Marhofn 133.07 - May 2005

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Baglog: Trevor and Sue Littlewood

Bagging got underway in late January with Hail Storm Hill collected en route to a family funeral in the Midlands. During a February week based in a cottage high above Sanquhar we heard constant news reports from around the country of disruption due to snow, yet we saw very little. It was cold and windy but the frozen ground made for easy progress.

We did find snow in April though, as Sue slipped on some while descending from Druim nan Cnamh (10A) and slid a short way before colliding with a rock. Fortunately she was going head first at the time of impact, and a tripod strapped to her rucksack absorbed the kinetic energy, so no harm done - to Sue. On the same trip we crossed to Skye by the Kylerhea ferry, where thoughts of purchase and a 'lifestyle makeover' were short-lived despite the sighting of an otter. A dismally dull outing on Beinn na Caillich and Sgurr na Coinnich followed.

We had some very fine May and June days in region 10, but being with others the best days were spent on reascents of Beinn Resipol, Garbh Bheinn and Sgurr Dhomhnuill. The poorer weather days gave us several minor Marilyns, with Ben Laga being a particularly fine and easy hill.

Our remaining southern Scottish Grahams were mopped up in July with a second trip to Dumfries and Galloway. The ground about Glen Trool is very demanding, with generally pathless, roughly vegetated going. We opted to tackle Mullwharchar over Merrick, which has an easy path to the top. Despite the descent that follows it's probably the easiest approach to Mullwharchar from the glen.

In late August we had a cottage exactly where the usual route for Sandwood Bay leaves the car park at Blairmore; we were entertained by passers-by calling to seek provisions and permission to camp, then by watching their retreats on a wild day. As well as exquisite days on Foinaven and Quinag, we went to Sandwood Bay too (along the coast, collecting a trig en route) and it's certainly fine wild country, but surely just a bit over-rated?

During those summer weeks we both passed 800 Marilyns but failed to arrange to do so on suitably impressive peaks. By leaving it to chance Sue's 800th was 362m An Socach, Trevor's being on the even more modest 332m Ghlas-bheinn. Over the years the difference in our Marilyn totals has narrowed, so it's now down to four - two Corbetts and two minor hills in 28B. One of our targets for 2005 is to level the scores. Other plans are to capture those remaining of the ten highest Corbetts and three outstanding Northumberland hills.

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