The Long Way Home.

I am home at last from a great trip South, I was looked after so well by all especially my family in Ayr and Yvette,Dave and the girls at Tokers Green near Reading. I leave in the night as the motorways are quieter and also it breaks my heart to say goodbye to the girls. I was nearly cuddled to death and we had a wee cry before they went to bed and then left about 0130 after a few hours sleep.

The fog was down but I took it easy and there was no ice as a big thaw was on. Once on the motorway I made great time but these roads are so busy even that early in the day. It was dark and raining and I had two stops one for a 30 minute” cat nap”once I made Gretna. Working night shifts in the ARCC when in the RAF you learn to grab a few minutes on the 14 hour night shifts. The weather was still poor and thankfully it cleared up past Glasgow, I had been on the go for 7 hours but the sun came out and I had a few folk to visit!

Ben Ledi – Ben Ledi (Beinn Leitir . It is 879 m (2884 ft) high, and is classified as a Corbett. It lies about 6.4 kilometres (4 miles) north-west of Callander, near the village of Kilmahog. It is situated in the Trossachs, an area often regarded as having some of the most romantic scenery in the Highlands.

My first stop was as always when coming this way from Stirling was at Loch Lubnaig just outside Callander with Ben Ledi looking stunning in the early morning light. I often stop here and when I was working down South with the RAF and this was my last stop before the Border. It is an incredible place and the reflections of the Loch and the hills were incredible. How I missed Scotland and despite the fun with the girls these are the places that mean so much to me. Ben Ledi is a grand hill where Harry Lawrie Cross is on the summit. Harry was the Killin MRT Team Leader who was killed on a helicopter crash on Ben More a tragic event on 1 Feb 1987 that I remember well. This is another specail place for me and I love this wee hill and it is well worth a walk. I have written about this on my blog on many occasions the last one was Posted on 

2012 Killin MRT on Ben Ledi at Harry’s cross.

My first stop was to see Elma in Crianlarich who has looked after the RAF Mountain Rescue Teams for over 40 years as always I was so well looked after. Elma is so good to us all and is always thinking of the troops old and new! Her house is filled with cards from so many mostly MRT and there families she has always been there for us. Al Sylvester one of the troops is very ill down South with a mystery illness and was in intensive care and Elma was updating me on his progress! He is now out of intensive care and getting tests to see what is up! A worrying time for Clare and Al,s kids and it will be a long recovery. There is a daily update on Al on the RAF Facebook page and my thoughts are with him.

The latest update /

from Al. Quite positive so fingers crossed


Morning sickness, 7 hours sleep, temp 37.3, cracked it 👍

Love the comments, my reward for when I get home is to treat myself to read all the messages, can’t wait, I’m so thankful and for all the cards arriving on the ward, incredible.

All tests exhausted, had more bloods this morning, now awaiting consultants to decide stay or go. Taking each hour at a time, not counting chickens yet 👍

Had Linzi visit this morning, such a boost, so happy. Clare n Joshua are picking up eldest son Kieran later, this could be the making of a cunning plan!!



left after about an hour with lots of home baking leaving Elma some flowers and lots of baking ingredients.

My mate the Deer.


br>b ;g drive now to Glencoe and the hills were clear and stripped with snow only the high Corries holding snow the rest had ribbons and streaks looking great in the morning light. I headed off and stopped at the big car park overlooking the Etive Hills and the friendly stag made an entrance after my sausage rolls in the car. The stag was in great condition and did the pose for the cameras what a magic situation. From here I stopped to se my friend Hamish and after a coffee I was buzzing, Hamish was in great form. I could listen to Hamish,s tales all day his memories are incredible and I got even more of an insight into Hamish, in his early days in the Army in National Services.

I then left coffee buzzing in my head and had a few minutes with Sue in Onich then the two hour drive home via Lagan. The Cairngorms were looking bare as well and it was so mild the fields were flooded with the melt water! I was soon in Forres and bought some food caught up with a few more pals and then got home to so many cards. I was tired now a bath some food washing on and then an early night!

What a day and sorry for not visiting or staying with all the offers I had now to get sorted and maybe on the hills after a rest!

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Corbetts, Enviroment, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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