TAC 38 Index
YOU MAY NOT have noticed, but my philosophical meanderings in TAC37 were left dangling without conclusion, being crowded out by the World Cup and other such waffle. So here are the remaining musings.
I should start by clearing up a possible misunderstanding when I suggested that "if it looks like a hill, and it feels like a hill, then it's a hill." Perhaps I should have added "provided it satisfies the height and drop criteria for the list in question", but I felt that went without saying. Maybe I should also have pointed out (in true philosophical tradition) that the converse does not logically follow, so I can happily argue in favour of the Crowborough Conjecture: "if it doesn't look like a hill, then it might still be a hill". There is no logical conflict here. It might be true that all women are not members of the JMCS, but this does not mean that all people who are not members of the JMCS are women.
On the subject of exclusive clubs, Ed has suggested a Hall of Fame midterm update, so I'd better mention the three new recruits so far this year, all from places beginning with B: Bert Barnett from Blairgowrie, David Purchase from Bristol, and Peter Dawes from Banchory. The membership of 24 (up from ten since the start of last year) still includes only two women, but there's a cluster of three around the 500 mark who are moving on up. The big news though is that Ann and Rowland Bowker climbed their 1500th Marilyn on 11th July (559m Meall a'Bhainne near Glenfinnan), with Rowland talking unconvincingly of retirement and revisiting Munros, while Ann expressed interest in climbing her fourteen remaining mainland Marilyns. (Does Rowland's not-so-tiny total make him the unacceptable face of Marilyn-bagging? - Ed.) The day's assembly of nine Hall members and two extras enabled some surreptitious exchange of numbers. Latest known totals include: Payne 1300+, Donnelly 1103, Knowles 1029, Crummett 897, Adshead and Smithies both 800+, Dawson 796, Knight 749, Hoyle 740, Benn 715, Webb 688, Cox 674, Upson 665, Manson 663, Barnett 661, Dealtry 658, Hewitt 642, Dawes 611.
All this will be of zero interest to Matthew Shaw, who in TAC36 questioned why we need a Marilyn Hall of Fame at all. A fair question, and the answer is of course we don't need one, just as we don't actually need lists of Munroists or leading run scorers or record sales or the footsie index or almost everything else I can think of. But at least these things have a numerical validity based on events rather than on some judges' dodgy opinions, like the Oscars or ice-skating medals or indeed the Munros.
I certainly never planned to start a Hall of Fame. I just tried to provide an accurate information service about the heights of hills, but for every letter querying a summit height or grid reference there were two or three asking who had climbed the most hills or how many Marilyns Rowland Bowker had climbed. And in answering these letters the Hall of Fame started to evolve. It's mostly harmless and some people like it. If you don't like it don't join, that way we're all happy. Now we're on to utilitarian philosophy. I'd be slightly happier if Matthew's anonymous acquaintances joined, but this would be outweighed by their unhappiness at joining against their will, so it's best if they don't. Unless they're happy about it. But other Hall members would also be slightly happier to have new members join, so maybe these anonymous baggers should join even if they're a bit unhappy about it, in order to make a lot of people a little bit happier. But not if it would make them very unhappy, obviously. Anyway, the point is that it's okay for them to climb hills and not tell anyone, really it is, that's my philosophy (part 3).
So that's the philosophy of hills, cols, and halls taken care of. One day I'd like to try applying a bit of philosophy to weightier issues, but I'm not sure it would be possible to have a constructive philosophical debate with the landowning mafia and other gunwielding tankdriving crapdumping pathblocking wirebarbing trackdozing spruceplanting tollcharging lochdamming gormtrashing taxdodging woolpulling camperbullying birdpoisoning cowmaddening badgerbaiting harebraining foxmuldering dogbarking bloodlusting lifeslaughtering custodians of the countryside. Given the chance to argue with those who prefer talking game numbers to number games, I'd be happy to tie them up in logical knots, herd them into a virtual hall of infamy, and have a really big hilltop bonfire. I suspect the happiness of most hillwalkers would be very much greater. And if that argument makes anyone unhappy then tough shit. You can't please everyone, that's my philosophy (part 4).
Ed. - Re the Hall of Fame, I was on hand on Morrone on 2nd July to meet Peter Lincoln for the end of his mega Muns+Corbs+Grahs bag. This occupied 359 days, during which he became the first person to qualify for the Hall in one go, since his tri-baggery raked in 648 Marilyns. Having climbed a wodge of other stuff in his time (eg numerous Welsh 3000er rounds), Peter has just checked in as the 25th HoFer, with a fine figure of 741. Note however that the Peter Lincoln listed in Munro's Tables as Munroist 1186 is not this Peter Lincoln. There are a lot of them about, just as there's another C Knowles in the list (no.1158) besides the 1000-Marilynist Charles (no.231). Most likely more on Peter's walk next issue. TAC also maintains the Corridor of Obscurity (leading to the Hall of Fame). This houses anyone known to have climbed between 400 and 600 Marilyns (which includes, by implication, all Munro+Corbett completers, since they're 424 minimum). There are currently 40 Corriadors, of whom thirteen are known to be over 500.
TAC 38 Index