The Angry Corrie 25: Nov 1995-Jan 1996
Given that your Editor has just written 1508 words for an imminent glossy mag on the recent triumphs of the so-called Sic Munroist, it would be a trifle self-indulgent for him to witter on overlong here too. Suffice it to say that the SM (see TACs passim) completed his round of Munros in reverse order of height in atrocious conditions atop Ben Nevis, some 3 years 5 months after having started on the then- lowest Beinn a'Chlaidheimh. The main story from TAC's point of view was that we've been well had, since our main informant on the SM's activities over the years, Dave Purser from Aberdeen, turned out to be none other than the man himself. Anyway, you can read about all this in the upcoming issue of TGO (crikey: changed days!), but TAC passes on its heartfelt congrats on this - er - wonderful feat.
Also bagging merrily of late has been new TAC subscriber Johan de Jong, from The Netherlands. On 19th July he became the first Dutchman to complete the Munros, and possibly only the second foreigner after some German bloke a few years back.
TAC seems to be fast becoming the place where MilliMarilyners are detailed. Following Rowland and Anne Bowker, the third person we know of to have ticked 1000 of Blanco's summits is the slightly anonymous A Payne of Ardrishaig, whose 1000th was 537m Ellson Fell near the Moss Paul Hotel on the A7. The same person also corrected an error in Blanco's Relative Hills book: in Section 19c, Beinn Bhreac 507m, OS63 053763 has been usurped by a 519m point 11/2k to the north. This is technically nameless, but could still be called Beinn Bhreac or perhaps Coraddie. If anyone has local knowledge re this, or simply an opinion, we'd be interested to hear from them.
An interesting case of both bagging behaviour and gridsquare obsession is to be found in Another Shore - a 74pp A4 account of multi-day walks through Orkney and Norfolk by TAC subscriber Roger Legg. On p19, Roger writes:
"Close by, on the summit hillock [of Noup Head, on Westray], were four radio hams who had arrived with all their gear packed in an Austin Mini hired from Pierowall. Their target was to receive calls from every 10km square of Great Britain, the square containing Noup Head being one of the most remote..."
This example of ham baggers with relish certainly qualifies as bulging-eyed behaviour, without doubt. Has anyone encountered these punters since? Precisely what "calls" were they trying to receive - secret messages or simply The Archers? And were they bagging the squares in ascending order of height, à la the Sic Munroist? The latter would be quite a project in itself, just to calculate: the top end goes NN17 (Ben Nevis), NN99 (Ben Macdui), and then things get awkward straightaway. Is the 3rd highest square NJ00 - which includes the next highest Murdo summit (Cairn Gorm, 1245m) - or NH90, which just misses the top of Braeriach by around 100m horizontal distance, but still includes Braeriachian ground of over 1270m? If it's this complicated on well-known peaks, goodness knows what it would be like down on The Plain...
It's not often your Editor comes across a story combining three of his interests - hills, cricket and the county of his upbringing - but this occurred in the August issue of The Cricketer: "Derbyshire's reserve wicket-keeper and Second XI captain Bernie Maher, 37, was released from his contract on June 7 because of a back injury sustained while walking in the Peak District during the winter."
Recent emigre and TAC stalwart Mags Hunter attended a twitcher wedding in Seville and noted similarities between their obsessive bird-ticking behaviour and that of hillbaggers back in Britain. Nothing remarkable about that - TAC has pointed out such crossovers before. What is interesting, however, is that said twitcher had also invented a couple of related games. The first involved ticking off any birds spotted during a car or train journey - which, due to the generally static nature of hills, wouldn't be of much interest to baggers since you would only have to drive beneath Ben Lawers to spot it. There is more scope, however, in ticking off birds/hills which feature in your dreams... The inventor of this game had a simple rule: you weren't allowed to think about the required object just prior to nodding off. Certainly worth trying: how long before someone claims a complete round of dream-Munros? The latter stages could become very frustrating: you've had endless nightmares about the In Pinn in winter, but that fourth and final Geal Charn simply won't come to mind...
It's always worth hanging back for the credits at the end of a movie, and this led to a great moment during your editor's outing to see Apollo 13 with Alan Blanco, when the bulging-eyed one was seen frantically scribbling on a scrunched-up ticket. He was of course in Ludwig Zamenhof mode (see TACs passim but especially TAC24 p2), and at first thought he had jumped from 14:14 to 16:16 with Andrew Lipschultz, who was Best Boy or something technical. But of course this includes 2 Ls, so can only clock in at a nonetheless very respectable 15:16. Mention should also be made of Ottmar Hitzfeld, the Borussia Dortmund coach in their recent game versus Rangers: 12:14 including 3 Ts, whilst the Priscilla clone movie To Wong Foo should be worth a look, starring as it does the fantastic 12:13 pairing of Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo. Keep searching.