Marhofn 133.07 - May 2005

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Baglog: Lindsay Munro (+113=716)

A walk through deep snow to Ben Vrackie on 1 January kicked off 2004 in fine style, and I got my first new tick the following day on Sgiath a'Chaise (1B). During the rest of the winter I seemed to end up heading south more than north. There were trips to Galloway and the Lake District, and in mid-February I doubled my Welsh tally with Fan Nedd and Fan Gyhirych (32A). Wandering round the Brecon Beacons was certainly more pleasant than watching Scotland getting thumped 4-0 by Wales at the Millennium Stadium afterwards.

Spring brought the launch of the Graham Tops book, which emphasised the pleasing fact that I'll never run out of new hills to climb. In April I found myself being stalked by over-zealous osprey watchers on the four Marilyns around Loch Ruthven (9B). Initially amusing but ultimately rather annoying.

A long-arranged first visit to Islay in June was tainted by poor weather and an unpleasant GOML incident on Beinn Tart a'Mhill. I did manage to get over to Jura for Beinn an Oir however. Further Corbetts added during the summer included Sgurr Ghiubhsachain, Cul Mor and Beinn Lair, but as memorable as any of them was little Knockdolian (27B); a carpet of beautiful grasses and flowers led up to a sharp, rugged summit with a superb view out to Ailsa Craig. The social events at Weem and Kingussie were highly enjoyable affairs, as was a series of evening walks in July and August, even though many of the hills climbed were repeats.

On 10 October I reached 700 on Beinn Mhic Cedidh (18A), accompanied by Janet and Alison. There was no whisky, no cake, just wonderful scenery and the relentless sound of roaring stags. Cademuir Hill (28B) became my 100th for the year two weeks later, a total I'm unlikely to repeat as the distances to pastures new grow ever greater. The final run-in included Crowborough, whose 'summit' was actually mist-capped, and a Boxing Day ascent of a wintry Mor Bheinn (1B).

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