MUNRO ADVENTURE 2015 DAY 95 (3rd AUGUST) ASSYNT. Conival – 987m, Munro 158) ‘adjoining hill’ Ben More Assynt – (987m, Munro 158) big hill of Assynt’

MUNRO ADVENTURE 2015
DAY 95 (3rd AUGUST)
ASSYNT.

Map Conival and BMAssynt
Conival – 987m, Munro 158) ‘adjoining hill’

Ben More Assynt – (987m, Munro 158) big hill of Assynt’
I was parked up last night in the car park at the foot of Coire Dubh Mor along with Jake in his van, had a few aperitifs before Jake served up our evening meal followed by a small dram before before turning in for the night.
Awoke to the sound of rain and a strong wind blowing this morning , had breakfast and set off at 8am on a almost 2 hour drive up north to Inchnadamph via Garve and Ullapool for today’s hills . It was fair when I arrived but the tops were clagged in and a very strong wind blowing nothing else for it but to crack on regardless.

A MEMORIAL marking the crash site of an RAF crew killed during World War II has been flown onto a remote mountainside in the Highlands by a Chinook from RAF Odiham.  The crew of six were all killed when their Anson plane crashed on Ben More Assynt in April 1941. Due to the inaccessibility of the crash site, the crew were buried on the mountain – their final resting places marked with a cairn.  In 2012, the War Grave Commission decided to replace the existing cairn, which had deteriorated in the harsh climate, with a granite marker weighing some 600 kilograms, to identify and protect the aircrew’s burial site from becoming lost or disturbed in the future.2000 feet up, the site on Ben Moore Assynt is one of the Commission’s most remote sites in the UK and the logistics of replacing the cairn have proved challenging. With support from the twin rotor RAF Chinook helicopter the memorial was carried by underslung load to the site.Master Air Crew Steve Macdonald from Joint Helicopter Support at RAF Odiham said: “It’s a very humbling experience. I can honestly say that in my 30 years in the Royal Air Force it’s one of the most fantastic projects I’ve been involved in because there are very few places where the crews are actually buried where they crashed and now these men will always be remembered.” The granite memorial now serves as a permanent reminder of Pilot Officer William Drew, Sergeant Jack Emery, Sergeant Harold Arthur Tompsett, Flying Officer James Henry Steyn (DFC), Sergeant Charles McPherson Mitchell and Flight Sergeant Thomas Brendon Kenny who were killed in the crash.  The families of the crew have been informed throughout the project and for Bernie Tompsett – nephew of Sergeant Harold Arthur Tompsett – the installation of the new  marker has been a great comfort.  He said, “It was a time when so many families learned of the tragic loss of their loved ones…Perhaps we are fortunate that they came to rest in such a beautiful part of

Set off at 10am up Gleann Dubh into the wind getting buffeted about on the exposed areas not the best conditions even at this low level and I was expecting things to get a lot worse higher up. I was getting a bit of shelter in the coire but was pleasantly surprised when I got onto the summit ridge not much wind at all , it was only when I reached about 900m and into the clag that it was stronger but not too bad. I remember reading Hamish Browns book when he did these hills; he got a right battering on them getting thrown to the ground on several occasions. Reached Conival then headed E down the slippery quartz blocks, I was getting views of the watery landscape below before going back into the clag to reach Ben More Assynt’s summit. Had some fuel and a drink before retracing the route back, I still had to be aware of the odd gust of wind on the narrow ridge back but once in the coire it was fine. On the way back I seen somebody very lightly dressed and immediately recognised him it was Paul Giblin
the WHW record holder out for a bit of training while up in Lochinver on holiday, had a brief chat and he was telling me he was just back from training in Chamonix for his preparation for the UTMB ultra at the end of August. I continued down the bog of a path and back to the van, again not the most pleasant day out but could have been worse just a shower for about 5 minutes today .
Today’s totals: 11.34 mls, 1222m ascent, 4hrs 31mins.
279 Munros to date.

Heavy note

This wild Assynt is a place I love and I was part of the renovating of the memorial near Conival to the crew of an Anson plane that crashed during the war. It was found by a shepherd at the end of a long winter. I took 3 years and nearly 2500 miles travelling and 10 visits to the site to complete the task as the memorial was falling apart.

 

A MEMORIAL marking the crash site of an RAF crew killed during World War II has been flown onto a remote mountainside in the Highlands by a Chinook from RAF Odiham.  The crew of six were all killed when their Anson plane crashed on Ben More Assynt in April 1941. Due to the inaccessibility of the crash site, the crew were buried on the mountain – their final resting places marked with a cairn.  In 2012, the War Grave Commission decided to replace the existing cairn, which had deteriorated in the harsh climate, with a granite marker weighing some 600 kilograms, to identify and protect the aircrew’s burial site from becoming lost or disturbed in the future.2000 feet up, the site on Ben Moore Assynt is one of the Commission’s most remote sites in the UK and the logistics of replacing the cairn have proved challenging. With support from the twin rotor RAF Chinook helicopter the memorial was carried by underslung load to the site.Master Air Crew Steve Macdonald from Joint Helicopter Support at RAF Odiham said: “It’s a very humbling experience. I can honestly say that in my 30 years in the Royal Air Force it’s one of the most fantastic projects I’ve been involved in because there are very few places where the crews are actually buried where they crashed and now these men will always be remembered.”

The granite memorial now serves as a permanent reminder of Pilot Officer William Drew, Sergeant Jack Emery, Sergeant Harold Arthur Tompsett, Flying Officer James Henry Steyn (DFC), Sergeant Charles McPherson Mitchell and Flight Sergeant Thomas Brendon Kenny who were killed in the crash.  The families of the crew have been informed throughout the project and for Bernie Tompsett – nephew of Sergeant Harold Arthur Tompsett – the installation of the new  marker has been a great comfort.  He said, “It was a time when so many families learned of the tragic loss of their loved ones…Perhaps we are fortunate that they came to rest in such a beautiful part of the world”

“Lest we forget”

Assynt Anson

For four months they lay, alone in Assynt.

Found by a shepherd after a wild winter storm.

The old memorial.

The old memorial.

This place is where the six lie,

They did not choose to die!

On a flight from Kinloss, in winter 41

They were lost.

They crashed in a storm,

Where wild and windswept is the norm.

Above 2000 feet they lie,

They did not choose to die.

Now this sacred place is to be marked,

By a memorial bright and new,

To remember those

Who died for you.

Mem assynt

Heavy Whalley Assynt 2013  “Lest we forget.”

Thanks to all involved

¨Commonwealth War  Graves Commission.

¨RAF Lossiemouth MRT

¨Assynt MRT

¨Joint Services Support Squadron.

¨National Heritage.

¨The Assynt Estate

¨All those who helped

¨

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
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