Monday, 21 January 2013

Are lists bad?


As I confess to becoming, for the moment, a Marilyns* addict, apprehension looms at the likelihood of repeated accusations of being a single minded, list ticking statistics nerd. 

Browsing found this Internet site: CLICK HERE , and I decided to see how many Marilyns I had climbed. Out of 2016 my tally was 274.

Using a list is a means of  getting me to places I have not previously visited, and these hills, by definition are most likely to be pointy, therefore more likely to offer panoramic views, giving a better than odds-on chance of a worthwhile outing.

I am never going to climb even half of these hills, so I reckon that dispels any accusation of list ticking for its own sake. As far as I know nobody has done them all - private land, Ministry of Defence territory, and remote Scottish islands including difficult, or maybe impossible sea stacs are all obstacles. Anybody who wants to know more may consult Alan Dawson’s excellent book The Relative Hills of Britain.

So, on Sunday by midday, despite potential snow, I put off some very important tasks and headed for my nearest unclimbed Marilyn; coincidentally the lowest  in height is Arnside Knott which is only fifteen minutes walk from my home, and I must have climbed it hundreds of times in the last twelve years. The next nearest is Lambrigg Fell (338m - SD 586 941) very close to the Grayrigg train disaster site of February 2007.

A sparse covering of snow dramatised this short walk, and a small tarn was a bonus. The views from the summit especially to the Howgills were good for the soul, all supporting my Marilyns betting theory. 


*The Marilyns (the 2016 hills in Great Britain with a minimum of 150 metres drop on all sides)


Click to enlarge - the train disaster was on the railway shown of Grayrigg


A few yards from the road at the start


The Howgills from Lambrigg summit


My line of ascent. The road is this side of the trees. The path follows the wall one third distance from righthand end of trees. The railway is in the valley on the far side of the trees. Whinfell Common is the prominent peak at left horizon which overlooks Borrowdale on its far side (see my post Three Miles Too Far? - 19th Dec 2012) 

Zoom to the Howgills -The Calf. The hidden gully/ravine to the left is Carlin Gill which I have climbed in winter. The central one I climbed in summer and had a "bad moment" on some rock near the top whilst my companion, who had taken an easier route looked down and laughed.

The tarn seen from above on the way down




9 comments:

beatingthebounds said...

Personally, I don't think lists do any harm at all. I have Dawson's book, and Birkett's and the Nuttall's books both of English hills and of Lakeland Tarns. Recently picked up one of tidal islands. Simon Jenkins books of English Churches and Houses are both well worth the entrance fee. Then there are the field guides, essentially lists of flowers, fungi, butterflies, constellations...
Anything which has you contemplating going somewhere new, looking for something new etc. seems to me to be a fine thing.
Lambrigg Fell is worth a visit I seem to remember.

Roderick Robinson said...

Lists can be fun, especially cod lists (eg, The Ten Worst Tea-Shops in Cumbria. My Five Worst Encounters). However to get the best out of them it's necessary to make use of vivid and consistent typographical features (bold, ital, different colours) as a means of differentiation and in recognition of the fact that they're there to entertain as well as instruct. A list without some form of presentation becomes a dull trudge. The telephone directory only works well because users NEED to find a specific number, there's no temptation to browse. Few of us write bogs that others NEED to go through.

Sir Hugh said...

Beating the bounds - Thanks for your reassurance - you've got me going now. One such guide book I have always intended to look for is one identifying animals from their droppings. I often wonder what has been passing by when I see so many different kinds of poo along the way.

RR - I have a starter for the first suggestion that was vividly described by my old pal Tony, and I think that may have given me an idea for a future post.

I recently produced a fairly complicated spreadsheet for daughter Jill that had to be presented to some professionals. I used extensive, intelligent use of colour. The recipients issued compliments on what they saw as a modern, and recommended technique. I was well pleased.

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BOTH - I think I achieved my objective by forestalling anticipated criticism - I have enjoyed your comments.

Sir Hugh said...

I've just started looking for that book and came up with the correct word "scat" which I was aware of but had not recalled for my comment; it is certainly an improvement, almost onomatopoeic, on the pretentious "poo".

bowlandclimber said...

Just got back from the supermarket and realised I should have had a LIST.

afootinthehills said...

I don't think lists are bad at all Conrad, and in any case with your record of long backpacking trips and rock climbing history for example, how could anyone even suggest that you are a list ticker?

They are poor misguided souls if they do.

Phreerunner said...

Keep on Bagging, Conrad - you'll discover some new places and get lots of variety...

Sir Hugh said...

BC, Afoot, and Phreerunner - Thanks for your comments. I will keep a watch out for those "misguided souls" in future.

Another Marilyn has been clocked up since this post - 276 now, who's counting? Post to follow including another section of my canal walk.

beatingthebounds said...

I don't have a specific scat book Conrad, but I do have a 'Tracks and Signs' book (very old, a Collins guide) which covers that and also things like, how to identify what has been eating hazelnuts by the way the shells have been breached or opened, and how to identify footprints, all excellent stuff.