TAC 47 Index
Pages four and five of this issue are devoted to the most impressive British hill achievement of the year: Charlie Campbell's all-running, all-cycling, all-swimming round of the Munros in exactly 481/2 days, ending on Ben Hope on Sunday 16 July. This trimmed nearly three days off the Rory Gibson / Andrew Johnston 1992 time, while further refining the way such rounds should be attempted. Shunning such luxuries as ferries, yachts or canoes, Campbell swam each of the aquatic sections: Fishnish-Lochaline (in 89 minutes), then across Loch Lomond to Rowardennan and then - possibly itself a first - across Kyle Rhea from Glenelg.
Anyway, much more on this over the page. Campbell's round was however also used to raise dosh for Dreams Come True, a charity for terminally ill children, and to help with this TAC is able to offer readers the chance to acquire a unique piece of hill history. Your Ed was among those who met Campbell on top of Ben Hope, where, once hands had been shaken and champagne drunk, he asked the hill hero to sign his copy of Landranger 9, the sheet on which the round ended. This Campbell did, and the map is now up for auction to the highest bidder, with the proceeds going to Dreams Come True. By way of an added incentive, the map - a not-too-dog-eared 1984 Second Series sheet - is the one used by the Ed on the last leg of his 1987 watershed walk. It has the Sabhal Beag to Cape Wrath stretch marked in red felt pen, the only way the Ed knew of not getting lost. (That was in the pre-GPS era, you'll understand; of course nobody now gets even the slightest bit lost.)
This, then, is a doubly priceless piece of hill memorabilia, to be handed over to whoever puts in the highest bid by 10pm on Tuesday 31 October 2000. To allow for people upping their bids as the auction progresses, TAC will endeavour to inform bidders of the state of play if they so wish. Bids can be made via all the usual channels: writing to TAC at 2 Abbey Road Place, Stirling, FK8 1LN, phoning TAC on 01786 450047, or emailing TAC at Dave.Hewitt@dial.pipex.com
Also requested by the end of October is feedback on the new design of TAC T-shirt. The original intention was to produce a new shirt over the summer, but life, love and loss intervened and so the current model remains the TAC36 cover design. It's high time for a fresh one, the only question being what to put on it. So votes, please, for one of the following covers: TAC44, 45, 46 or this here TAC47. The editorial board have their own pre-ferences, but hey, this is a democratic bit of the universe. All being well, the new design should be available by mid-November, well before the sparkling Christmas issue of TAC.
Alastair Matthewson and Chris Huntley are among those organising a "celebratory event" to mark the (alleged) centenary of the first completion of the Munros. A E Robertson's ascent of Meall Dearg came on 28 September 1901, and the SMC is planning speeches and a dinner at an as yet undisclosed Highland venue on Saturday 19 May 2001. The invitation is to all Munroists on the SMC list, who should write for details to: Dr Chris Huntley, Old Medwyn, Spittal, Carnwath, Lanarkshire, ML11 8LY, or email Chris57H@aol.com
(Readers should note however that this event will be as nothing compared with the combined ten years on / TAC50 spectacular planned for April 2001. More on this in TAC48/49.)
Jim Waterton writes from Glasgow to say that on 17 August he found a pair of walking poles lying about 40m below the summit of Breabag. They appear to have been there for some time, as the tips were rusted. He's naturally keen to reunite them with their owner, so if it's you then please contact TAC describing the colour and make and we'll sort something out.
Jim wonders how anyone manages to lose poles, yet this appears to be quite common. Other magazines have reported similar discoveries, and TAC's editorial team once raced back to Arrochar in search of Perkin Warbeck's burgundy-and-pink pair, left by the roadside after a stroll on Cruach Tairbeirt. They had gone, sadly, unlike a previous time when the absent-minded professor contrived to leave one part way up Beinn Ime - a pole duly retrieved after a selfless reascent by the editor himself.
The nearest the Ed has come to such carelessness is when emerging from a forestry thicket on the obscure Wishach Hill near Huntly minus the bottom half of his one and only antique pole. This had been used for bushwhacking purposes and had evidently snagged on a twig. He keeps meaning to return north and plunge back in to search for the missing part, but is waiting until that nice Charlotte Uhlenbroek has a free date in her diary to accompany him sweatily into the jungle.
TAC 47 Index