A short hill but some Memories of better weather and summers.

I was going out for a wander  today even though I was not feeling great as the hacking cough is still with me and my pals needed two cars for a drop of, I decided I would see how it went.

When your feeling rough with an  ongoing cold with awful cough maybe you should not go out but I get so fed up sitting about and despite a few lovely local coastal walks I needed the hills. The boys needed two cars to drop of for a wander from the Slochd (high point on the A9) across to the Dava Moor. I was roped in an easy start 0900 and picked up Bernie and Derek in Forres and met Brent at the Dava Moor !I took my car to the Slochd on the busy A9  and parking was not that easy and as soon as we arrived at the track I had  a memory reminder of a call out .  In November 1984 with the RAF Mountain Rescue Teams, SARDA and Cairngorm MRT did a big search round here many years ago looking for the Mail plane that went missing from Inverness. That was a wild call – out involving a few teams over several Days. It was a hard area to search and I am sure we searched all night on one day it was hard going huge moors and very rough ground, with winter snow down.  We stayed in the Tomatin village Hall near the Distillery and were given some whisky by the locals, who looked after us very well !

It was a sad call-out in poor weather, we located the plane and the pilot on the third day of searching! We had located another light aircraft the year before and found 5 alive after an all night search at Ballbeggie near Perth we were hoping for the same but it was not to be. It is amazing that I had forgotten about this incident, the hard drive of the mind cleared again.

General Wade he gets everywhere?


We parked and headed past General Wades Road (he gets everywhere) and headed up the onto the Moor. This is wild grouse Moors and heavy going today as I coughed my way up the first  wee hill ! It was bitter cold on the first top at 634 meters and I was holding them back and felt awful so I left them and headed back to the car arriving back soaked and cold!  There were lots of hares about and they were everywhere as I struggled in the rain and it was very cold for mid June. I then had a wander above the crags above the A9 and was amazed at the work (wire netting )holding the loose rock together! It was a change at the car get warm and head into Aviemore for a brew and have some lunch.


It was bitter cold on my wee hill.


Kinloss MRT Callouts


Tomatin area


Missing Banderanti mail plane. Located after a 3 day search over a large area  Wreckage found.  1 fatal. This is a wild remote area of high moorland about 1500 -2000 feet. Hard going in poor weather


It was then a walk and back to pick up the boys on the Dava Moor, the sun came out as did the odd shower but I was still coughing badly so just chilled out. This is where a big wind farm is being built and the roads head out into the moors the whole area will change for the better or worse?

The arrived but  boys found the hills hard going at times but enjoyed their wander, they had mixed weather. I just wanted to get home so I dropped them off and was soon home a bit fed up but it was the right thing to do as that day even though not over big hills would have not been easy with a hacking cough. The heather was out and looking great and so many wild flowers so I did enjoy my short spell out hopefully a bit of rest will sort it out. Oh how I long for past days in the long daylight of the summer solstice, huge days, Tranters Round, Kintail North and South ridges and the Torridon Trilogy but not just now. One hill and I am knackered. Must get rid of this cough any tips, honey is good! How could my mind forget about that call – out all these years ago the mind is some thing?

1981 The Torridon Trilogy Beinn Eighe, Liathach and Alligin.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Enviroment, Hill running and huge days!, Local area and events to see, mountain safety, Other hills Grahams & Donalds, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A short hill but some Memories of better weather and summers.

  1. Gary Nelson says:

    Is it ok for me to use your photo of the banderainte crash on my website.I visited the site at the weekend and would like to put a ‘then and now’ type photo on my webpage thanks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.