MUNRO ADVENTURE 2015
DAY 41 ( 10 th JUNE )
BOTHY TO BOTHY
Beinn Mheadhoin – 1182 meters – Munro 13 – “Middle Hill”
Derry Cairngorm – 1155 meters – Munro 20 –
Ben Macdui – 1309 meters – Munro 2 – “MacDuffs Hill”
Carn a’ Mhaim.- 1037 metres – Munro 95 – “Peak of the large rounded hill”
There was only Dave and myself at the Hutchison bothy when we arrived at about 6 pm it is very compact and bijou but in a stunning location in Coire Etchachan , 9 pm and old Willie from Glasgow arrives having got the bus to cairngorm carpark and hiked over a couple of hills to get here , has half a sandwich takes out the thinest sleeping bag I’ve ever seen no mat or pillow of any kind and duly puts his head down on the wooden floor, all this in a space of 20 minutes, he gets up at 4 am and leaves???.
We got up at 7 packed up the gear gave the bothy a sweep up and on our way at 8 , up to the loch where we left our rucksacks and headed up the gravelly track to the plateau then along towards the summit tor and a wee scramble to the top. It was 9.30 am not a breath of wind and could see for ever. Spent a good 15 mins on top before heading back to pick up our bags , had a look over at the loch and there was a bloke skinny dipping (very brave it’s snow melt water).Dave was heading strait to Macdui but I went up so far dropped my sack again and headed out to Derry Cairngorm , it’s quite a awkward ascent with all the large rocks towards the summit but well worth it for the views .
Back down to the track and headed up to Macdui through several very large snow patches . The summit had loads of people on it enjoying the calm warm conditions , it’s certainly the best day of the many times I’ve been here, had lunch watching the snow buntings picking up any leftovers .Now I was heading down to pick up the bealach at the foot of Carn a’ Mhaim for the final climb of the day , left the rucksack again and headed up the easy ridge to the top, reversed the route back picked up my sack and a rough descent to the Larig Ghru and into Courour bothy for the night.
SCOTLAND AT ITS BEST TODAY
Today’s totals – 14 mls – 1324 m ascent – 7hrs 2 min
120 Munros to date
This area has some incredible places to visit not just the Munros Tops or the Big Cliffs with so many incredible rock climbs. Loch Avon , Shelter Stone Crag, Hells Lum and others have so many routes. There is also the neglected cliffs of Loch Etcheacan with some of Pateys great discoveries making it a wonderful place to climb and rarely will you meet anyone! Of Course Ben MacDui holds some secrets and the wonderful named Crystal Ridge just below the summit is a place to camp and climb on in great weather. These are the places where the Crystal Hunters seeked out gemstones and you can see the labour of their toils on the plateau or on the remote cliffs.
Have an adventure find and find the route named after them?
Ben Macdui also has an aircraft crash near the summit that few visit . The Avro Anson air crash .Five aircrew were killed in a WWII training flight crash on a north east mountain over 73 years on. Look on the map and you will see the Memorial marked it gives incredible views towards the Larig Gru and the great peaks! This is a place just a bit away from the crowds on the summit and is marked on the OS Map. It is a peaceful place with incredible views of the great peaks and the Larig Gru. The huge snow filled corries of Cairn Toul and Braeraich are a sight to see even in June. The aircraft wreckage is around much is in the river, this is a bleak place in early winter to visit before the snow comes. My last visit was in late November just after my first operation it was a bleak day with a smattering snow about and with the grey light made this a somber place to be. The eroded plateau by weather and people is an arctic environment and true wildness in early winter.
Visit in summer and see the views and sit and look into the huge cleft of the Larig Gru, you will be visited by birds and if lucky may see some deer in the Corries below and you will still hear the burn babbling in the distance. There may be the odd flower or plant and the mosses in and near the burn a vivid green make this a place of wonder. You are away from the summit crowds but what a place to be. You will not be disappointed>
Anson Memorial MacDui
Much of the wreckage from the Avro Anson air crash, which happened on 21 August 1942, remains on Ben MacDui in the Cairngorms. There are hundreds of similar sites across Scotland, due to the high number of aircrew who trained for WWII. All on board the training flight from RAF Kinloss died, including the pilot, Sgt John Llewelyn. The 24-year-old from Carmarthenshire, already an established pilot, was being trained as a fighter pilot.Due to the war, only the bodies were recovered and much of the debris from the crash remains intact on the mountain.
“There are two Cheetah engines still up here, it was a very powerful aircraft. Much of the wreckage of an Avro Anso is still on Ben Macdui.”It is amazing that this stuff is still here, incredible in these elements. “There are literally hundreds of aircraft scattered all over the UK and Scotland, they lost so many crew and these were just young lads who had joined the RAF to go to war and had to learn to fly quickly.” A memorial to the five dead men has been built close to the top of the summit. Geraint Llewelyn, the nephew of the dead pilot, has studied the accident. He said: “The priority was the front line aircraft so trainee aircraft was used a lot, so they had a lot of accidents.
“John had done about 30 missions but it was this training accident that cost him his life.”
“Lest we forget”