Marhofn 212.12 - May 2010

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That Petrol Emotion

Mark Trengove (+42=543)

I pushed on with my objective of completing the English Marilyns, and now have only seven left unclimbed. Poor planning means the remainder are spread between the Channel and the Scottish border. Business trips to London afforded opportunities for evening walks on the South Downs Marilyns using the rail network - a gesture to assuage a growing conscience regarding my carbon footprint, which was not helped by a day trip from North Wales to Exmoor to bag Dunkery Beacon.

A trip to the Lakes with Andy Tomkins provided us with a superb day of autumn colours on Blake Fell. A good bunch in the Southern Uplands and Galloway were also done with Andy, the best walk being Lamachan Hill and the far finer Curleywee. The day was mostly one of fog and rain, but the view unfurled into bright sunshine as we sat on the summit of Curleywee.

As expected, the Highlands provided the most memorable days. On the way to Strontian in June, Andy and I did our first proper hill walk together, on Beinn a'Bheithir. Despite many outings together in 2008 and 2009, our days out had been mainly walks up hills rather than hill walks. I was tangentially with Stewart Logan for the ascent of his final Graham, Beinn Gaire, but my legs felt like lead that day and I got left far behind. On the Sunday however, my legs leapt along with my spirits on the superb Ben Hiant, before the long drive home.

Stewart Logan on Beinn Gaire (photo: Alan Dawson)

Stewart Logan on Beinn Gaire (photo: Alan Dawson)

Our annual family touring holiday proved very fruitful in adding to my mainland Europe collection of ascents. The Brocken (1142m) in the Harz Mountains of Germany was the first. Then it was on to Poland and an ascent of Krzesanica (2122m) - a fine limestone peak in the Western Tatra.

Next, we travelled to the far east of Poland to the Bieszczady area of Poland on the Ukrainian border. This was a region of big sandstone hills which reminded me a little of mid Wales, though on a grander scale. On the first day we climbed Wielka Rawka (1307m) but next day I was let out alone for a big walk over Tarnica (1346m), the high point in the Polish part of Bieszczady, Krzemien (1335m) and Halicz (1333m).

Polish Bieszczady (photo: Mark Trengove)

Polish Bieszczady (photo: Mark Trengove)

Our last port of call was the Matra hills in northern Hungary. These hills are forested with beech to their summits, which made for pleasant walking. We climbed Galya-teto (964m) and then Kékes (1014m), the country's highest mountain. Although it had looked rather attractive from Galya-teto, the summit proved to be an unsightly mess of market stalls and other human paraphernalia.

My listing work has continued apace, with new lists for Austria, Germany and Hungary. I have also made my own contribution to hill listing in Britain and Ireland with a series of metric lists. These are available as free downloads from sites.google.com/site/europeaklist. They can be printed and bound as a series of A5 booklets. The format for these publications is due to the skills of David Stone, to whom go many thanks for his collaboration on this project.

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