Previous | Contents | Next
The paltry total of new Marilyns would imply a year of minimal bagging activity, but this was not the case. The fact that I climbed 50 Humps, 127 Tumps and completed the English Hewitts is a more reliable indicator of my bagging activity in 2013. As I am now bagged-out in Wales, England and the Isle of Man, as far as Marilyns are concerned, time and distances involved for new Marilyns mean they came this year in short bursts. Hopefully when I retire in a few years time I will be still fit enough to make better progress on the Scottish lists and so increase my annual Marilyn count significantly. At the current time, attaining the Upper Hall seems a very great distance off.
January was, as usual, a quiet month Marilyn-wise. A weekend away on a bargain break in Drymen gave me the opportunity to scale Stronend while the wife was away doing the sales in Glasgow. February was no better, with a quick outing up Knockdolian, while touring in south-west Scotland during another bargain break, this time in Dumfries. During March, a trip to Braemar with hillwalking friends allowed me an ascent of Carn na Drochaide in arctic conditions.
By April the spring should have sprung, but had not here in north Wales or elsewhere. There were plenty of new hills bagged in the snow, but no trips to Scotland and so no new Marilyns. May proved to be the same in terms of new Marilyns, mainly because I was busy whittling down my remaining English Hewitts, with a view to completion in late summer.
The next two months took on a more Scottish tone. A trip in early June to Fort William with Munro-bagging friends gave me the opportunity for a memorable traverse of Creag Meagaidh and its non-Marilyn neighbours. Next day, on the first day of the year when it was actually comfortable to don shorts, a hot ascent of Binnein Beag from Glen Nevis made a fine outing.
In July, Andy Tomkins and I had a long weekend bagging, in utterly glorious weather, based near Cannich. On the way up, an ascent of Ord Ban broke up the tedium of the long drive north. Next day, in very hot weather that suppressed the midges but raised the clegs, we teamed up with Edward Earle, a significant US bagger, and Jonathan de Ferranti for a traverse of the Carn Eige group. The hot weather held next day for an ascent, just by Andy and me this time, of Toll Creagach and its Submarilyn neighbour, Tom a'Choinich. Jonathan re-joined us next day for a trip up Stac na Cathaig on our way home.
There were no new Marilyns in August, though my ascent of the Hump and Hewitt, High Seat, had a distinctly Marilyn flavour to it. It was my final English Hewitt - I had completed the Welsh ones back in September 2007. I was accompanied by some attendees of the Marhof dinner that evening, Marilyn baggers all - Ann Bowker, Tony Rogers, Chris Bienkowski, Jonathan de Ferranti, Tony Whitehead, Mark Smith, Alex Cameron and Andy Tomkins. The summit celebrations included gin and tonic and a home-baked (by my wife) Victoria sponge to give the event an English feel. Thanks to all of them for a memorable day.
September was another dry Marilyn month. October was much better. Inverness was the base this time. On the way north, after lunch with Jonathan de Ferranti, he was my trusty guide for ascents of Norman's Law and Cairnie Hill. Next day, as my journey north continued, Carn na h-Easgainn proved to be my one and only Graham of the year. Next day we headed into Strathconon for a memorable traverse of Meallan nan Uan and Sgurr a'Mhuilinn. The colours were full autumn gold and the stags were roaring in the glen below.
Corryhabbie Hill was our objective next day. The peace of the summit was somewhat disturbed by a large group out from Gordonstoun on an outward bound course. This fruitful trip finished next day with a cloudy ascent of Carn na Caim on our way south down the A9. At the end of the same month my family rented a sensational cottage in Gairloch. The weather proved wild, wet and windy, but I did manage ascents of Meall Lochan a'Chleirich and Meall an Doirein between the gales and rainfall.
The final new Marilyn of the year came on one of my traditional day dashes to Scotland with Andy Tomkins, accompanied by my nominee for the young bagger of the year award - Andy's son James. It was Cairnkinna Hill and it gave the three of us a fine day out. We were all particularly impressed by the massive cairn on the summit.
There were also repeat Marilyns in the course of the year - nine in all. One of the most memorable was High Street on what must have been the hottest bagging day of the year. It was an outing to tidy up the remaining Hewitts of the range. Innocent-looking Mynydd Anelog, which I first ascended in 1997, proved a trickier prospect when I climbed it again with Andy Tomkins and James in October. A sudden violent squall hit us as we reached the summit, thoroughly soaked us and sent us scurrying back to the car. Never underestimate even short trips up small Marilyns for surprises.
Further afield, I pushed on with my quest in climbing summits in Poland over 1000m in height. I managed five - all Marilyns. The highest was 2291m Kozi Wierch in the High Tatra. Poland, too, had a very hot summer and the ascent proved sweaty and arduous but fulfilling. The view from the summit gets my vote for best panorama of the year.
New European hill lists can be found at:
More booklets will hopefully be available by the time you read this.
Previous | Contents | Next