Sub 2000 Mariyln = ony hill in the British Isles wi a prominence o at least 150 metres an a summit lower than 609 metres (2000 feet).
Lairge lorries whizzed past at an alarmin proximity an velocity as we marched doon een o the A96’s soakit verges. We hid stairted oor first Marilyn baggin adventure in a laybi aroon haulfwiy atween Inverurie an Huntly in rural Aiberdeenshire. Followin directions extracted fae a Walk Highlands forum, oor first aim wis tae reach the nearby village o Colpy.
Grateful tae leave the A96 ahind faan we aheived ‘is, it took us aboot 45 minutes tae ascend the Hill of Founland’s 467 metres. On a better day we wid hiv been treated tae a vista o Aiberdeenshire kintryside, bit the summit wis shrouded in low cloud. Happily tho’ we had ticked oor first Marilyn aff the list. I celebrated bi fervently drappin mango awiy, while Rory went fur a celebratory pee in the heather.
Next we hid tae figure oot foo tae reach oor second Marilyn, preferably wi oot anither encounter wi een o the busiest roads in Scotland. Bi fluke, we summited the Hill of Skares while makkin a beeline fur the Hill of Tillymorgan.
Atween us an this next summit wis a steep brae, leading doon tae the valley flair. Examin the loose scree and sharp slate stanes ablow, we agreed ‘is section didna look tae promisin. Hivin exhausted aa ether options an hid oor flycup fooiver, we set aff doon the brae, arms flailing as we tried tae avoid brakkin a leg or deein ony unexpected cartwheels.
At the bottom we crossed the A96 afore findin oorselves circumnavigatin aroon a fairmer’s newly seeded park. I spent this section straining oer ma shudder, concerned the fairmer wid spot us twa city ejits fae a nearby fairmhoose.
Traversin an unreasonably high barbed wire fence tae escape the park, we met anither tougher obstacle. Recent rainfa’ had transformed the sma’ River Urie intae a ragin broon torrent an we needed tae fin a wiy across it. In fit cuid barely be described as a bridge, some mountain bikers had placed a large branch across the river further doonstream.
“God, I’m a natural at ‘is”, I thocht tae masel immediately afore almaist topplin intae the fast flowin water ablow. Hivin richted masel sucessfully, we celebrated wildly as we found oor bearings on the opposite riverbank.There wid be nae mair obstacles akin tae those already faced, bit the next section wis the steepest, wi a direct route thro’ the quiet forest alang doonhill bike trails.
Eventually, we reached the mahussive wind turbines whilk are sae visible fae the main road. A few minutes o rest bite were spent watchin the nearest een gaun roon an roon. “Whoosh”…I found the movement o its blades…”whoosh”…an the sound it wis makkin baith intimidatin an mesmeric.
Fae there it wis a short danner aroon deep disused quarries full o slate an through a herd o perplexed sheep tae the summit. Wi soakit feet an a sense o accomplishment, we enjiyed a mair satisfyin view fae the Hill of Tillymorgan.
We had considered huntin doon Fourman Hill as weel, bit decided tae heid fur hame instead, citin oor weet feet an ma holy trainers as oor excuse. Bear Grylls eat yer heart oot!
The descent wis navigated wi relative ease. The ainly slight dooner on a braw day oot bein anither wee danner alang the A96 road. This wis soon forgotten fooiver, as we celebrated oor first bout o Marilyn baggin wi a packet o hula hoops. Twa doon, 571 tae ging.