Marhofn 153.08 - May 2006

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Baglogs: Upper Hall:

Baglog: Gordon Ingall (+58=1038)

Yet another good year for hill days, taking in my local Lakeland fells, lower hills in Wales, and hills of all kinds in Scotland, ranging from new Grahams and lower Marilyns to old Munros and Corbetts, plus a smattering of Graham and Corbett Tops.

In theory the year's highlight should have been my 1000th Marilyn, Meikle Conval (21A) across from Ben Rinnes, on 5 June. The trouble was, I wasn't certain that it was my 1000th until I got home and had more recounts than a marginal by-election. I finally decided that numerous ascents of Arnside Knott in pre-Marilyn days didn't count, and so I visited it officially (Guantanamo! AD) just before the Tremadog trip.

Funnily enough, some of the more interesting Graham-sized summits were GTMs. Creag a'Chuir (4B) above Lochan na h-Earba was probably the pick and gave a grand day with the Corbett Tops of Geal Charn, finishing on Creag Pitridh. An unconventional route linking Stob a'Choire Mheadhoin and Stob Coire Easain (4A) allowed a visit to the little rocky summit of Creagan a'Chaise, with its bird's eye view of Loch Treig, followed by an ascent of Stob Coire Easain by its less frequented south ridge.

However, not all days went as smoothly. A Phil Cooper inspired walk on the Lleyn peninsula with a group from Tremadog failed to come up to expectations. A horizontal traverse (not my happiest of situations) well above a steep rocky coastline with a lively sea below proved a little too 'interesting' for my dodgy head for heights.

A day out in the Lakes with Dave Hewitt also went a little pear-shaped. Plan A was to climb Pavey Ark via the popular Jack's Rake (a Wainwright-approved scramble). On close inspection the rake proved to be a highly efficient drain for the wet crags above, so after a debate we retreated down the first pitch to regroup. Plan B followed - Easy Gully. As Dave prophetically noted, anything with the title 'easy' was asking for trouble. The start proved anything but easy but eventually we made it. Oddly my short stature (5ft 7in) seemed an advantage here. Unfortunately the top of the gully was a role reversal, with Dave's extended reach proving decisive. My second retreat of the day duly followed. Although the party did reunite on Pavey Ark a little later than anticipated, Jack's Rake awaits our return. The moral to all this is to go alone, with no witnesses, and you can sneak up the easy way (provided it's not actually called easy).

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