Marhofn 153.08 - May 2006

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Baglogs: Hip Op Generation:

Hoglog: Charles Knowles (+51=1448)

Worsening back and hip pain prevented me from doing any Marilyns in 2004, and I even had a test ride on a mobility scooter, to help with getting about around at home. However, after extensive tests I did get a full diagnosis of the back problem, and so had my first hip replacement in September 2004 and the second in January 2005. With practice I gradually increased my local walking range to five miles using crutches, and then early in May, using walking poles, I slowly and carefully climbed Snowdon, followed two days later by an ascent of Scafell Pike. On 11 May, in perfect conditions, I climbed Ben Nevis and took photographs on the snow-covered summit plateau, with me standing beside the trig point. On 25 May I showed these photos to the orthopaedic consultant, who said he didn't need to see me again.

Four further visits to Scotland in 2005 have enabled me, with artificial aids (hip joints) but no performance enhancing drugs (painkillers), to finish off my Grahams, which were located on Jura, in Knoydart and in Sutherland, completing them on 2 July 2005 with Ben Armine and Creag Mhor (16D).

I also ticked off a total of 51 new Marilyns and five SubMarilyns between Cowal and Cape Wrath, but I failed to complete the mainland Scottish Marilyns because of stalking on the Ardtornish estate in Morvern (18C) in September, where I have two left to do. The rest of my outstanding Marilyns are mainly in the Outer Hebrides, Shetland, Jura and Islay, so they will keep me busy for some years.

The new hips have greatly improved my quality of life. In day rides during October and November I cycled the Trans-Pennine Trail from Southport to Hornsea, aggregating about 560 miles, and in January 2006 I enjoyed six days langlauf skiing in Austria, something I have been unable to do for the past three years. Hip hip hooray!

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