Marhofn 294.17 - May 2015

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Surveying report 2014

Alan Dawson

I am aware that surveying is not universally popular amongst baggers. Many people do not like change, particularly when it affects hills they have already climbed or lists they have already completed. In the spirit of the current trend for unapologetic apologies, I apologise for any inconvenience caused, but not for researching and publicising the truth. I have considered withholding survey results until an official update sheet or a new edition of RHB, but most people prefer to know about changes as soon as they are confirmed.

My main priority for 2014 was to survey twin peaks and borderline summits with 148-152m drop. The detwinning was very successful up to June, with four surveys showing that the hill listed in RHB was higher than its upstart rival, so no changes there. After that it got more complicated, as I was unable to separate Troweir Hill and Saugh Hill, but the problem was semi-solved by unexpectedly discovering that neither of them was a Marilyn. Cruim Leacainn near Spean Bridge was the other casualty - another hill not listed in RHB but added later and, as it turned out, erroneously.

Creag Toll a'Choin was never officially a twin but turned out to be 0.35m higher than Maoile Lunndaidh. This was a surprise, as some OS maps show Maoile Lunndaidh to be 2m higher, so a second survey was carried out to confirm the finding. Beinn Dearg (1B) was not a twin either, but turned out to be 1.7m lower than its rival 2km to the west, which extensive research revealed to be called Creag na h-Eararuidh (pronounced Creag na Herra) and not Stuc na Cabaig.

Having eliminated all the official twins, I mucked things up by finding Stob Coire a'Chairn to be the same height as An Gearanach, though this is potentially resolvable with a return visit and a bit of temporary cairn tampering. Confirmation of the 151m drop from whichever is higher was better news.

The tables below show results from marginal Marilyn and Submarilyn surveys that were not reported in last year's Marhofn. Contrary to what some may think, most surveys do not result in significant change.

Marilyn surveys

Section Name Height Drop Grid reference Status
1B Creag na h-Eararuidh708.3353 NN 6851 1900 New
1B Beinn Dearg706.673.4 NN 6966 1975 Superseded
3B Na Maoilean352.6193 NM 9752 3721 Relocated
10A The Saddle1011.4334 NG 9361 1312 Relocated
12A Creag Toll a'Choin1005.2402 NH 1308 4532 New
12A Maoile Lunndaidh1004.910.5 NH 1350 4585 Superseded
16D Creag an Amalaidh260.9154 NH 7587 9752 New
27B Troweir Hill295.6149.3 NX 2112 9602 Demoted
1B Sgiath a'Chaise644.2303 NN 5836 1694 Confirmed
1D Meall nan Gabhar744.0265 NN 2357 2402 Confirmed
3C Creise1099.8169.4 NN 2385 5064 Confirmed
4A Am Bodach1031.8152.8 NN 1763 6509 Confirmed
4A An Gearanach981.4151.4 NN 1877 6698 Twinned
4A Stob Coire a'Chairn981.4124.7 NN 1855 6606 Twinned
7A Creigh Hill498.0168.1 NO 2707 5936 Confirmed
15B Beinn Tharsuinn692.0353 NH 6063 7928 Confirmed
16B Beinn Direach688.9152.1 NC 4061 3806 Confirmed
16C Creag Thoraraidh404.5155.1 ND 0406 1875 Confirmed
16C Cnoc na Maoile401.1152.5 ND 0079 2121 Confirmed
17E Maol Ban338.5152.1 NM 6838 2387 Confirmed

The only completely new Marilyn was Creag an Amalaidh near Golspie. Its summit was easy enough to climb and survey but the col deep in trees required two visits. I was unable to get a good enough GPS signal at the col itself and had to resort to surveying a point well to the east. This was surveyed by GPS to be 152.6m lower than the summit and measured by approximate levelling to be about 1.5m higher than the col, so in the end the promotion was clear.

