Marhofn 196.11 - May 2009

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Poll Opinions:

Poll Opinions: Eddie Dealtry

Scottish hill over 900m: Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan is remote, massive, high, unfrequented and on the beautiful Landranger 33. It has provided a number of excuses for re-visits: to collect missing Tops, Murdos, new Tops, and trips to remote bothies. I once ran into a wild cat on the journey in.

Scottish island hill under 600m: Sgorr an Fharaidh on the backside of Eigg is a larger-scale version of Wainwright's beloved Haystacks; an easy hill in the company of giants - those on Rum, on Skye and in Knoydart. So, Mr Listmaker, you got us to some place we wouldn't otherwise have thought of visiting and we discovered an impressive spot. No bit of my grit is destined for Sgorr an Fharaidh though. My grit is destined, I hope, to end up inside a few trainers on a long race.

English hill over 600m: Great Gable. You got half an hour? It's so truly Great that you can even plonk a power station down the road in clear view. The climbers, runners and walkers out on Great Gable only see the fells.

Welsh hill over 600m: Cadair Idris has got a great sense of humour: it's massive, high and spectacular but under 3000 feet. I wish it was just up the road.

Worst hills: I'd like to join the 'no such thing as a worst hill' club, but I can't. Above 2000 feet I'm paid-up. It's those lower elevations covered in spruce or wet bog, or stinging nettles and brambles, in some poor sod's back yard, that hurt. All those not-really hills hurt our sensitivities. You imagine a quick dash and spend longer than it takes to get up and down Ben Lomond. Those wee and bach shites that slow us up and show some of us up for what we are: no more than obsessive baggers.

Afterthoughts: So that's it, I've volunteered a list of bests in somebody's categories. Sorry to all those I've condemned to also-ran status: no mention of Stuc a'Chroin, no days scrambling Torridon terraces, no winter bothies in the Cairngorm masses, no Galloway hills from their quiet villages, no credit for playing chicken with the red flags of Mickle Fell, no Tryfan cannon, sorry Brecons, and not a mention of the memorable train journey from Glasgow Central to White Downs or the weeks learning how to take life as it comes while cycling the Outer Hebrides. I'm not so sure this is a good idea to name names. At the least, I reserve the right to change my mind, tomorrow and every other morning.

Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan (photo: Bert Barnett)

Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan (photo: Bert Barnett)

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