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A combination of illness and injury rather trimmed my totals in 2005. I was hoping to climb out of the Cellar and into the Corridor, but it was not to be. Still, I managed 35 in the UK and seven Marilyn Furths (three in Ireland, three in Poland and one in Germany). It was not until late March that I was in a state to begin bagging again. A foggy day on Cross Fell (35A) completed my English 600m-drop summits. Thereafter, the hills ranged from Devon to Sutherland. I remember in particular Craig y Llyn (32C) - how did that car end up in the middle of thick forest so far from road or track? In general, I have found the south Wales Marilyns ones to grin and bear, with the main pleasure coming from getting another tick. I do except the hills of west Pembrokeshire though; they are each a gem bach (wee is hardly appropriate here in the principality).
Scottish trips were infrequent but savoured the more for it. An ascent of Schiehallion (really rather a tedious walk) was enlivened by meeting Bob Dawes, fresh from his nth trek across Scotland. A fine weekend with my eldest son in Aviemore yielded Braeriach - and a sprained tendon on the descent that took me months to put right. October saw me on a stunning day on top of Meall an Fheadain (16F) with a view forever etched in my memory. The Scottish year finished with a bike and walk up Beinn Bhuidhe (1D) in fine weather that we really did not expect or deserve in early December.
My normal September trip to Scotland was replaced in 2005 by one to the west of Ireland. Again the weather gods were with us, after a wild and rainy start, for our ascent of Carrauntoohil (50C) from the west. What a mountain, and so quiet! We saw six other people all day on Ireland's highest. The next day of sideways rain drove me to play the tourist on the lakes of Killarney, but by the following day it had improved enough for a round of Brandon Mountain and Brandon Peak (49A) by the Paternoster Lakes. A few 'our fathers' might have helped the weather, which only allowed us enticing glimpses of silvery views to the west.
An August trip to Poland for the family holiday opened up new vistas. The Tatras are splendid rugged peaks, but not ones to visit if you are looking for solitude. Our ascent of Giewont (1895m) was nose-to-tail, with queues to gain and leave its summit. Poor weather rather hampered other ascents, although I did manage my first (of four) Polish 2KPs - 1725m Diablak in the Carpathians. What made the holiday, though, was the friendliness and kindliness of Poland's people - so much so that we are going back there in 2006. On the way back I managed a German 'Marlene' - 1874m Jenner near Berchtesgaden.
When not on the hills, my spare time has been spent compiling more lists for www.peaklist.org. More French areas were added, not to mention a joint effort with a Polish friend to list the Tatra to 100m-drop ('the Crown of the Tatra'). Compiling lists is not as good as being out on the hills and mountains, but it does help.
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