Missing walker in Cairngorms – sad news. Hidden Gem – Loch an Eilein walk.

The Cairngorms are a wonderful piece of Scotland and hold many memories for me many happy and a few sad. Yesterday the Mountain Rescue Teams carried out another huge search for a missing walker. Many teams were involved and Search and Rescue Dogs. He was believed to have walked into Corrour bothy  in the Larig Gru pass on Wednesday and was there to hill-walk hoping to return on Friday he was reported missing on Saturday. This is a great area but very remote surrounded by some special mountains, such as  Devils Point , Cairn Toul and many more.

Devils Point and Corour bothy in the heart of the Cairngorms.

Over 180 mountain rescue team members have searched for 3 days and nothing has been found. The Police have said that the search will not be resumed for a fourth day. I have been in this position at times before as a Mountain Rescue Leader it is very difficult for the family to be told this and is one of the hardest things to do in Mountain Rescue. My thoughts are with the family. Many will think that going out alone on the hills in winter or summer is unreasonable  or even stupid? To me walking alone is wonderful. I for one enjoy the solitude of a day in the mountains especially on my own and winter makes things even more wondrous. In winter you have to be careful and leave a note of where you are going with friends but you can walk at your own pace, stop when you want and see more as you go. I know only to well after wee fall a month ago that the mountains can be dangerous but how I love them and their solitude and peace.

Loch an Eilein ( Loch of the Island)

Yesterday I went over to the Cairngorms with my friend Ned who is leaving the RAF he now has a house in Aviemore as he leaves the RAF in another month. It has great views of the Cairngorms and may be my summer residence? I managed to get a wee walk round Loch – an – Eilen on the Rothiemurchus forest. It has been years since I did this with the kids many years ago. What a great treasure it is and how easily you forget how beautiful an area this is. I have been so lucky seeing so much in my life but I still remember watching the Osprey’s crash into the Loch for fish all these years ago. The wee walk round only 3 miles is really enjoyable and the high tops were clear. I had a few thoughts for all the teams out looking for the missing walker, the weather looked not too bad for them all. The huge pine trees reminded me of the Yosemite forests but this is even better. In the USA they do not have things like The Wolf Of Badenochs Castle in the loch this was once a place steeped in bloody history. You get a great echo here when you stop and drink in the beauty.  Maybe hurting my back last month has made me appreciate what is on your doorstep and how privileged we are to live in Scotland. The day was made even better by a great bowl of soup in the Squirrel Cafe at Glenmore and meeting Ray “Sunshine” Sefton an ex RAF Team Leader there. We went back to his house in Aviemore to see Myrtle his wife. I did some incredible hill days with Myrtle, including the Cairngorm six on a long summers day. I did it with one boot and one trainer as I had recently broken my ankle, we were laughing with the memories of it all, it is a great wee story. Both Ray and Myrtle are a fount of all things Cairngorm and we blethered for a while before heading home.

It was great to be out again in the wild and  the back is getting there slowly. You do not have to go “high to get a high from nature!” Worth Knowing?     Today’s is Burns Night and I am off to see my friend Wendy with Ned and have a wee Burns Supper for her at her house, tonight. I must get rehearsing the poems!

“Auld Ayr for ner a toon surpasses for honest men and bonnie lassies!”

Please note my email is now heavywhalley@heavywhalley.com

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
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2 Responses to Missing walker in Cairngorms – sad news. Hidden Gem – Loch an Eilein walk.

  1. Jim "Jimbo" Rintoul says:

    Heavy, great article, when the hell is the book coming out, Jimbo. Happy Burns Night.


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