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Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 11:06 am
by Sgurr
Around seven years ago we set out to see if we could climb all seven Marilyns in Fife. We got to five and then packed up after a puncture.

I’ve always felt it was unfinished business, but with husband's knee getting worse and worse there was no way we were going to improve on that score…unless I left husband's knee behind. He is currently hawking it around GPs and physios in the hope that it will magically improve, and didn’t mind me leaving him behind since there was loads of sport on the TV and we have just switched to super-fast broadband which means he can watch it without half the team going wobbly. With my 77th birthday coming up, I superstitiously felt that I must do them before that, or I would probably never do them.
I set out at 6.30 a.m. to see how far I could get. As I drove towards the Lomonds, I could see from the snow cover that they could use all the heat today’s forecast promised, so drove on to Benarty((3.4 miles 751 feet). Problem number 1: the hill road was closed, so I couldn’t just nip up and down it from the back, but would have to do the longer route from the RSPB Centre at Vane Farm( NT159990). What with the snow, it took me 1 hr 45 mins
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I drove to Leslie and found, Problem Number 2., that there was a huge cycling event. Most of the cyclists pulled over to let me past, but one must have been deaf, and I had to climb the road between the Lomonds at his pace.
I parked in the usual car park for the West Lomond (4.2 miles 781 feet) at NO227061.It was quite tiring ploughing through the soft snow, only about four people had gone ahead and one, returning, advised me to climb steeply up the East side as there was still a lot of snow on the gentle north path. Descending I met a penguin training for some charity event. Time for this hill was 2 ¼ hours.
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Rather than climb the East Lomond(0.9 miles 289 feet) from this car park, I drove round to the higher one at NO252058. This was less time consuming and I was up and down in 40 minutes.
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For Cairnie Hill(2 miles 482 feet), I parked at NO272153.This was another 40 minute hill, with the added bonus that I found a handkerchief that I dropped last week when I came to check if there was a quicker route (couldn’t find one) since this doubles back on itself.
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I drove to Newburgh and took the coastal road eventually parking at NO309209 for Norman’s Law (1.2 miles 430 feet ascent) where I had some soup and a sandwich. There must be a better way than the direct one I took involving horrible gates and barbed wire fences, but at least it only took half an hour.
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Next was Mount Hill (2 miles 505 feet) where I parked at NO338159. I took the chance that they wouldn’t be using tractors on a Saturday, but was probably just lucky, as I saw one in another field. The summit area is now fenced in with a huge deer fence and the only way in is a large gate on the south side of the monument. This hill took 50 minutes.
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I set the satnav for Lower Largo and drove down several roads that I don’t think I have seen before, but it saved going via home where I would have been sorely tempted to stay. I parked by the cemetery for Largo Law (1.9 miles and 718 feet)at NO 423037 and despite slithering around on snow patches that blocked my way, did it in an hour and a half (in summer, and fresh, an hour is my usual time).
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Total miles walked = 15.6
Total feet ascended 3956
Below, me at the tops
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Re: Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 5:33 pm
by rockhopper
Well done, Sgurr, that looked most enjoyable and very impressive :thumbup: I'm feeling it tougher at my age, no idea how you manage it. Have seen the odd strange thing on a hill but have yet to meet a penguin :lol: - cheers :)

Re: Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 8:25 pm
by RocksRock
Bravo Sgurr, bravo indeed, 1939 was a great vintage!

Re: Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 12:58 pm
by dgcampbell
As said already, that’s an impressive day out!

I am wondering if by chance I said a brief hello to you on the top of Norman’s Law on that Saturday? Depending on your timing... my last photo before descending was at 15:11. I remember watching someone approach from the North and surprising them by saying hello as they appeared at the summit And if there was still a snowball on the trig point then its even more likely.

Re: Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 1:06 pm
by Sgurr
dgcampbell wrote:As said already, that’s an impressive day out!

I am wondering if by chance I said a brief hello to you on the top of Norman’s Law on that Saturday? Depending on your timing... my last photo before descending was at 15:11. I remember watching someone approach from the North and surprising them by saying hello as they appeared at the summit And if there was still a snowball on the trig point then its even more likely.



Yes, that was me. You said "I'll leave the summit for you to enjoy," or something like that, and I was too embarrassed to say "Don't worry, I'm off," as husband always says he hates people treating the mountains like a race-track without savouring the view...but I have savoured the view many a time.

I met nobody on Benarty, Cairnie Hill, Mount Hill and only briefly passed people coming off Largo Law. The crowds were on the Lomonds, and just you on Norman's Law. We normally come up the way you were descending as it is a much nicer walk.

Re: Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 3:00 pm
by Mountainlove
Well done for achieving all of them! You are the best example that one is never too old :clap: :clap: That Penguin cracked me up :lol:

Re: Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 5:30 pm
by Sgurr
Mountainlove wrote: That Penguin cracked me up :lol:


I was laughing down the hill, as I suddenly realised that I had never asked someone for a photo before to get the response "Wait until I put my head on."

Re: Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:26 pm
by Robertgee
Well done...great report. I never even reilised that Mount Hill was a Marilyn...so that's brilliant...another one ticked off without having to leave my chair :clap:

Re: Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:51 pm
by Mal Grey
Nice one!

Re: Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:14 pm
by The Rodmiester
Excellent stuff there Sgurr, think I must have a go at that, after I've finished my Corbetts though. I like a challenge and will be checking out your stsrting points with interest. Keep active I say and your a fine example to all :clap: :clap: :D

Re: Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:54 am
by rohan
I have just found this wee gem of a report as I was researching some walks to do on the way to Edinburgh and granny duties. I love the penguin and in the subsequent comments the info that it had to take its head off before taking a photo.

Re: Seven before seventy seven

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:49 pm
by Sgurr
rohan wrote:I have just found this wee gem of a report as I was researching some walks to do on the way to Edinburgh and granny duties. I love the penguin and in the subsequent comments the info that it had to take its head off before taking a photo.


Funnily enough we went up West Lomond that way today(for the umpteenth time) and I was mulling over whether I could repeat this prior to 80 in the next few months.Have slowed down lately...but maybe not that badly. Was so panicked at being that age that I got myself up to 80 lengths in the pool just to prove I am still alive...all the people there I know who are older than me can do it twice as fast. :( I did overtake one bloke, and then, when he got out the pool realised he only had one leg.


The penguin liked to put his head ON to have his photo taken, and OFF to take a photo. Never seen him again, but maybe he is a polar bear now and I wouldn't recognise him.