Previous | Contents | Next
Another quiet year, but I did have some memorable days out and managed to bag a variety of hills in different locations. Kicked off on 22 January with a wonderful day on Meall Dubh, a Corbett near Kintail. Perfect winter conditions - blue sky and lying snow. Early February brought the Corbett of Beinn na h-Uamha and its neighbouring Graham Sgurr a'Chaorainn, and in March we returned to the Corran ferry for Carn na Nathrach, another of Ardgour's wonderful Corbetts. Both days were stunning weather-wise, and among the highlights of the year.
More days out followed, but it was not until October that I had the best day of the year on the hills. October 16 was warm, dry and sunny, and I went with three friends to collect the two Corbetts south of Glen Affric - Carn a'Choire Ghairbh and Aonach Shasuinn. A lovely round, with beautiful autumn colours in the glen, and the sounds of red deer stags roaring in the glens all round. Magical.
In August I had a day's bagging, picking up Hill of Garvock, Cairn-mon-earn and Brimmond Hill in the Aberdeen area. The latter two summits were cluttered with buildings and aerials connected with the mobile phone industry. Quite why Cairn-mon-earn merits its tally of five masts and seven buildings is beyond me. (And still no sign of those weapons of mast destruction. AD.) Brimmond Hill was almost as bad, but the heather in full bloom compensated somewhat.
August also saw me on the wonderful island of Kerrera near Oban, where I climbed its Marilyn of Carn Breugach in the evening, seeing wild goats and a wonderful sunset over the island of Mull. There is a great private hostel on the island, which I would recommend to anyone. Even better was a beautiful day on the fantastic Mullach Mor on Holy Island, just off the coast of Arran. What a cracking hill, and it's a Buddhist retreat as well. A friendly place - highly recommended.
In December I flew down to Birmingham to meet a good friend and we had a great five days in the lovely Shropshire hills. On the 6th I got my 700th, The Wrekin, a nice hill in itself, apart from one factor, which for me puts it in the Hall of Shame. Litter! The whole area was like a rubbish tip, and shames the people of Shropshire for letting this happen to such an iconic hill. When I started on the hill at the Erchalis car park I spotted a group of people on a litter pick organised by a local radio station (so to be fair, they are trying, AD). I helped out for ten minutes and in that time filled a large bin bag with rubbish, just from the car park area. But what really dismayed me was the area of crags just to the south of the summit, where a virtual sea of litter was visible, presumably from people throwing things off the crags. Disgusting - the worst I've ever seen. Anyway, I also had great walks on the Long Mynd, Stiperstones, Wenlock Edge, Clee Hills, and Caer Caradoc - all lovely hills, and a favourite area of mine.
I finished the year on 706, and hope to move up by another 20 or so this year. So good luck to all you fellow relative baggers and here's to 2006.
Previous | Contents | Next