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Friday, 26 April 2013

The last day

Thursday 25th April


Today I had three more Ms to do in the South Downs which would leave Haddington Hill (SP 890 089) north of London which I planned to do tomorrow with one more overnight on the way home. At that point I would be able to say that I had done all the Ms in England south of Cheltenham (or Cleeve Hill).

Browsing through Alan Dawson's book after today's sortie I came across an appendix showing 19 additions to the list since the list in the first edition was published, and three of these are in he territory I have already covered during this trip. As I know I'm not going to climb them all this doesn't really matter, but it would have been satisfying to draw that line. I tried to find a site near enough to stop off for Haddingon Hill but with no luck, so it's back home tomorrow.

Today was a brilliant finale. Delightful walking on the South Downs, and the best and warmest weather so far.

Ditchling Beacon (TQ 331 130) was only about three hundred yards from the road, and a popular, but unspoilt spot with good views, except that the lower lying land tends to be hazy.

Firle Beacon (TQ 485 059) was only another thirty minutes drive and a straightforward walk along another part of the South Downs Way.

Another thirty minute drive had me lined up for Wilmington Hill (TQ 548 034) with the top hidden from view by a circuitous route around a preliminary hill. I came across a guy flying radio controlled model gliders and chatted about that subject and also about his cycling Land's End to John 'o Groats.

On the way back my glider man had disappeared but had been replaced by two others, and more chat ensued. One was performing endless and very skilful aerobatics and the updraft meant that he could keep this sporty glider aloft for as long as he wanted. It seems that aero modellers are now flying on a different frequency which means there can be no interference from others. In the old days there were about twenty different channels and at a club you would take a channel number peg off a board and fly on that channel. The possibility of catastrophe was obvious if a mistake was made.

The unclimbed additions that I missed:

Swyre Head SY 934 784

Nine Barrow Down SZ 008 811

Cheriton Hill TR 197 396

Lewesdon Hill - ST 437 011 (I've just found this since I posted).

Also I climbed  Pilsdon Pen ST 413 011 which is shown as an M in Dawson's book, but does not appear on either of the website lists, so it must have been demoted.




Ditchling beacon at 8:25 am




On the ascent of Firle Beacon there is a figure of a man with two walking poles carved into the chalk hillside. This is a pathetic attempt to photo with theiPad. I have better results using the zoom on my camera





Nearing the summit of Thirle Beacon





Wilmington Hill



Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

6 comments:

Roderick Robinson said...

Have you yet done a Marilyn where you found yourself walking downhill to the top? Come to think of it, there's no reason why you shouldn't be faced with one located at the highest point of a crown-green bowling green, No doubt there are local rules for the use of crampons. "I was just aerating the turf," would be one possible defence.

afootinthehills said...

Thanks for your interesting posts Conrad. I've finished the Lancaster should you wish to pursue your Photoshop idea. For a number of reasons I'm a little bit disappointed in the finished article, but let me know if you wish to proceed. Safe journey home.

mikeywalky said...

Hello Conrad - Hills (classification of / location of the top / heights etc) are a moving subject nowadays - have you seen this website as it is the result of a lot of dedicated work over many years - http://www.hill-bagging.co.uk/ - and it's regularly maintained

It might draw you back to the deep south again once you've ticked off all the others.....


Sir Hugh said...

RR - that's the fun of the Marilyns - you never know what you're going to get next. I suppose there could be plenty of then under the oceans.

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Afoot - by all means send me a photo and I'll see what I can do, best to email it without reducing the size too much.
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Mikeywalky - Good to get a new commenter and thanks for the link. I have been using:

http://www.haroldstreet.org.uk/waypoints/download/?list=marilyns

I have had a quick look at your site and it is more user friendly in some ways, but I have not explored it in detail. I'm not sure from what you say whether you have a personal involvement with the site.

On the haroldstreet list I can just tick the ones I have done rather than entering date of ascent. I was also able to identify the Munros that qualify as Marilyns and put a tick on them all at one go. Whilst I have done all the Munros I do not have dates for many of them. Could I just enter for instance 01/01/2013 in place of a tick for all the ones I don't have dates for?

mikeywalky said...

I'm afraid I can't take any credit for effort involved in creating / maintaining the Hill Bagging website. As for entering a 'date in the past' give it a go and it might work. I've been using the database created by another (now joined up) team and that is the way I enter dates for hills which I have no idea what the actual climbed date was.

The other website is available at http://www.hills-database.co.uk/ It presents the data in different formats (Access / Excel) that may be of interest to you.

It looks like the HaroldStreet website is based on the same source data.

When you get back to the North don't forget the Wainwright Outlying Fells - I've been (very slowly) trying to complete these over the last 10+ years and they do get you into some out of the way places in the Lake District that aren't very frequented.

Sir Hugh said...

milkeywalky - Thanks for that. I have just updated the info on this post with another "missed" M from my trip and also one that I did that appears to have been deleted.

Outlying Fells - A favourite of mine. I used to run on the hills (not competitively) and found this a good source for devising approximately six mile runs. One of many memorable quotes from AW is on page 244 referring to the large boulder called Gray Bull out in the wilds above Wet Sleddale - "Persons over 75 should regard it as unclimable". There is a drawing with a wistful 75 yr. old giving it the eye.

Here is a copy of a post I wrote back in 2009:

“All is fair to the eye on Whitbarrow.” A Wainwright – circa 1973

My recent revisiting of Whitbarrow intended to capture photographically the essence of this limestone plateau. I was reasonably satisfied with the results, but then decided to see what Wainwright had to say in his final volume of Lake District guides “The Outlying Fells of Lakeland”.

AW defines his aims on the front cover of Outlying Fells.


This was apparently written when AW was feeling his advancing years which he seemed to accept stoically and with laconic humour. Outlying Fells is my favourite of his Lake District series containing more of his characteristic witticisms than the others, and it can be treated as a read rather than a guide.

As for my own attempts to encapsulate the merits of Whitbarrow, AW’s drawings and writings demonstrate that his tools more than compete with photography, although he did later successfully collaborate with Derry Brabbs the photographer and in particular the excellent Wainwright in Scotland.