Tuesday, 27 October 2015

North Shropshire Marilyns

Walk summary
Sometimes the best views are on the way down from the summit.
Easy to follow path along west side of Caer Caradoc Hill
Four separate walks today to visit the four Marilyns in North Shropshire taking another step on the journey to visit all the Marilyns in England Wales & Scotland.
Time was I used to feel guilty about driving between various peaks. Somehow I felt I had not worked hard enough. Not a problem I had experienced chasing Nuttalls and certainly not with Munros.
But Marilyns are judged by prominence rather than elevation and can range from one of the most remote Nuttalls (Mickle Fell1) or difficult to reach Munros (Sgurr Dearg - Inaccessible Pinnacle) yet can also be adjacent to a car park or picnic area in the leafy south east (Detling Hill [North Downs]).
I have finally decided to get over this and get on with the task in hand, though if I can manage a circular route, I will most certainly take that option.
This varied range is part of the Marilyn challenge, the number (>1550) is another, which impacts on the time it will take and because of that limits the number of people that will complete the challenge (only 3 so far at time of writing).
But is that not the whole point?
  • Purpose - something to get up for
  • Challenge - seemingly impossible to complete at my time of life
  • Achievement - well who knows, we will have to wait and see. 
What you may not realise about taking on the Marilyns is that it is also a commitment to climb all of the Corbetts in Scotland (height between 2500' and 2999' and prominence of 500', not to mention 202 of the 282 Munros, but yes I do intend to do the other 80.
In any event the four peaks visited today during four separate walks covered 9.54 miles with 707.65m of ascent, comparable to many Nuttall and even Munro walks. So physical fitness still comes in to the equation but most important is the determination, resilience and sheer bloody mindedness to first of all take on such a task, but also to see it through to the end irrespective of what obstacle and difficulties present themselves along the way.
There are enough reasons not to do something without coming up with excuses2.
1 Difficult to define remoteness with any meaning. Isolation is described as distance to next highest point so Snowdon or Scafell Pike would be the peak by this definition. I have chosen Mickle Fell as it took me more than one attempt, has restricted access to MoD land, is quite a long way from nearest road and for me personally the one time where I felt in danger - My "American Pie" day.
2 Sort of all knowing (smart-ass) comment you often see on facebook that people share and claim as there own. I thought of this whilst out on the hill so apologies if someone has already said it before.
Peaks visited
Nuttalls (254E - 443E&W)
Hewitts (179E - 316E&W)
Marilyns (175E - 1550E,W&S)
Caer Caradoc Hill (87E - 160E,W&S)
Long Mynd - Pole Bank (88E - 161E,W&S)
Stiperstones (89E - 162E,W&S)
Heath Mynd (90E - 163E,W&S)
Deweys (181E - 422EW&S)
Long Mynd - Pole Bank (49E - 78E&W)
Stiperstones (50E - 79E&W)
HuMPs (444E - 2975EW&S)
Caer Caradoc Hill (143E - 236E,W&S)
Long Mynd - Pole Bank (144E - 237E,W&S)
Stiperstones (145E - 238E,W&S)
Heath Mynd (146E - 239E,W&S)
Historic County Tops (49E - 93E,W&S)
W: Wales. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
26th Walton Hill + Titterstone Clee Hill & Beacon Hill
27th North Shropshire Marilyns
28th Remaining South Shropshire Marilyns
30th Foel y Geifr ridge
31st Five Nuttalls from Pen y Boncyn Trefeilw to Y Groes Fagl
02nd Foel Cwn-Sian Llŵd & Post Gwyn

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 27 October 2015
Walkers - Steve Smith

 -  Greenway Touring Park
Start Point - Various. See maps below

Finish Point Various. See maps below
Total Duration - 4hrs 38mins 
Overall Average pace - 2.06mph
Total Distance Walked - 9.54 miles
Total Height Ascended - 707.65 metres

Caer Caradoc Hill
Looking up at Caer Caradoc Hill from return path on west side
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GPX can be downloaded from
4.03 miles, 364.72m ascent.

Long Mynd - Pole Bank
Rare picture of yours truly at Long Mynd trig
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GPX can be downloaded from
0.85 miles, 37.23m ascent.

Stiperstones trig & summit.
No easy route from the NW without a scramble

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GPX can be downloaded from

2.97 miles, 138.50m ascent.

Heath Mynd
Heath Mynd taken from the A488 2 days later
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GPX can be downloaded from
1.69 miles, 167.20m ascent.