Marhofn 212.12 - May 2010

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The Smiths: Tony Smith (+57=989)

The year started, in a Marilyn sense, on 3 January, in glorious frosty weather on Rannoch Moor. The first sunny steps towards the two targets for the year, or so I thought. I had planned that my final Corbett, Benvane, and my 1000th Marilyn would be climbed simultaneously on 22 August. The reality turned out to be rather different.

The early months of the year saw the usual mixture of remote classics in good weather (Beinn Lair, my penultimate Corbett) and grim mud and trees (a wet Cruach Lerags). On reflection, the latter might be memorable not only for the hill but also because I wrote off the car on the way home on a snowy A9.

Visits to Skye and Islay kept the total ticking over, and just to tidy things up nicely for the 1000, we made another long trip south to revisit, amongst other English delights, Botley Hill and Chanctonbury Hill at their re-assigned locations (who said walking was a green hobby?). Thus the 'score' was 56 new Marilyns, including seven of the remaining eight Corbetts.

The expression 'a game of two halves' is normally used by football commentators, but it seems an apt description of my year's walking. The first trip of July ended with the following email to Marilyn HQ:

'Monday last on Arran on my 989th (Beinn Bhreac to be precise) and about five minutes from the Lochranza road on a perfectly good path, I misplaced my footing, dislocated an ankle, and broke both tib and fib. End of story! So 22 August is clearly off for me and I shall debate in due course when and if to stick with the 1000th as the final Corbett.'

Thanks to excellent work by Arran MRT and Ayrshire NHS, I am now well on the road (if not yet the hill) to recovery and formulating the 2010 plan. Some people never learn and, after all, as I heard on the radio recently, 'plans are just god's jokes'.

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