Marhofn 255.14 - May 2012

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Sue and Trevor Littlewood (+27=1124)

Following several Marhofn reports in which we have needed to submit figures reduced in some way by reassessments of height or drop, this year we announce an unexpected bonus. We have been able to add several hills to our Marilyn score without needing to (re)climb the peaks themselves. Those of you who know us will be aware of our meticulous, some would say obsessive, attention to record keeping yet our totals last year had us unable to reconcile our Marilyn numbers assessed by two different counting methods. Naturally we each declared the lower of the possible numbers. Countless hours were spent by Sue in the early months of last year in search of the discrepancy and finally the eureka moment came. Four Grahams which had certainly been climbed in times gone by were not included in the year-end score. Rest assured, they are in this year's figures, meaning that our end of 2011 totals rise not by the measly 23 new hills climbed but by a massive 27.

Bonus peaks apart, we had another thin year of Marilyn collecting despite again a very active year in the hills generally - it's that thing again about having wiped out all of the nearby Marilyns. No new Marilyn was climbed in England and just one in Wales.

Our first Marilyn foray was to gather a few minor hills south of Dumfries. Another attack was made on region 10 from an April base in Strontian when finally the Kingairloch Corbetts and Graham fell to us on a dull but improving day.

May is generally reckoned to be one of the most favourable months for hill-going in the UK. Not so last year, or at least not for us where we were. We had two weeks in the Highlands at that time, one in Glenelg and the other in Glen Urquhart and the weather was dismal.

All the same, a number of Marilyns were gathered in. Ben Aslak on Skye was bagged by using the Glenelg ferry as foot passengers, and the very fine Beinn a'Chapuill was climbed from Gleann Beag.

Thank goodness for the summer and the Alps: a fortnight was spent on a hut-to-hut tour in the Stubai mountains. Not that things were perfect - there was rain on one of our 13 days.

A week in October near to Ballater brought us a few Grampian Marilyns in, again, mainly uncongenial weather. Bennachie with its complex of well-made hill paths gave us a splendid if dull day of easy walking, but Benaquhallie and a few of its satellites was perhaps the most pleasant outing of the week.

Stimulated by the weeks of dusty research through the 'Littlewood Hill Archive' as reported above, Sue has of late turned her attention to Humps and her research has led to a total being arrived at and reported for each of us. However, having spent years in the quest to equalise our Marilyn scores (achieved as recently as April 2008), Trevor is now ahead again - in Hump respects at least - by one. We'll have to take corrective action.

Sgurr na Coinich and Beinn na Caillich (photo: Trevor Littlewood)

Sgurr na Coinich and Beinn na Caillich (photo: Trevor Littlewood)

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