Marhofn 255.14 - May 2012

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Last words

Martin Richardson

It seems that hardly a month goes by without a new hill list being generated, with names like Clumps, Hawaii Five-0s, Donald Dewars and even an attempt by one individual at Martials.

Seriously, when AD first put forward the idea of P150 Marilyns the sheer number of hills listed seemed daunting. However, it meant that it took the anarchy of the bumpiness of the British landscape and gave hill bagging a sense of order, a sense of possibility and the bonus of a wide geographical dispersal. Sure, the Marilyns list means that a number of gems can potentially be missed if baggers allow themselves to become too blinkered. I can see the merits of the P100 Humps as an additional list - and I am not just saying that because of having completed those outside Scotland. For many of us, now, completing the majority of the Marilyns is no longer quite so daunting, particularly with the improvements in the road network and increasing affluence in the last 20 years. P100 fills the gaps between the Marilyns nicely.

But really, P30 - there are Douglas fir trees twice that height in Scotland. It recreates the anarchy, the disorder, the impossibility. AD's April fool's idea of bagging holes in the ground does not seem any less feasible to me.

I grant you that such a criterion gives the geographical dispersal - and I am aware of the idea that it means that people can concentrate on all the hills in their local area. However, that in itself creates the danger of reducing the sense of community amongst baggers. We will go from trying to achieve shared goals to idiosyncratic and individualised goals that have no meaning or significance to anyone else.

I have walked down every street in Manchester. Trying to get the P30s would be like trying to walk down every street in northern England. You would have to start at a rather early age and the likes of Sarah Mundell are rare indeed.

I realise there is no point in resisting. The P30 list exists and like the nuclear bomb or X-Factor it isn't going to be uninvented. You cannot unbag a hill.

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