Several Marilyns with two points of similar height were confirmed: Sgiath a'Chaise (1.5m higher than north top), Meall nan Gabhar (0.6m higher than north top), Creise (0.9m higher than Clach Leathad), Creigh Hill (1.0m higher than south top), Beinn Tharsuinn (3.1m higher than Sidhean a'Choin Bhain) and Creag Thoraraidh (0.2m higher than Cnoc Coir a'Phuill). However, the summit of Na Maoilean did move, to an obvious summit about 400 metres north-east of the trig point, while the summit of The Saddle moved back to its previous location, which turned out to be 0.3m higher than the rocks next to the trig point.

Submarilyn surveys

Section Name Height Drop Grid reference Status
1D Dun Corr-bhile322.3145.4 NN 1037 1062 Unchanged
6B Creag nam Brataichean536.7138.7 NO 1139 6133 Demoted
8A Cairn Gorm1044.8145.8 NJ 0051 0406 Unchanged
16C Beinn a'Mhadaidh401.1146.8 NC 7689 4150 Unchanged
16D Meall Eachainn343.5145.4 NC 6186 0050 Unchanged
16D An Stoc-bheinn336.3146.9 NC 6415 0251 Unchanged
28B Fanna Hill514.6148.1 NT 5697 0319 Unchanged
30D Moel y Gydros522.3145.9 SH 9143 4538 Unchanged
33 Hedgehope Hill714.4147.3 NT 9438 1980 Unchanged
33 Cushat Law616.2147.9 NT 9282 1374 Unchanged
34B High Spy653.1147.7 NY 2340 1622 Unchanged
34B Great How333.2140.9 NY 3137 1872 New
42 Littleton Down254.9149.2 SU 941 150 Unchanged

Many thanks to GJ Surveys for the Maol Ban survey, John Barnard for the Littleton Down survey; Myrddyn Phillips for Moel y Gydros survey.

On Beinn Direach - a Marilyn that avoided ignominy (photo: Trevor Littlewood)

On Beinn Direach - a Marilyn that avoided ignominy (photo: Trevor Littlewood)

Sim surveys

Lots of surveys and several demotions kept on pushing my 2000th Sim further out of reach, so I probably suffered more than anyone from my diligence. Some might think it serves me right. Losing two in one walk was inconvenient (Stob a'Ghlais Choire and Creag Dhubh), but it was a superb day's hillwalking so I did not kick myself too hard. The two most intriguing results did not involve any change of status. Stac a'Chuirn turned out to be 18 metres lower than shown by the OS, while Drochaid Ghlas is 15m higher. These unexpected findings encouraged me to extend the number of hills that would benefit from a survey.

The seven promotions and nine demotions bring the current number of Sims to 2528. Notable results from 2014 are summarised below.

Section Name Height Drop Grid reference Status
1C Stob Glas710.530.9 NN 3656 2002 New
2B Beinn nan Eachan E Top951.430.1 NN 5740 3838 New
2B Cam-Chreag892.531.5 NN 5247 3983 New
3A Aonach Eagach East Top906.233.1 NN 1553 5828 New
6A An Sgarsoch Far East Top756.636.0 NN 9615 8513 New
11A Suie Dhu613.830.3 NG 9995 2543 Reinstated
17B Caisteal a'Garbh-choire829.731.7 NG 4543 2022 New
2B Meall Eoghainn808.429.8 NN 4685 3232 Demoted
3A Stob Dubh866.328.2 NN 1518 5887 Demoted
3C Stob a'Ghlais Choire995.525.8 NN 2399 5162 Demoted
3C Creag Dhubh746.828.8 NN 2580 5204 Demoted
6A An Sgarsoch East Top753.527.9 NN 9534 8479 Superseded
9B Meall a'Bhothain909.929.6 NH 6635 0565 Demoted
12B Meallan Odhar Doire nan Gillean598.7177 NH 1562 3778 Marilyn but not a Sim
15B Sidhean a'Choin Bhain688.829.7 NH 6001 8031 Demoted
16B Carn an Tionail715.129.6 NC 5759 4768 Demoted
1C Beinn a'Chroin941.4137.1 NN 3875 1857 Confirmed
1D Stac a'Chuirn852.434.9 NN 1905 1809 Confirmed
2B Meall a'Churain917.229.9 NN 4627 3248 Unchanged
2B Creag na Caillich914.369.3 NN 5628 3769 Confirmed
3A Aonach Eagach West Top904.632.0 NN 1534 5828 Confirmed
5B Carn na Caim South Top914.630.3 NN 6638 8069 Confirmed
6B Gurlet North Top601.829.6 NN 9941 6527 Unchanged
7A Bawhelps828.130.3 NO 2266 7215 Confirmed
10A Sgurr na Forcan964.628.6 NG 9402 1305 Unchanged
10A Sgurr Coire na Feinne901.831.4 NH 0279 0930 Confirmed
11A Stob Coire Lochan916.929.6 NH 1192 2717 Unchanged
17C Ben Aslak609.0329.0 NG 7507 1912 Confirmed
21A Ladylea Hill609.1200.9 NJ 3430 1680 Confirmed

