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Quick recap first. After Fiona Torbet's list of 244 Highland hills was published in TGO in November 1992, I contacted her and we arranged to meet. We both thought that it would be confusing for walkers to have two different lists covering similar sets of hills. After some discussion, and further research by Fiona, we agreed to settle on a single set of hills, though with some different name preferences. Our agreement was to use the relevant list of Marilyns and to rename them from Elsies to Grahams. Two hills were added, Beinn Talaidh and Ladylea Hill, taking the number of Grahams to 224, and four hills were renamed. Since then the Grahams have remained a subset of the Marilyns.
The list of Grahams was largely unchanged from 1993 until 2013, when I was able to start improving its accuracy through surveying. Since then four hills have been removed from the list, four possible candidates (formerly twin peaks) have been eliminated, and Beinn Dearg has been replaced by Creag na h-Eararuidh, making the current total of Grahams 220. All fairly straightforward. More information, including the correct list of Grahams, is available at www.rhb.org.uk/grahams.
Several years ago, the SMC asked me for permission to 'reproduce the list that you compiled for our Munros Tables book' in its forthcoming guidebook to the Grahams. The SMC book took a long time to assemble, and it was not until 2014 that contact was resumed. In October 2014, I granted permission for the SMC to reproduce the Grahams list and sent them the latest version. The SMC paid for this information but decided not to use it (they referred to survey results in footnotes). Instead, they opted to revise the list and to publish their own version, based on out of date and less accurate information. They also gave hills that had been twin peaks equal status. The outcome is that there are 228 hills in the list in the SMC book (pages 319-323). The following hills are listed but are not Grahams:
Uamh Bheag East Top
Stob na Boine Druim-fhinn
Meall nan Damh
Sidean a' Choin Bhain (sic)
Cruachan Dearg (Mull)
Ben Aslak (Skye)
Stob na Boine Druim-fhinn was a Graham in 2014 so it was correct for the SMC book to include it then. The SMC has recently commissioned the DoBIH survey team, GJ Surveys, to survey these hills (amongst others). I was surprised to learn that they should regard it as a worthwhile use of their time and equipment to resurvey hills for which DoBIH already has highly accurate data, in view of the thousands of hills in DoBIH that could benefit from a single survey. Resurveying can be a useful form of validation, but some resurveys are more worthwhile than others. GJ Surveys can make use of data freely submitted to DoBIH to help obtain confidential commercial contracts should they see fit to do so, regardless of scientific merit. Presumably, the trustees of the Scottish Mountaineering Trust regard the £2000 allocated for this exercise as a worthwhile use of SMT funds.
Anyone wishing to notify the SMC that they have completed the hills in its version of the list might be expected to have climbed all 228 hills. However, anyone who has climbed the 220 Grahams, including Creag na h-Eararuidh, is eligible to register as a Grahamist and join the Graham Hall of Fame by contacting email@example.com. However, do not expect the Graham Hall of Fame to appear in Relative Matters.
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