Marhofn 230.13 - May 2011

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Rob Woodall (1552)

A good year for prison visiting in 2010. Having followed Martin Richardson into The Verne on Portland, I finally got into borstal (strictly, the Palmerston Fort, not the prison). This is a family home nowadays - many thanks to Christine and Mick for allowing me onto their roof to view the trig pillar. I now have just one England and Wales trig left to visit (another of Palmerston's follies, in Devon) and I am on course for my 6000th OS GB trig in the autumn of 2011.

The Marhof meeting at Ullapool was excellent, as ever - great organisation by Alan Holmes. Portree promises to be equally tasty. Of course, my Marilyn tally reduced by two. There was brief excitement in October when a St Kilda weather window was sighted, but the boatmen were all on holiday.

By way of compensation I escaped abroad for a few Ultra-prominence summits. A January trip to Uganda's fascinating Mountains of the Moon, with the Bjorstad family, got the year started with Mt Stanley. A June trip to the Alps with Andrew Tibbetts netted Mont Blanc, Dufourspitze and a number of other nice peaks. In August, Adrian Rayner and I headed to Flores in Indonesia to meet up with Daniel Quinn. Whilst everyone else on the plane went komodo dragon spotting, we headed east and bagged four Ultras. Gunung Inerie is a popular peak but the other three are very seldom climbed, it seems - the trip had a nice pioneering feel to it. I then linked up with Petter Bjorstad again, this time for nine Ultras in north-west USA. These were superb peaks and included Glacier Peak and Olympus in Washington state, and Jefferson in Oregon.

Strictly off-year but I was lucky enough to summit the two highest summits in the Americas in January 2011: Ojos del Salado (6893m) and Aconcagua (6961m), with a supporting cast of Bolivian Ultras and P600s. This brings my World Fifty Finest list to 12 and my Ultras total to 76.

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