Marhofn 171.09 - May 2007

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Baglogs: Upper Hall:

Baglog: Barbara Jones (+18=1011)

When is one's 1000th Marilyn not one's 1000th? When a new one is discovered which one has been up years before. Despite 2006 being the year of my 1000th, whichever hill that was, 18 was my lowest annual tally since acquiring 'the book' in 1992.

On the way up to Helensburgh to fit out the boat in April I popped up Ballencleuch Law (27C) in strong wind and the following day did the three Broughton hills (28A) - lovely sunshine and an interesting chat with a group of hang-gliders. On 29 April I joined the Saturday morning crowds up Ben A'n and carried on to Meall Gainmheich. Later I enjoyed a solitary ascent of my supposed 1000th, the Corbett Beinn a'Choin north of Loch Arklet. I'm very partial to a Bounty bar when on the hill, but I didn't have one with me for my celebration. Yet, surprise surprise, there by the summit cairn was a carrier bag containing an Aero bar and a milk chocolate Bounty! I prefer dark ones, but could hardly complain. They were too runny from the sun for immediate consumption but it was a strange coincidence. I camped down by the Corriearklet Burn.

In May I walked with a girl friend from Ullapool to Durness, alternating nights in the tent with nights in hotels. Nice contrasts and five more Marilyns ascended. At Inchnadamph we met a geological enthusiast with specimens, and on the summit of Glas Bheinn we identified pipe rock, which is the fossilised vertical tubes of annelid worms. There was a wonderful view of Quinag, Canisp, Suilven and the Outer Hebrides, before and after a fierce hailstorm. Then it was off to Stornoway to join David on the boat. A cold and windy spell followed, with esoteric tramps to Beinn Mholach and Muirneag, leaving just three 'vals' still requiring attention in region 24; Mealaisval, Tahaval and Cracaval. I suppose they're all 'bhals' now.

Glas Bheinn on 1 Jan 2004 (photo: Alan Dawson)

Glas Bheinn on 1 Jan 2004 (photo: Alan Dawson)

So what was my 1000th? Baystones was a Marilyn when I went up it, then it was demoted and later re-instated with a new summit, which I think I'd visited. Milk Hill and Abberley Hill were discovered, ticked off by me and then struck off. Arnside Knott, which I'd been up years ago, was promoted before I did my supposed 1000th but I didn't learn about it until the autumn, when I also discovered that I hadn't counted two other late comers, Swyre Head and Nine Barrow Down. My list now records Meall Gainmheich as my 1000th, but Beinn a'Choin still feels like that special one.

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