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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Blackwood Hill, NY 531 962, 447m.

I like to follow the test match. My only option is the 7:00pm highlights programme on Channel 5. I go through agonies trying not to here any news about the game before I watch. Returning from today's expedition I went for a shower. Radio 2 plays in the toilet block. Yes, there I was, naked in the shower with fingers in my ears preventing me from hearing the hourly news.

Info. from: said take the forestry track. Go up a fire-break in the forest (NY 541 958) and turn right at the top for the summit. I have now discovered the OS 1:50000 shows fire-breaks as a dimmed out red band. Afterwards I saw this one had a dog leg. I wrongly went straight on at the turn and found myself ascending a small stream bed with fallen trees across, hardly qualifying for fire prevention. That was a struggle but it got better as I proceeded. Turning right at the top I then passed the emergence of the proper break and obviously decided to use that for the descent.

At the bottom, in the horizontal part of the dog leg the way was blocked by a wall, 100yds deep, of felled pines lying criss-cross and without any possibility whatsoever of getting through. I tried up and down for half an hour getting scratched and scraped, crawling under, and climbing over. In the end I retreated back up hill into the forest and thrashed through until I came to the stream bed by which I had ascended. This was the least enjoyable of these Marilyns so far, but once again there was some satisfaction in getting out alive.

Questions are asked about various Marilyn statistics. The "bible" with all the info. is: The Relative Hills of Britain, Alan Dawson. It can be obtained via Cicerone a Press. In one of the appendices additions and deletions that have occurred over the years are listed and I have now found that Hedgehope Hill I climbed a few days ago along with The Cheviot has been deleted, not that it matters, it was part of an excellent mountain day horseshoe. I am in no way obsessive about this list, it just provides a framework. The above mentioned Hill Bagging website is another excellent resource and always reliably up to date.

On the way up the stream bed. Under or over?

The unpretentious cairn. The other end of the ridge has a trig but is 42m. lower.

The proper fire break on the way down

I had to get out of the way for this rumbling monster. There was a lot of forestry work happening here.


GImmer - these sort of trips don't lend themselves to meeting many people. I was hoping, and tried a bit of conversation manipulation but no luck- must be losing my touch.

RR - I am sure life in an isolated Northumbrian cottage wouldn't suit VR, so Kentish maids are obviously not stereotypes.

JJ - looks as though I've blown it with these posts, but most of my readers are aware anyway. I'll try not to tell too many others!

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