Marhofn 153.08 - May 2006

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Meet the editor: Bert Barnett

It might have been something in The Angry Corrie, but I have no recollection of why or where I bought RHB. My diaries record that I cycled to Deuchary Hill in October 1996, so I guess that was the start. Joining Roderick Manson on his entry to the Hall in 1997 probably pushed me over the point of no return; like ice-axe braking on hard snow, if you do not stop right away, you are done for. My transition from big hills to wee hills was welcome, and the local crop provided many bicycle outings from the house - a treat to combine day runs with bagging. My Corbett collection, which had dithered near completion for years, marched onwards, and meanwhile the Grahams did themselves. The Marilyn years were certainly very fruitful, and I was fortunate to find them at a time when I was looking for new objectives. A big benefit was the option of heading south during the shooting season, but now I fear that the remaining bumps are not too attractive. I was somewhat dissatisfied with my Welsh Borders raid last autumn, over fields, fences and pheasants, and scary encounters with wild Welsh dogs. Island outings also do not appeal, where ferry times rule and I have to wear a watch. Clock-watching counters the very freedom of the hills, the option to change your mind and go for second helpings. Having completed the mainland Scotland Marilyns, I tell myself that I have had enough of days when the driving is harder than the walking, but I know that when the midgies are biting, and the Hill Phones are on, I will be poring over Anquet, seeking somewhere in RHB to tempt me out.

Alan Dawson and Meall nan Tarmachan range, 29 Feb 2004 (photo: Bert Barnett)

Alan Dawson and Meall nan Tarmachan range, 29 Feb 2004 (photo: Bert Barnett)

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