn an Eoin. I wasn't so lucky weather-wise on a wet and windy three-day jaunt to Inverie, but I did manage Beinn Bhuidhe, Sgurr Coire Choinnichean and Druim na Cluain-airighe. As I edged ever nearer to the magic 600 in the autumn I thought I'd better get some of the more notorious, conifer-clad nasties done. Tips from previous Marhofns helped me locate the summits of Hill of the Wangie and Woodhead Hill without too much difficulty, and the secrets of Crock were unlocked by a copy of the relevant Explorer map. My entry into the Hall of Fame came with a November ascent of Meikle Bin, and I have to thank Alan, Dave, Tessa, Bert and the Perthshire crew for helping make the occasion so memorable.

Most welcoming summit of the year - Creagan a'Chaise (21A). A cubby-hole in the massive cairn contained a tin of cigars and a hip flask bearing the words 'have a cigar' and 'have a dram'. The novelty of smoking Tom Thumbs at the top of a Graham was denied us by the dampness of the matches provided, but the flask was passed round eagerly. Pity we didn't have Bert with us to help identify the malt.

Lindsay Munro joins the Hall on top of Meikle Bin

Lindsay Munro joins the Hall on top of Meikle Bin

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