TAC 47 Index
The Islands of Mystery Award is shared by Trail magazine and Radio Scotland. Trail's August 2000 piece on Scottish islands ("the facts"!) told of there being 22 non-mainland Munros, including 15 in the Cuillin and one on Mull. Quite where the other six might be is not stated, notes Ken Stewart who spotted this. There is also talk of "the magnificent granite Cuillin Hills". A case of a dodgy offshore account, perhaps.
Meanwhile, Peter Shaw was listening to Radio Scotland's Out of Doors one recent Friday morning "when they described a new Munro on Skye - seemingly a Broadford man was climbing 3400ft Beinn na Caillich ten times to help fund sports facilities on the island". Presumably Beinn na Caillich was one of the three extra Cuillin Munros known to Trail.
Inspired by the excellent candidates in TAC46, Chris Crocker submits another entry for the Slight Overstatement Award: "In his historical novel The Blanket of the Dark, John Buchan wrote about Otmoor in Oxfordshire that 'to ride or walk there in an Autumn twilight is to find oneself in a place as remote from man as Barra or Knoydart'".
News of a controversial rubbish dump on the Irvine estuary provided one of two candidates for the Foolhardy Scotsman Award. On page nine of its 11 July edition, the paper with the rocketing circulation informed the country that: "the dump, which will have a working life of 25 years, will lie next to the Glasgow-Ayr railway and the West Highland Way". And the Outdoors section for 9 September yelled "Climb every Munro" in a headline about Mike Cawthorne's 1000m-peak winter round. He only climbed 135 Munros - that's 47.54% of them.
The Hide Your Head in a Munro Bag Award has to go to TAC itself, for its editor's comment in his TAC46 demolition-review of the hellish North to the Cape. The authors Denis Brook and Phil Hinchliffe had, he said, fallen into "the age-old ... trap of giving the 962m east top of Gulvain as the hill's summit". Er, that should have been "962m south [or even west] top", as gleefully pointed out by Paul Prescott and Stuart Benn and swiftly corrected via an erratum slip in later editions of TAC46. Brook and Hinchliffe still got it wrong themselves, mind you - implying that the lower top was the Munro summit - and there's no question that it's still a really crap book.
The Lazy Days and Sundays Award shows that while the Ben Vrackie goats might have died - see TAC46, p19 - their influence lives on. Peter Evans, sitting tenant in the Walk of the Day slot in Scotland on Sunday, wrote in his 13 August column: "A resident herd of goats makes the wildlife on this [Ben Vrackie] walk rather more unusual. They're harmless enough but it's wise not to feed them or you will be pestered". Spotted by Jim Perman, this looks like the 5832nd example of someone with a newspaper walks column not bothering to check details.
Unless he knows of other previously unrecorded beasts, there are two plain guesses in Evans' piece: number of goats (since when has two been a herd?) and the obvious lack of knowledge of their demise. Plus he seems to think they were feral goats, not whopping farmyard beasts. But he must have been there recently to check, so maybe we're the mistaken ones...
TAC 47 Index