Previous | Contents | Next
The nearest I got to a Marilyn in January 2012 was with Lorna, spending our ruby wedding anniversary at the Great Orme lighthouse, now an exclusive bed and breakfast. My subsequent plan for the year was to push on towards a Munro completion in spring 2014, but this was dealt an early blow when I was diagnosed with a possible prostate tumour in mid February.
I did not allow it to scupper things entirely and I was up in the Lakes a couple of days later to do a few Birketts and the Hump I am named after, CAW. Back home for a scan and then off with Iain Brown and a few others to a house near Benderloch in mid March. Half the year's Marilyns were done in the three days available, before I had to return for a biopsy - not something I would recommend but a lot of chaps my age are treated to one of these.
Unfortunately, the results meant that I required treatment but I delayed this until after a trip to a cottage near Corrour Lodge which I had organised. All the tops between Corrour and Sgor Iutharn were bagged on the first day as Alan Dawson started his tampering career with his posh GPS. Beinn Eibhinn was the first Munro my twin brother Tony and I had done together for nearly 46 years.
Ben Alder was climbed in a white-out with Margriet Koers, and a final walk up the Uisge 'Laborious', as I had christened it, got me to Carn Dearg above Culra - a fine day in the company of Margriet and Anne Bunn. I do choose my companions carefully. A Corbett and two Grahams done with brother Tony completed the week's bag and the year's Marilyns.
I managed a few Welsh Deweys before my radiotherapy started in August. The ridge between Rhinog Fawr and Clip proved as difficult as its reputation so I saved the bit north of Clip for another day. It was November before I got out again when my first walk was a second completion of the Nuttalls. Not a second round, just a mopping up of the new ones discovered since my original completion in 1996.
A weekend near Builth Wells with a group of friends and another with Douglas Law for Des Taylor's England and Wales Hump completion rounded off the year. That is apart from a day out in Burnley in December with Rob Woodall's trig bagging group to look at a flush bracket, Rob's 6000th, on the wall of a pub. They appeared marginally madder than Marilyn baggers but who am I to judge?
My ongoing prognosis seems positive and recovery has been helped by Bradford City's astonishing run to the League Cup Final, the first fourth tier side ever to get to Wembley in one of the major cups. The result will be known by the time you read this but, whatever happens, Tony and I have already had four of the best Tuesday nights of our lives.
There are only three real sports: bull-fighting, car racing and mountain climbing.
All the others are mere games.
- Ernest Hemingway
Previous | Contents | Next