Marhofn 153.08 - May 2006

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Baglogs: Upper Hall:

Baglog: Brian Ewing (+76=1004)

Well, it's that time of the year again when the hill diary is perused to remind me of the year that was 2005. Of course some highlights leap to mind, like the sail to Scarba, passing through a pod of dolphins, and the eight hours wandering around the island in the sunshine. Then there were the two weeks spent exploring the Shetland Islands in fine weather. The flights to Fair Isle and Foula were the bargain of the year - quite stunning views, with the pilot Eddie providing a running commentary en route.

The luckiest trip of the year was that to Ailsa Craig. Having failed to arrange passage on a number of occasions, I received a phone call from Mark McCrindle in Girvan saying he could fit me in on a sailing the following day. His Saturday sailing had not been able to land because the wind had been blowing from the wrong direction, so on the Sunday I was fitted in with members of Kilmarnock and Loudon ramblers for the trip. It was sunny and the sea was flat calm. While we were exploring the island, Mark had been lifting his lobster creels, so I got two lovely live lobsters for my dinner that night. You certainly don't get that on a CalMac ferry.

The final highlight of the year was my 1000th Marilyn, Creag nam Mial (6B), done from Guay on the A9 during a walking group weekend at Aberfeldy. Not the best-looking hill but circumstances said that this was to be it. Still, a notable day was celebrated in a notable way, with a case of champagne and cake. Is it possible that I am the first person in the Marilyn Hall of Fame to have reached 1000 by only doing Scottish Marilyns? (Yes you are. What's wrong with the rest of Britain? TW.)

Many other good hill days were had, but only six of them were spent skiing in Scotland, due to lack of snow. The way the weather is going I will be hillwalking 12 months of the year. I might even consider completing the Donalds someday.

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