Marhofn 183.10 - May 2008

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Beyond the Wall

Rob Woodall

2007 was dominated by trig bagging (again), with the total nudging past 5000 by the year end. Brent's Islay / Jura meet got things off to a good start, with all but two of the isles' 50 trigs visited. A highlight was hitching a ride in a fishing boat to Eilean nan Coinein, a tiny island off Craighouse with a perfect view of the Paps across mirror-calm waters. Then when Michael Curtis set up a day-trip to the Marilyn islands south of Barra, I couldn't resist going back for the trigs. The rest of the week was spent visiting the 37 trigs on the Uists and attached isles.

The Paps of Jura from Eilean nan Coinein (photo: Rob Woodall)

The Paps of Jura from Eilean nan Coinein (photo: Rob Woodall)

I managed to extricate myself from the UK a couple of times. In March, Brent and I visited the Canary Islands, with 71 year-old megabagger Bob Packard from Flagstaff, Arizona. We narrowly avoided arrest on Teide and went on to visit the other three western Canaries island summits. The 2423m La Palma summit proved an unseasonably icy drive-up. Ranking the world's summits by prominence, 3718m Teide is #40.

Descending Teide (photo: Rob Woodall)

Descending Teide (photo: Rob Woodall)

In June I teamed up with Bob again, plus Adam Helman (author of the Prominence book), to climb another four, in south-east Asia. Borneo's Kinabalu is #20, and the highpoints of Sumatra, Lombok and Java are #33, #39 and #44. The trip also included another three in the World Hundred Finest, plus more Ultras. Close views of active craters, particularly Java's Semeru and Slamet, are abiding memories. Another memorable feature was the Indonesian habit of using the same word 'puncak' for the summit and the crater rim. So you never quite know whether you'll reach the summit until you get there - or don't. We managed to 'waste' three days on unattainable summits in this way (but what great scenery). Adam's trip report tells all:

www.cohp.org/personal/southeast_Asia/version_1/intro.html

On the 24-hour front, Brent and I teamed up in March for a 24 Scottish Marilyns effort, neatly sandwiched between Ali Wilson's 1000th and Alison Richardson's 600th. In October I visited 29 English Marilyns in under 23 hours. Brent couldn't be there, but the weather was perfect so I thought I'd try a self-driven effort. I had to pull over for a nap in the small hours, but it was a wonderful and memorable day, as anything involving Shropshire hills and sunshine is sure to be.

The year was rounded off with a sociable week at Brora, with a mix of quickie flatland trigs, a few summits, and a few spells of determined Caithness bogtrotting.

This 76-trig trip left me within about 1000 trigs of finishing the OS GB list. Half of these are high-level summit revisits and most of the remainder are also in Scotland. So it'll be a while yet. The UK hill baglog this year is mostly trig related:

World Fifty Finest: + 5 = 5
Ultras (P1500m): + 10 = 20
P610m: +12 = 166
Marilyns: 161 revisits
Yeamans: +78 = 1869
Humps: +37 = 2529

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