Marhofn 294.17 - May 2015

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Baglog bonanza:

Sue and Trevor Littlewood (+16=1178)

In previous years, the joint Littlewood report has begun with the claim of having had yet another very active year in the mountains; that has then been followed, almost apologetically, with the confession that very few new Marilyns have been bagged. It was no different in 2014; only 16 Marilyns were added to each of our totals, all of them in Scotland.

An opportunity to collect new Marilyns was missed in early April on a visit to south Wales when, in place of Marilyn bagging, attention was given to the collection of missing 600m tops and a minor Hump.

And so it was as late as mid-April that Marilyn bagging got under way when a trip to Lairg was favoured with generally good weather; that week saw the capture of Ben Hee, Ben Loyal, Carn an Tionail and Beinn Direach plus a number of lower Marilyns.

Received wisdom has it that the months of May and June offer the best chance for settled weather in the hills and mountains of the United Kingdom; our recent experience however, certainly in the month of May, has for some years not been that good. Two weeks were spent in the Highlands in May 2014, one on Skye and the other in Strathcarron.

Skye produced new Marilyns along the Trotternish ridge - Meall na Suiramach and Hartaval - both on good days, and at last the minor hill Roineval was captured (on not such a good day), with us having gazed towards it over Loch Harport on many occasions from accommodation in the Carbost area. Fair days out of Strathcarron saw Beinn Liath Mhor and Beinn Damh revisited; just two new Marilyns in the area were bagged - Beinn Conchra and Creag Mhor, both on the north side of Loch Long.

Hartaval (photo: Trevor Littlewood)

Hartaval (photo: Trevor Littlewood)

Two weeks spent on the Tour du Mont Blanc provided the summer's Alpine interlude but gave not a single sighting of the summit of the main mountain. The weather was not exactly bad, but on so many days when it would have been in view there was just an over-supply of cloud about the mountain tops.

By going to Arran in October we hoped to wipe out the remaining Marilyns there but we were dogged by poor weather conditions. A'Chruach and Tighvein were both taken and two Humps with trigpoint pillars gave shorter outings. We were on Arran with Colin Green who was making his first visit to the island and so was hoping to bag the main summits there. We managed just one - the highest but also the easiest. Our day on Goat Fell began with promise but rain came and there was mist and a screaming wind above 600m.

End of term report has to read... must do better.

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