Marhofn 106.06 - May 2004

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Ticking over: Gordon Ingall

Enjoyed an excellent year with varied trips both north and south, not least in the autumn with unseasonably good weather. Started the year in March with a brief stay in Teesdale, mainly for the north Pennine Hewitts. Had excellent weather but failed to do Mickle Fell, as the military were using the range seven days a week despite their efforts in Iraq. Followed this with a friend's 60th birthday bash in Bannockburn during April, with the party survivors staggering up Meall na Fearna from Loch Earn to celebrate my final Corbett, accompanied by yet more alcohol. My first full list completion was emotionally strangely muted, but now it's out of the way hundreds of new Corbett Tops and re-ascents can be enjoyed at leisure.

A couple of long trips to the Highlands followed in the summer, with Grahams being the focus, but several smaller hills gave equally rewarding days. The Eildon Hills above Melrose on a scorching August day were well worth the detour from the homeward journey. I also allowed myself a day off from the Grahams to do the Ben Starav group, where surprisingly I met only three other walkers; maybe it was the 29C heat.

Having only ever seen live adders (as opposed to road casualties) in Scotland on Jura over the previous 40-odd years, I encountered four on the mainland this summer. Are they on the increase or am I just visiting less disturbed areas?

The Ludlow weekend was a late decision but proved very enjoyable, especially meeting many of the newsletter contributors; definitely worth repeating. I followed this with a few days in mid-Wales and managed my 900th Marilyn in near-perfect weather on Mynydd Carningli; a small rocky summit in the Preseli Hills overlooking Cardigan Bay.

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