Marhofn 84.04 - May 2002

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Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal

Mynydd Dinas (32C)

Gary Westwood: About 100 metres from the summit of Mynydd Dinas there is a small copse of trees within which were a couple of small tents - they appeared to be in static rather than passing-through mode. Rather oddly there was a flat stone outside on which was scrawled in bright yellow paint 'b&b £5.25 per night enquire within'. It was a pretty spooky place in the mist so we didn't enquire if they offered discount to baggers. Does anyone know what the story is here?

Cairn Hill (27C)

Leslie Barrie: On 8 December I headed for the Wanlockhead area and added Cairn Hill and Green Hill to my tally of Marilyns. On returning from the Cairn Hill excursion around midday, the mist was only just beginning to clear. As I was peering in through the empty window aperture of the derelict house at Glenim, a startled barn owl made good its escape out of the back window opening. The only item of furniture left in that same room was the decaying remains of an old upright piano, its keys long disappeared. My thoughts turned to who the last occupants may have been, when did they leave for the last time, and how long since songs were sung while gathered around the piano?

Benbeoch (27C)

James Gordon: Benbeoch is plain weird - columnar, living rock leading to an abrupt summit, above wastes of opencast with big floodlights brighter than the wonderful sunset over the Campbeltown gap.

Alan Dawson: This is getting tricky, with people starting to fail on it. There was no problem when I climbed it in 1996, we just strolled up the track from the SE. The most eventful incident was being handed a £20 note by Gordon Smith, which had fallen out of my back pocket without my noticing. Five years later this route was not possible, as visitors are very much not welcome. Even on a late Sunday afternoon in December, the whole hillside was a roar of trucks and a blaze of lights, the roadside well-plastered with British Coal 'keep out' notices. So it became a challenge. We hopped over the fence just west of the stream at NS498069, and then incredibly there was a stile over a second fence. After that it was a raid on enemy territory. The trees initially gave some cover from the armed guards, but once off the lumpy grass and onto the opencast bombsite there was little choice but to duck and run, keeping out of the worst of the grey mud and slithering over banks and trenches, hoping the loose piles of rocks didn't collapse. Worst moment was crossing the wide truck runway in full view of the searchlights, before scampering for cover amongst the long grass and bushes beyond. Fine hill once you get to it. Although it's almost surrounded by mine workings there seems no immediate threat of demolition. The plan had been to find a better descent route, but dropping down east toward Benbain seemed to risk confrontation, so we ended up returning the same way. As it was almost dark this seemed safer than before, as most of the noisy truckmonsters had gone to sleep for the night.

Drygarn Fawr (31C)

Drygarn Fawr (photo: Paul Saunders)

Drygarn Fawr (photo: Paul Saunders)

Paul writes: I estimate that the cairn is perhaps four or five metres high (it was at least twice my height). This photo clearly shows that the base of the cairn is higher than the trig point, and in my opinion proves that 645m is the correct height of the summit.

Hensbarrow Beacon (40)

David Robinson: In March 1998, at dusk in wet, very wild weather and low cloud, I disturbed a 'Beast of Bodmin' (black panther?), which fled towards the trig point and into the mist.

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