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Parking at Glen Moidart in 2002, en route to Beinn Gaire, I was surprised to see another walker heading hillwards. I eventually caught up and we spent a companionable time on the way to Croit Bheinn before I discovered that it was Brian Ewing, who lived within a kilometre of my house in Dumbarton. He was completing his round of Grahams (12 to go). 'So what next, Brian' I asked. And so the answer, 'Marilyns', became part of my hillwalking vocabulary.
In July 2005 I was descending Meall a'Choire Leith (2B), by the rather unorthodox route directly into the glen, when I came across a walker making an ascent from Meall nam Maigheach. George Morl and I passed a fascinating half hour (at least it was for me), and I learned a great deal about really keen hillwalkers.
In December 2005 I had just waded through the heather to the top of Newtyle Hill above Dunkeld when two well-kitted hillwalkers approached. Mark Smith and Ian (who had flown up from London for the day) recounted their adventures on public transport, having travelled by train from Glasgow to Dunkeld and walked over Deuchary Hill, with Mark planning to stay at Stirling youth hostel and capture the Menteith Marilyns the next day, while his companion flew back south from Glasgow airport. Inspiring stuff.
In May last year I came to the crossing of the Abhainn Poiblidh en route for Cnoc Damh (15A). Twas there I fell into conversation with two fair maidens and heard this fascinating story. They were trekking from Ullapool to Durness by a circuitous route, taking in selected Relative Hills. With Barbara Jones fresh from her 1000th conquest, they'd selected Creag Loisgte and the well-deserved comfort of the Oykell Bridge Hotel for the night, keeping the local economy alive. I like Hofferspotting. This pleasant chance encounter gave Barbara and me five points each. Unfortunately her friend's not counting.
But how's this for a bumper Hoffer haul? I'd attached myself to a great crowd on the Western Isles in May (thanks Brent). With no remote islands or boat trips available that day (so we thought), Alan Holmes and George Morl kindly invited me to join them and Andrew Tibbetts (congratulations on the new world record Andrew) on a 30km, ten-hour trek into Pairc on Lewis. Wilderness. Beinn Mhor, Ciopeagal Bheag and so to the west ridge of Caiteseal. Imagine our amazement to see three... no six... no, it's twelve fellow Marilyners descending (with Charles Everett and son Jamie still up at the cairn). Hofferwise that makes 13x5+3x3=74, and a group party total of 296 points. Beat that! They'd persuaded the fish-farm boat into action and had followed up a dawdle on Seaforth Island by proceeding on to Pairc. Sensible idea. And well done Jamie, at six years young.
AD: Sorry, you'll need to recalculate. Not all the Caiteseal party were Hall of Fame members. Non-members, null points.
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