The results of the surveys of Beinn nan Eachan East Top, Meall a'Churain, Meall Eoghainn and Creag na Caillich were so close that I surveyed each of them twice to verify the result. Beinn nan Eachan East Top and Carn na Caim South Top became Murdos, while Creag na Caillich lost its Murdo status. Ben Aslak and Ladylea Hill were confirmed as Sims but removed from the Grahams list.

Numerous other marginal Sims and Subsims were surveyed with no change in status. After making the effort to survey Meall Tionail (west of Carn an Fhidhleir) from Linn of Dee, I was a little disappointed to find it stubbornly sticking at 899.7m.

Caisteal a'Garbh-choire - a new Sim (photo: Alan Dawson)

Caisteal a'Garbh-choire - a new Sim (photo: Alan Dawson)

Survey results are submitted to DoBIH and soon afterwards appear in Details of changes are available in the Sim change register at:


The Sim Hall of Fame has two new entrants. Colin Donnelly passed the 2000 threshold in 2013 but did not report in last year, while the seventh member quietly strolled in on Manywee in October.

Full members at 31 Dec 2014 Corridor members at 31 Dec 2014
Ken Whyte2528 Neil Sandilands1843
Andy Hyams2521 Bert Barnett1802
Iain Thow2506 Gavin Theobald1786
Colin Crawford2349 Alan Castle1764
Rob Woodall2109 Michael Earnshaw1736
Colin Donnelly2071 Jim Bloomer1682
Alan Dawson2006 Graham Illing1623
    Richard Webb1619
    Richard Speirs1567
    Eddie Dealtry1533
    Alan Brook1530
    John Ward1524

All Sim baggers (and indeed Marilyn baggers) are encouraged to enter their hill logs into the website, so that totals can be automatically kept up to date and easily retrieved at the end of the year.

Hump and Subhump surveys

Section Name Height Drop Grid reference Status
1B Ben Halton620.299.8 NN 7205 2036 Unchanged
1C Stob Creag an Fhithich714.899.4 NN 3491 1905 Demoted
1C Beinn Bhreac629.992.8 NN 2025 2164 New Subhump
3C Stob Dearg1103.197.8 NN 0623 3074 Unchanged
3C Drochaid Ghlas1024.390.5 NN 0833 3077 New Subhump
4A Na Gruagaichean1054.296.8 NN 2030 6520 Unchanged
7A Craigie Thieves688.0101.7 NO 2432 7000 Confirmed
12B Sgorr na Ruadhraich654.098.6 NH 3157 3600 Unchanged
26A Murrayshall Hill280.2100.2 NO 1647 2535 Confirmed
27B Saugh Hill295.6149.3 NX 2123 9713 Still twinned

Guard on the borderline summit of The Schil

Guard on the borderline summit of The Schil

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