Yesterday was a busy day and I met my nephew Scott who had driven up from Ayr very early to do some photography in the the Cairngorms area. He arrived early and the weather was great and it was to be a lovely Scottish day but the roads were a bit icy on the way across the Dava Moor. I met Scott in Aviemore he was there at 0900 and we had a great breakfast in the Mountain Cafe in Aviemore where my lecture was to take place that night. What a lovely breakfast of french toast, banana/ strawberry and syrup a bit of calorie indulgence but wonderful food as always. After that we wandered to Loch Morlich were Scott got some photos and then we wandered up to Ryvoan Bothy by the Green Loch from Glenmore. It was a magic wander and I think Scott enjoyed it the views were as always stunning the light changing and the path up to the bothy icy in place but busy. The heavy rain and storms has done some damage so be aware if on a mountain bike.
Scott did his thing at the bothy and was enjoying himself, I went inside and was very pleased to see this bothy so clean and tidy and I met a young couple out for a walk with a baby. It was great to see them and we had a great bleather and the wee one was warm and happy and with Mum and Dad were enjoying a wander in the wild with the wee one. That for me was a special moment and great to see a young couple share their love of the outdoor with baby Hazel.
What a great start in that young life, when many live in so different environments. Well done Mum and Dad. It brought back memories of Everest and Tibet in 2001 and the Tibetans who took the gear up to ABC at 21000 by Yak and the whole family came to, even the babies incredible people.
It was a slow wander back down and a few stops the sun came out and it is a joy to live near such a place and see so many out enjoying this walk on a winter day, what a place to live. It was time for coffee at the Glenmore Cafe a toastie wonderful! I needed to have a look at a friends grave Paul Rodgers at Kingussie Cemetery as I was told that the inscription was getting hard to read. Scott was more than happy to come and we drove down the skies darkened. My friend Paul Rodgers and his companion Bill Scott were killed in a huge storm in the Cairngorms after an unsuccessful 4 day search in Jan 1984 to find them..( I have written about this incident in depth on my Blog in the past) It was one of the hardest call -outs I have been ever on and during that weekend we recovered 3 students in the same storm, These were tragic days and taught me a lot and effected me and many pals who knew Paul and Bill deeply. The sky darkened as we got the the cemetery and a wee storm came in as reached the grave making it a sombre experience yet with special views of the Feshie hills. I had a look and its just the inscription that needs a bit of work and will go back on a dry day to sort it. It is an MOD grave but they may be looked after in the future by the WAR Graves Commission, I am told. Near them are several graves of Indian soldiers who died in Scotland I wonder what that tale is and how they died so far from home?
As I left the graveyard as a big squall came in with sleet and snow, I always took my new Team members the new ones to this place after a day in the hills when in the araea. I told them some of the sad tale and how easy it is even for the best to suffer when nature does its worst! It never easy but it does help I feel to tell how these wonderful places can be so wild on the wrong day. We went back up to the Cairngorms where I left Scott to have a few more hours taking photos, the sun was back out the snow storm gone. I visited the Scottish Avalanche Service at Glenmore where we had a chat, Mark was just of the hill with companion from Switzerland and they had a great day out. It was then over to see the Mountain Rescue Andy Rockall who works in the same building he was a busy man. The teams have been busy with Cairngorm having had call -out in the Northern Corries last night for a fallen climber. They were helped the by RAF Leeming MRT who were training nearby a good result after a busy weekend. They had a bit of a stretcher carry – out as the weather changed for the helicopter that had brought the team in had to leave.
I had another place to visit Ray and Myrtle Sefton Ray was an ex RAF Team Leader and his wife Myrtle have shared so many great days together. We had a grand catch up and some tea and shortbread and a change of clothes as it was now time for my talk in the Mountain Cafe. Anne Butler of the Munro Society helped me set up and the girls form the Mountain Cafe and the food was magic. The night I hope went went well and I had a grand night the audience and I hope Scott enjoyed it. It was a mixed day for me a grand walk, good company and seeing the joy of seeing baby Hazel at Ryvoan, then visiting Paul’s grave and some old pals. In between the 4 seasons in a day weather and those beautiful and wild mountains where nature rules and lets us play at times.
It was then the drive back to home late on icy roads, with time to think.
A busy day but great to see so many people and a reminder of never to take where you live or life for granted. Live every day.