The Angry Corrie 50: Jun-Jul 2001

TAC 50 Index

Lasting longer than the Beatles - Oh no!

SO THAT'S TEN YEARS and 50 issues of The Angry Corrie - who would ever have thought it? A thousand pages of stuff that TGO, Trail and the SMC Journal couldn't have produced even had they been locked in a room together with a big bag of drugs.

The editor would like to express profound thanks to the core group of contributors and supporters (they know who they are), and to the subscribers, correspondents and the staff at various shops which have stayed ben loyal to the magazine over the years. Much appreciated, all of you - and to quote CJ (the Reggie Perrin one, not the equally wonderful West Wing version), "We wouldn't be where we are today without any of your nonsense."

As foretold in TAC49, it's party time, and everyone (well, pretty much everyone) is more than welcome to show up. Here's the plan: Laggan Village Hall, from 8pm on the evening of Saturday 16 June. Laggan is where the A889 Dalwhinnie road joins the Spean Bridge to Newtonmore A86, in the shadow of the near-miss Corbett, Marg na Craige. There will be music - the mighty dance combos of the Hallanshankers and the Young Bucks - and some food, most likely in the form of samosas and sandwiches, although megahungry hillwalkers might be best advised to properly stuff their faces before arriving. The hall is providing a bar from 8pm, but please note that there will be no smoking inside the building as Warbeck gets ill at the merest whiff of fag fumes.

Re accommodation, folk are quite capable of making their own arrangements and the area is well provided with B&Bs, bunkhouses etc (although remember that the SYHA, in their wisdom, closed the lovely Kingussie hostel some time ago). For those looking to camp, however, the happy news is that Ewan Grant, the farmer at Gaskbeg, has very kindly agreed to let partygoers pitch in the field beside the hall on the Friday and Saturday nights.

Oh, two requests. The band, grub etc is all costing a fair bit and TAC, as you know, is a noncommercial venture (50p in spring 1991, 50p in summer 2001!); so if anyone wishes to make a donation before, during or after the party then they wouldn't be turned down. And as we're unclear as to how many/few folk will be coming, it would be handy if any definites or near-definites could let TAC HQ know beforehand - not that there'll be a problem with folk simply turning up on the night, of course.

ON THE SUBJECT of Corbetts, near-miss or otherwise, TAC48 briefly pondered the mystery of whether the author of The Corbett Almanac had actually climbed all the hills in his guidebook. Now Alan Macdonald reports an interesting exchange during wine-sipping after Cameron McNeish's recent booklaunch/talk at Tiso's Outdoor Experience shop in Glasgow. "I asked Cameron how he felt when he celebrated his last Corbett", Macdonald writes, "as he was boasting to a blonde that he had climbed the Munros twice and was signing her copy of his new book. After a pause of about 15 seconds he replied: 'I have not climbed all of the Corbetts'."

Well, what is to be made of that? The Corbett Almanac, it should be recalled, first appeared in 1994 and is now in its third edition. It credits no co-authors, nor acknowledges any prior sources (nothing necessarily untoward there, given that the bottom-line assumption with any guidebook is that it is original work and that the author has, at the very least, been to all the places detailed). Maybe McNeish was merely confused when Macdonald put him on the spot - maybe he had sipped just a little too much wine and was muddle-headed. After all, the introduction of his new book, The Wilderness World of Cameron McNeish, includes this bald statement: "I've climbed the Munros and the Corbetts." This is not of course a categorical claim of having climbed all the Corbetts, but completion is heavily implied, especially since the author has undoubtedly been round the Munros twice. Indeed both Munro completions (Ben More on Mull 16/8/91, Ben Lomond 17/10/96) are recorded in the public domain. It would be interesting to hear what the various without-doubt Corbett authors (Hamish Brown, Craig Caldwell and the contributors to the composite SMC guidebook) make of this. It would also be good to learn from the man himself just how many Corbetts he has climbed - and how many had been bagged when the book first appeared all those years ago.

For the latest hot bestsellers from Mr Corbett, see page 18.

TAC 50 Index