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www.scottishhills.com :: View topic - Two Marilyns near Fort William
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Two Marilyns near Fort William

 
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Rounsfell
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:30 pm    Post subject: Two Marilyns near Fort William Reply with quote

TRIP REPORT: Show trip details

When: Mon 5 Oct, 2020
Time: 6hrs 31mins
Who: Me

After a rainy weekend in Torridon, I was driving south with a lot of very wet clothes one evening, planning to sleep in the van somewhere and grab a Marilyn or two the next morning. After consulting my WhatsApp personal meteorological team (Malky and Jackie) I knew there was a chance that a couple of p150 hills near Fort Bill might enjoy a break in low cloud the next day – so I pulled into the North Face car park near Torlundy. It was already dark.

Despite new signs from the FC asserting that ‘Sorry, this not a stay-the-night car park!’ there were around 10 vans, campervans or cars parked up. I decided to join them in ignoring the signs because a) I could rely on myself not to leave waste or litter lying around and b) I wanted to climb the hills the car park serves, surely what it’s intended for.

I set off just after dawn the next morning, thinking I might well be the first on the path. Two minutes up the forestry trail I was passed by a double-poleing man who looked like he might pop a blood vessel or strain a groin at any second. As I slogged boggily up the first of the hills, I passed two pairs of earlybird walkers.


Fort Bill in the early morning light


The two Marilyns

I was in solid clag from about 750m upwards. Consulting the map at a small cairn around the 1200m mark, I decided this was just a sub-top and I would have to go down a little before I climbed up to the first summit of the day, Carn Mor Dearg. After about 30m descent, there was a choice between a jumble of rocks or a bypass path. I opted to stay on top of the ridge, thinking it would be good practice for the rocky arete which I knew I would have to cross after the first Marilyn.

After another five minutes clambering gently downhill – still surrounded by mist – I twigged that this was the arete and I had already been to the summit of the first hill, mistaking it for something smaller. Whoops. Just as well I chose against the bypass path.


The way ahead

It was now 9.30am. My plan had been to wait on top of the first Marilyn to see if the promised break in the cloud would appear. Instead I sat down to wait on the arete itself, putting some layers on. After fifteen minutes I was close to moving on – but then, as if by magic…



The next summit






The CIC hut



Looking back







Looking back from the lowest point of the ridge







I punctiliously stayed on top of the arete all the way across. The bits that were 1100m or higher were a mite slippy, with the lower central section dry. The only wibbly moment came on the re-ascent at around 1130m where I crossed a slab with exposure on the right-hand (NW) side. This could easily have been bypassed to the SE.

As I paused by the well-built cairn at 1140m, the clag came creeping up the valley – and the two hills were enveloped again as I strained up to the 1344m top.


Summit of the second Marilyn - busy for some reason

I had reached the top of the second and last Marilyn of the day – and was startled to find about 30 other people milling around – and a steady flow of others arriving. I don’t know why this round-topped hill was so popular that day. Perhaps Marilyn-bagging is really catching on – or maybe the walkers were meteorological nerds intent on seeing the ruined weather observatory at the top.

After poking around a bit, I took the obvious route W down the hill. This was straining under a serious viral load, with hundreds of visitors. Snatches of conversation suggested many were here on day trips from distant urban centres.





I passed this guy, sitting down on a folding chair having a rest, the slacker. At 625m, I was able to leave the hordes and make a solitary descent to the North Face car park, including a pathless section between the lochan and the Allt a’ Mhuilinn.

Back at the van I dried yesterday’s soaking clothes and enjoyed some sunshine before the long drive home.


Clothes rack


Last edited by Rounsfell on Sun Nov 15, 2020 9:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Squiz
Sir Hugh
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Joined: Jun 20, 2008
Posts: 11425
Location: Fife

Logged:
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Corbetts: 3 (2nd round)
Grahams: 1 (2nd round)
Donalds: 89
New Donalds: 118
Sub 2000s: 570


PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These pesky Marilyns can sometimes give you an unexpected work out. Love the brocken spectres. In fact thought the whole TR was pretty good.


Maybe there is a geocache or something on the rounded one. Had you considered that?
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peterb
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Location: Ardclach

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of these Marilyns are getting popular Very Happy Very Happy

The Broken spectre is excellent and the alien type fog picture.
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highlandhillwalker
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not too sure what a Marilyn is (I think that's an English list?) but if I look at this obviously unfrequented pair in your TR I see some vaguely interesting bits. So one of them is Carn Mor Dearg, I'll look it up, what's the other one?
A good TR nonetheless.
Very Happy
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Squiz
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

highlandhillwalker wrote:
I'm not too sure what a Marilyn is (I think that's an English list?) but if I look at this obviously unfrequented pair in your TR I see some vaguely interesting bits. So one of them is Carn Mor Dearg, I'll look it up, what's the other one?
A good TR nonetheless.
Very Happy


Marilyns are defined as peaks with a prominence of 150 metres (490 ft) or more, regardless of height or any other merit in the United Kingdom. So a lot are in England or Wales, but more in Scotland. Rounsfell could have stumbled across the highest.
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Rounsfell
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

highlandhillwalker wrote:
I'm not too sure what a Marilyn is (I think that's an English

Well, you know about Wainwrights, yeah? This was his wife, Marilyn Wainwright. Made her own list. Most of them are in Scotland - I think she was trying to get away from Alf as much as she could...

highlandhillwalker wrote:
what's the other one?

Sorry, I didn't get the name. Maybe somebody in Fort William would know?

Squiz wrote:
Rounsfell could have stumbled across the highest.

Should I notify the Royal Geographic Society?
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highlandhillwalker
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I've never heard of Wainwrights either, fair play though, one of them invents this hill list you're talking about and the other invents the spinning jenny. Impressive stuff.
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MKG
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the autumn mists in the photos. Your Marilyn numbers must be ticking along nicely.

Thanks for posting.
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goth_angel
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So that's what the views look like up there! Some great photos.
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Rounsfell
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MKG wrote:
Your Marilyn numbers must be ticking along nicely.

I'm on 535, which is just over one third. Lockdown slowed me a bit!
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malky_c
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, wasn't envious of that at the time at all. Of course not....

Looked great - I think the first time I went over the arete there was a similar amount of the N face peeking out of the cloud like that.
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rockhopper63
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice atmospheric shots once the cloud lifted. Can well remember thinking when at the summit of the higher of your two marilyns that I never really wanted to return - it was just far too busy for me - cheers Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant! A potential award-winning TR there, I think.
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