Marhofn 316.18 - May 2016

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Bunch of baglogs:

Eric Young (+0=1554)

Beware. As a reader of Marhofn, you are more likely than not to be a Munro completer. In our midst lurks a stealth bagger. You might find this difficult to believe, but he bags Munroists and ticks them off his SMC list. A compulsive collector by the name of, yes, I am going to out him, Campbell Singer. Not content with incidental meetings on the mountains he will blatantly circulate any gathering, prospecting for victims. Could it catch on? Well, once the game is on hill-bagging...

I was surprised to meet George Bruce on our approach to Meall a'Bhainne from Calop. A retired paper-maker from Fort William, now in Aberdeen, getting out from under his wife's feet by hillwalking. After the familiar orderly bagging of Munros, Corbetts and Grahams, George has taken enthusiastically to Marilyn-bagging. Welcome no. 5369, a late registerer.

You might expect I would have little to report, with two new Marilyns to my credit. For my sins, I find myself looking reflectively through the Hall of Mirrors. As I understand it, this comprises a group of outstandingly keen baggers who have done at least 600 Marilyns a second time. I am just an accidental addition. I did not intend to, I really did not.

Anne Bunn and Eric Young on Sgurr Dubh (photo: Alan Dawson)

Anne Bunn and Eric Young on Sgurr Dubh (photo: Alan Dawson)

I did mean to walk some wonderful ridges, new to me. I scrambled Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair's east ridge to my last Murdo of Sgurr Dubh, in fine company and weather. I highly recommend the ill-frequented south-west ridge of Mull's Ben More, especially if snow lingers on top with fine cornices. Fisherfield's Beinn Dearg Bheag provides a fine west-to-east traverse once you have worked out how to get on to it.

Do take the distinctive ridge out of Glen Tilt up on to Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain via Carn Torcaidh, a viewpoint to behold. I met Stephen Sharp (Campbell no. 1375), on Carn nan Gabhar and due to head on a Himalayan trek the following week. Being 22 April, it was probably postponed. When you are on Bidean an Chabhair do not miss the fine ridge out to Sgurr na h-Aide soaring above Loch Morar.

Sgurr na h-Aide (photo: Eric Young)

Sgurr na h-Aide (photo: Eric Young)

There is a confusion of tops along Knoydart's Druim Fada ridge: Sgurr Mor has a Far West, West, Near West and East Top; Druim Fada a West Top and East Top. Perhaps you can discover a new one; it will need to be a Further or a Far, Far Away Top. 'A knobbly ridge' said Mr Dawson, no. 2009. (AD: If Campbell had been paying attention he could have bagged me at Strontian in 2009 and scored a rare bonus point.)

As boatman Nick dropped us on the Scalpay shore, we spotted a complete otter skeleton on the shingle with its long bony-sectioned tail. The island proved tough and interesting, more for its extensive Norse settlement than Mullach na Carn, its Marilyn.

The ancient beehive cell and St Brendan's monastery ruins on the Garvellach's Eilean nan Naomh brought back memories of Ireland's Skellig Michael. Great islands, if Marilyn-less.

Did you see the remarkable paper bridge in Grisedale? Made of four tonnes of poppy-red A2 sheets of 285-gram card in pack bridge style, it was surprisingly strong, if a little wobbly. Now recycled. Quiet thereafter up Nethermost Pike's east ridge to Helvellyn and Dollywagon Pike. Such peace may be hard to find in the Lakes, but we enjoyed with the help of boats the deserted wilderness of the Cape Wrath hills, the An Stac group of Marilyns up Loch Morar and (by bike) An Dun and her twin sister Am Meadar from the dilapidated Sronphadruig Lodge.

Finally a eureka moment on 1 August 2015 on the more northerly Cnoc an t-Sabhail in Easter Ross. The base-plate number on the triangulation station read S1815. Unbelievable coincidence. Would you believe we had even been given directions from a woman on a one-eyed horse called Domino? The horse not the woman.

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