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Countdown 1450-1549. The trip to Ailsa Craig started the season, along with Benbeoch, as reported last year. A month later it was off to Lewis, Harris and Skye, a very wet and sleet-blustery trip which ended in a flat tyre when I came off Meall na Suiramach above the Quiraing. Worse was to happen; the jack sank into the ground. Sod it - home beckoned.
I had promised to take Mary to Lunga and Staffa, so Mull became the next base, with good weather to appreciate the flora and nesting birds. Next was a visit to nine Orkney islands, where accommodation was difficult to find. However, North Ronaldsay lighthouse was climbed and later seen in the TV Restoration senes.
Stop-overs at Tongue and Lairg completed the far north. A funeral in Harrogate saw northern Pennines Hewitts visited. Next trip from home was twenty days in the Lake District, with a daily average of over 20km and 1000m of ascent during the heatwave, and a combination of lists as seven Marilyns and 82 Hewitts and AWs were ticked off. YHA accommodation was difficult to come by, owing to end-of-school-year outings. The trip home was via Kendoon, for Donalds.
The walk to Beinn nan Cabar and Cruach Dhubh an Ruidhe Fhearna (Sub) further convinced me that the area south of Loch Morar is an unsung wilderness. Eilean Shona was visited via the causeway. The estate was most helpful in giving tide times. Difficulties were had descending Shona Beag, so the return trip was via the shore. Probably the ascent from Baramore is not the recommended one. After a few Munro trips in August, including Fisherfield, it was down to the Borders for Donalds. How easy it is to score double figures each day. Home to collect Mary for the craziest trip yet; Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, Rutland, and 18 eastern and southern counties, ending up in Gloucestershire, where I revisited my childhood playground on and around Cleeve Hill. Then it was a drive to Snowdonia for Tal y Fan, which was deliberately left in 2005. Mary had teased me that she had climbed Sugar Loaf and Tal y Fan in 1954, so that one was put to sleep. After a rest day around Great Orme, the timetable for the trip completion day was:
|09.30||610m Tal y Fan||Wales||last Hewitt|
|15.40||640m Fell Head||England||last Hewitt|
|19.15||690m Talla Cleuch Head||Scotland||last Donald|
Next morning it was off to Loch Rannoch for Meall Chomraidh (Marilyn 1549) and then back to the City of Discovery for Gallow Hill, the final Scottish Council Top. The trip had involved completion of nine lists: English Marilyns, Welsh Marilyns, mainland Marilyns, English Hewitts, Welsh Hewitts, Donalds, English, Welsh and Scottish county tops.
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