Marhofn 196.11 - May 2009

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Marilyn poll results

There was an enthusiastic response to the poll, with 54 people casting a total of 707 votes for 330 different hills, in every region of Scotland, England and Wales (only sections 1B, 1E, 3A, 3C, 20A and 29 failed to record any votes).

Scottish hill over 900 metres

Best:   Bidein a'Ghlas Thuill (An Teallach)8 votes
Rated: ( Bidean nam Bian, Bla Bheinn4 votes
  ( Ladhar Bheinn, Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan4 votes
    Beinn Sgritheall, Foinaven, Sgurr nan Gillean3 votes

Sgurr Alasdair and Slioch each received two votes, and 11 others received one vote each: A'Mhaighdean, Ben Alder, Ben Lawers, Ben Nevis, Braeriach, Buachaille Etive Mor, Luinne Bheinn, Seana Bhraigh, Mullach an Rathain, Spidean a'Choire Leith (both Liathach) and Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe).

Worst:   Carn na Caim (5)6 votes
Slated:   Carn a'Gheoidh (6B), Carn Dearg (9B)3 votes
    Ben Chonzie (1A), Ben Nevis (4A)2 votes

Then 18 hills with one vote each, with four from region 6, including Leathad an Taobhain, the only Corbett nominated.

Scottish hill 600-900 metres

Best:   Suilven 7 votes
Rated:   The Cobbler5 votes
    Askival, Cul Mor, Stac Pollaidh3 votes

Then six hills with two votes each: Beinn Bhan (13B), Beinn Mhor (24C), Ben Loyal (16B), Druim Fada (10A), Garbh Bheinn (18B), Garbh-bheinn (17B) and 15 hills with one vote each, including Sail Gharbh and Spidean Coinich on Quinag, two in southern Scotland (Mullwharchar, Tinto) and Cir Mhor on Arran.

Worst:   Green Lowther (27C)3 votes
Slated: ( Beinn Tharsuinn (15B, 692m)2 votes
  ( Blackhope Scar (28A), Carn Ealasaid (8)2 votes

Then 24 hills with one vote, including three each from region 9 and region 27.

Scottish mainland hill under 600 metres

Best:   Arthur's Seat (28A)4 votes
Rated:   Beinn Lora (3B)3 votes
  ( An Grianan (16A), Meall Innis an Loichel (12B)2 votes
( Norman's Law (26), West Lomond (26)2 votes

Then 29 hills with one vote each from 14 different regions, including five from region 28 and four from regions 10 and 16.

Worst:   Cruach Lerags (19A)4 votes
Slated:   Airds Hill (3B), Corse Hill (27A)3 votes
    Cairnsmore (27B), Newtyle Hill (6B)2 votes

Then 23 hills with one vote, including four each from regions 19 and 27, and three from region 28.

Scottish island hill under 600 metres

Best:   Sgurr na Stri (Skye)7 votes
Rated:   Ben Tianavaig (Skye)5 votes
    Dun Caan (Raasay)4 votes
    An Sgurr (Eigg)3 votes

Then six hills with two votes each: Ailsa Craig, Biod an Athair (Skye), Mullach Buidhe (Garbh Eilean, Shiants), Mullach Mor (Holy Island), Noss Head (Shetland), Todun (Harris) and fourteen hills with one vote each, all on different islands: Arran, Barra, Eigg, Eriskay, Harris, Lewis, Mingulay, North Uist, Sandray, South Uist, Shetland Mainland, Skye, Soay, Taransay.

Worst:   A'Chruach (Arran) 3 votes
Slated: ( Beinn Tart a'Mhill (Islay)2 votes
  ( Saxa Vord (Unst), Tighvein (Arran)2 votes

Then 16 hills with one vote: five on Skye, three on Lewis and one each on Bute, Eigg, Hoy, Mull, Orkney Mainland, Rum, Shetland Mainland and Stac Lee.

English hill over 600 metres

Best:   Blencathra13 votes
Rated:   Great Gable11 votes
    Helvellyn5 votes
    Scafell Pike4 votes
    Cross Fell3 votes

Then three hills with two votes each (Kinder Scout, Coniston Old Man, Place Fell) and eight hills with one vote each, all in the Lake District apart from Fountains Fell and Ingleborough.

Worst:   Burnhope Seat5 votes
Slated:   Dodd Fell Hill, Kinder Scout, The Cheviot4 votes

Then five hills with two votes: Great Coum, Great Shunner Fell, Peel Fell, Rogan's Seat, Scafell Pike, and six with one vote: Baugh Fell, Birks Fell, Cold Fell, High Raise, Coniston Old Man, Yarlside.

English hill under 600 metres

Best:   Loughrigg Fell7 votes
Rated:   Caer Caradoc Hill5 votes
    Mellbreak, Stiperstones4 votes
    Dufton Pike, Worcestershire Beacon3 votes

Then three hills with two votes each (Gummer's How, Hallin Fell and Hutton Roof Crags) and 15 hills with one vote, including Black Hill, Cleeve Hill, Kisdon, Sighty Crag and Wendover Woods.

Worst:   Dundry Down11 votes
Slated:   Crowborough7 votes
    Hensbarrow Beacon3 votes

Then five hills with two votes each (Bardon Hill, Bishop Wilton Wold, Hegdon Hill, Hoove, Sighty Crag) and six hills with one vote each (Claife Heights, Gisborough Moor, Hail Storm Hill, Rombalds Moor, View Edge, Wendover Woods).

