Marhofn 280.16 - May 2014

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Baglogs (72 of them):

Rob Woodall (+2=1555)

In April 2013, the Easter getaway was to Cape Verde (islands off western Africa) for two Ultras and a few P600 island highpoints. A fascinating and rugged place although frustrating at times when its organisational skills and transport infrastructure betray its African heritage.

May and June were spent in Shetland, where Alan Holmes' organising skills ensured a very successful trip to this fascinating archipelago. I came away with a complete list of trigpoint pillars (75 in all) as well as a full set of Haswell Smith islands. Highlights were Sula Sgeir, Papa Stour and, on the coast of the supposedly dull island of Yell, the quite challenging scrambly Stack of the Horse, the sort of gem we Tump baggers find ourselves ambushed by occasionally - or routinely on Shetland.

July and August saw me in the western USA for four weeks, bagging twenty Ultras including fairly serious glaciated peaks such as Rainier and Baker and some wonderfully scenic desert peaks in Utah and Nevada; also a 30+km dirt road drive-in using a vehicle not entirely intended for the purpose. I had the company of Pete Ellis for the harder peaks. Pete is one of the Tibbetts' hard-core bell-ringing friends, which was also useful as I needed to gen up on some campanology for a speech at Tibbetts junior's wedding later in the year.

August bank holiday weekend was a last-minute trip to Coll with Charles Everett. With six trigpoint pillars and 13 P30 summits, this made for a busy day and a half between ferries. With the Longa island trigpoint added in November, this leaves me with less than thirty trigpoint pillars left to visit.

Longa island (photo: Rob Woodall)

Longa island (photo: Rob Woodall)

In September, after the Marhof gathering in northern England, Andrew Tibbetts and I spent a long weekend in the Swiss Alps with Lee Newton. By longstanding tradition we planned to climb one of my few remaining Alpine Ultras, Piz Toedi, but as usual the conditions were wrong. On our arrival the weather broke after several weeks of stunning weather. As both the groom and best man were present, it was declared to be a stag weekend and some good peaks were bagged. Then there was the annual trigpoint baggers' gathering, this time in Shrewsbury, although my time was mostly spent working on 300m P30 summits, mostly in mid Wales. This is a very nice list with many gems in the less frequented parts of Wales and a few access issues to add some spice.

October started with the LDWA Hillwalkers Register get-together near Kendal, involving a couple more Synge and Birkett sessions, including a fascinating Scafells traverse with Phil Cooper, via the diminutive Pen.

The following weekend Rick Salter and Jenny Hatfield completed their Corbetts on Beinn Resipol, in gorgeous weather. October was also time for a haircut and speech writing, as Andrew and Louise Tibbetts' wedding was a highpoint of a different kind - preceded by three early-morning Glasgow P30s to bring Andrew's total on the day to 2300.

November started in the Lake District, finishing the Birketts with Jim Bloomer and the Synges with Michael Earnshaw. That weekend also saw a group of us rock climbing in the rain in Borrowdale. This odd behaviour was in practice for a winter attempt on two slippery St Kilda sea stacs. At the end of the month a dozen of us had a memorable long weekend out at St Kilda. The swell did not drop below two metres so the two stacs eluded us, but Boreray, Hirta and Dun were explored and it was impressive to see Stacs Lee and Armin, the two remaining Marilyns, at close quarters, green and slippery. An excellent recce, and we now have a pretty good idea of what is needed to make a winter ascent, which appears to be all that is on offer.

December saw me in Chile from Christmas, targeting a group of volcanic Ultras in the beautiful Lake District, in weather which at times was worse than Cumbria in December.

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