Marhofn 230.13 - May 2011

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Michael Earnshaw (+434=1104)

Another year which started slowly, with a tally of minus one by the end of March. However, I took a long break from work, beginning in late April, and that helped to push along the total (CW: Hmm - bit of an understatement there). My plan was to focus on Corbetts and Grahams in the Highlands until the end of June, staying in the west except when the east offered much better weather. I spent most of July to early October taking long island trips to get value for money from the expensive ferry tickets whilst avoiding midges and shooting parties. July saw a three-week journey south to north through the Western Isles, before heading to Shetland and Orkney in August. A four-week trip to Ireland in early September made the Western Highlands seem arid in comparison. From early October to early December I managed trips to the Southern Highlands, Southern Uplands and Lochaber before the cold drove me back to the relative warmth of Surrey. Highs and lows:

May: I had ideal conditions for a long trip from Sgurr nan Eugallt to Ben Aden via Meall nan Eun, Slat Bheinn and Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe.

July: A boat trip I had organised to the islands south of Barra looked hopeless in the morning with strong winds and rain. The weather had relented a little when we met the boatman at 3pm. Much to our surprise, and due to the boatman's skill and knowledge, we managed to visit all five islands before midnight. Later in the month I did the five Marilyns in south Pairc and finally got to St Kilda after two earlier trips had been cancelled.

November: I climbed Uamh Bheag and its tops in heavy rain - miserable weather all day and a tedious trudge over heather and bog to reach the SubMarilyn to the east. Later in the month, Beinn Odhar Bheag and Beinn Mhic Cedidh (18A) were fantastic, and a repeat of Ben Nevis was done in perfect conditions with only two other people seen all day.


July: After three wet weeks, Muirneag was fairly simple and not particularly wet underfoot.

August: The walk from Stob na Boine Druim-fhinn to Cruach nam Miseag via Beinn Lochain and Beinn Bheula was done in good conditions underfoot with fine views and no problems with forestry.

November: I climbed Beinn Bhan in Glen Loy, a hill I had avoided in the past as it looked a bit boring. However, it gave an easy walk with interesting views.

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