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Marilyn bagging in 2015 was concentrated into two visits to Scotland, with no new ones in either England or Wales. Just a paltry number of new Marilyns were added but, on the positive side, we had no losses through deletions. At least it made the arithmetic easy to cope with.
In April we sailed from Oban to Mull on a flat sea at the start of a week of unusually fine weather and productive hill activity. Ben Buie gave us an excellent day and Creach-Beinn another. On a rather poorer day the ascent of Corra-bheinn and Cruach Choireadail completed the Mull Grahams. Two significant locations on Iona were also reached; Dun I, the high point of the island, and secondly the burial place of John Smith.
May saw us on Skye when, on an improving day, our only two Munros of the year, Am Basteir and Bruach na Frithe, were revisited with friends, taking one of them to within three of completion. Beinn na Cro and other nearby hills of the Red Cuillin gave us the best weather outing. Other days were plagued with wind and rain but still saw minor bagging activity. In the second week of May we were based at Reiff, beyond Altandhu in Coigach, and as far along the road that way as one can go. It was a splendid location giving views over a small bay to the Summer Isles with An Teallach visible beyond, sometimes. Just one new Marilyn, Meall Coire an Lochain, was captured but a Submarilyn was taken too, Beannan Beaga, south of Ben Mor Coigach.
Two Alpine trips were made, in summer and early autumn, and of course there was the usual dense scattering of day and weekend trips which saw the number of days spent on hills in 2015 quite respectable, if rather down on other recent years.
Activity for the final third of the year was seriously curtailed by a couple of bouts of sciatica. It is strongly recommended to everyone that, where possible, this condition be avoided.
Our exploits in recent years have seen progressively fewer Marilyns bagged, however that does not mean a decrease in interest, just a reflection of greater scarcity of new ones in locations we have visited.
We are both saddened at the forthcoming demise of Marhofn. Without any exaggeration, we both declare that it gives one of the best hill-related reads of the year, and all without advertising. We will have to accept though that the senior members of the outfit have other fish to fry, or perhaps other paths to walk. We shall continue to collect and record our bags and will log them into such locations as are available. And who knows, one day there could be 'son of Marhofn'.
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