Welsh hill over 600 metres

Best:   Tryfan27 votes
Rated:   Snowdon6 votes
    Cadair Idris4 votes
    Moel Siabod3 votes
    Carnedd Llewelyn2 votes

Then four hills with one vote each: Arenig Fawr, Mynydd Mawr, Plynlimon, Yr Aran.

Worst:   Cyrniau Nod9 votes
Slated:   Waun Fach5 votes
    Drygarn Fawr, Snowdon3 votes

Then ten hills with one vote each, comprising six from region 30, three from region 32 and one from region 31.

Welsh hill under 600 metres

Best:   Yr Eifl (30A)7 votes
Rated:   Moel y Golfa (31B)5 votes
    Sugar Loaf (32A), Ysgyryd Fawr (32A)4 votes
    Moel y Dyniewyd (30B)3 votes

Then five hills with two votes each (Carneddau, Corndon Hill, Great Orme, Moel Famau, Mynydd Carningli) and 12 hills with one vote: Carn Fadryn, Carnedd Wen, Frenni Fawr, Gyrn Ddu, Holyhead Mountain, Long Mountain, Moel-y-gest, Mynydd Enlli (Bardsey), Mynydd Rhiw, Penycloddiau, Tor y Foel, Upper Park.

Worst:   Myarth4 votes
Slated:   Great Orme, Mynydd Eppynt3 votes
    Brandy Hill, Mynydd Rhyd-ddu, Upper Park2 votes

Then 15 hills with one vote each, comprising four from section 32B, three from 32C and four each from regions 30 and 31.

Any hill, anywhere, any height

Best: ( Askival, Bidean nam Bian, Bla Bheinn3 votes
  ( Bidein a'Ghlas Thuill (An Teallach)3 votes
Rated: ( Foinaven, Ladhar Bheinn2 votes
  ( Sgurr Alasdair, Suilven, Tryfan2 votes

Then 21 hills with one vote each: Beinn an Lochain (19C), Beinn Duirinnis (3B), Beinn Fhada (11A), Beinn Mhor (24C), Beinn Sgritheall (10A), Blencathra (34A), Buachaille Etive Mor (3B), Carn Fadryn (30A), Cul Mor (16F), Dun Caan (17A), Garbh Bheinn (18B), Great Gable (34B), Luinne Bheinn (10B), Meall an Fheadain (16F), Plynlimon (31A), Sgurr Dubh (13B), Sgurr Mor (14B), Slioch (14A), Snowdon, Spidean a'Choire Leith (13A), Stac Pollaidh (16F).

Worst:   Dundry Down7 votes
Slated:   Crowborough4 votes
    Hensbarrow Beacon, Newtyle Hill 2 votes

Then 16 hills with one votes each, comprising seven in Scotland, five in Wales and four in England.

Poll Tryfia

Tryfan received twice as many votes as any other hill yet failed to win the overall award, perhaps because many people found it difficult to look beyond Scotland for the best British hill. The Torridon Munros barely featured, perhaps because it was too difficult to choose between their two Marilyns. No votes for the In Pinn or Sgorr nam Fiannaidh at the end of Aonach Eagach.

Tryfan (photo: Bert Barnett)

Tryfan (photo: Bert Barnett)

Seventeen hills were nominated in best and worst categories: A'Mhaighdean, An Sgurr (Eigg), Beinn Sgritheall, Ben Nevis, Carn Fiaclach, Carnedd Llewelyn, Coniston Old Man, Great Orme, Kinder Scout, Ladhar Bheinn, Plynlimon, Scafell Pike, Sighty Crag, Snowdon, Tryfan, Upper Park, Wendover Woods. Snowdon was the only hill to receive at least three best and three worst votes, suggesting dislike of crowds and clutter rather than the hill itself, while Scafell Pike managed two of each.

Grahams featured prominently in the best 600-900m category even though they were up against Corbetts, taking 18 of the 48 votes, while 12 different Corbetts picked up negative votes, compared to 16 different Grahams. There was some tactical voting, with a few people voting for one hill as their overall favourite and a different one in the relevant category, as a way of nominating an extra hill.

The Cairngorms were almost entirely absent from best and worst categories, with only Braeriach scoring a best vote and only Geal Charn scoring a negative (along with Carn Ealasaid from region 8). Region 2 was also largely overlooked, with only Ben Lawers scoring a plus point to set against negative votes for Beinn Mhanach, Farragon Hill, Meall Glas, Meall nam Maigheach and Schiehallion. Region 30 scored the most positive votes (70) and also the most negative votes (29), reflecting the large number of distinctive hills there.

Several people chose not to cast any negative votes, suggesting that all hills had some merits, while others struggled to choose between numerous candidates. Those who did vote were split into two camps: those who considered dulls hills worse than painful ones, and vice versa. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that Lewis only picked up three votes in the 'worst' category, and Jura none at all. Perhaps the views compensate for the terrain. Or maybe more people have been to south Arran than to north Lewis or north Jura. The negative vote for Stac Lee was not strictly allowed, as the voter had not been up it. However, it was permitted as a gesture of sympathy with the sentiment.

Regions 13, 26 and 29 escaped any negative votes. Apart from those three, region 16 had the best ratio, with 35 bests and only 3 worsts, followed by region 34 (66/7) region 17 (47/8) then regions 14, 24, 18, 3, 38 and 10. Least popular regions were 5, 7, 23, 29, 37 and 40, which received no positive votes at all. After that, the worst ratio was for region 41 (1 best, 18 worst), region 42 (1 best, 11 worst) and regions 9, 15 and 33 (each with 1 best and 8 worsts). Some other regions with several unpopular hills (19, 27, 32, 35) did ok overall, with enough good hills to compensate for the dross.

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