Since reaching 400 on the last day of 2002, I have fallen a bit behind my target of 50 per year. Too many single-Marilyn days due to bagging more Corbetts and Grahams as I travel yet further west and north from my Tayport caravan to find new ticks. I have completed all but one Marilyn in a 75km radius, and now have a few tricky Cairngorm tops to reach to clear off the 80km radius. One of Munro's own misses, Carn an Fhidhleir, is a long day out for an old man.
I did get to 450 on 1 January 2004, on Ben Vrackie, but then only got to 492 at end of the year. The main difference from 2003 was the RHB meet. Whereas I had bagged 12 at the Ludlow meet in 2004, I only got up two in Perthshire last June. However, a determined start to 2005 saw me arrive in the Lakes for a couple of days with my 500th in sight. This was duly completed on Whitfell, and a short drive down to Muncaster saw me reach 501. Unfortunately, my car was written off in an accident as I turned to go back to Ambleside and my holiday plans seemed to be in tatters - fortunately, I wasn't. Thanks to modern communications, I was up and running in a hire car within 24 hours and managed to get up Black Combe before returning to New Brighton. The HoF entry target remains the end of 2006, when I will be 60 and a bit, but there's no rush really. I'll get there in the end if I drive carefully. It may even be a joint effort with my eldest son, Ian, who is well over 500 but slowing down due to imminent parenthood.