Farewell to a Cairngorm great Adam Watson.

More sad news that a Cairngorm great Adam Watson has passed away.

As the SMC said “Adam Watson (1930-2019) joined the Club in 1954 – he was our longest-serving member.  He was quintessentially a Cairngorms man; his lifelong passion for the mountains underpinned his exceptionally long-term, sustained and hugely eclectic scientific work on the ecology of the mountains.  His extensive and authoritative publications, ranging widely from grouse and ptarmigan to monitoring of paths and snowbeds, won him high scientific distinction.  A key player in Cairngorms conservation, he was a major figure in the Lurcher’s Gully campaign in the early 1980s, and a founder Trustee of the John Muir Trust.

In the 1950s Adam did a lot of climbing with Tom Patey while Tom was compiling the first SMC Climber’s Guide to the Cairngorms (1961); later Adam wrote successive editions of the Club’s general guide The Cairngorms, which demonstrate his immense knowledge and affection for the range.  He also made the first one-day ski traverse of the ‘Bix Six’ Cairngorms in 1962.  “

I met Adam a few times he was a legend in the Cairngorms and in his scientific and environmental work. I read and watched him over the years where he was often on the media as an expert on environmental matters. He spoke with huge authority as an expert in his field.

It is amazing that he wrote over 300 publications and 35 books on flora and fauna. Few will be aware of his Mountaineering ability and that of a skier. I doubt if anyone knew the Cairngorms better than him. He was also an expert witness in the Cairngorm Plateau tragedy at the fatal accident enquiry.

His all round knowledge will be sadly missed. My thoughts are with his family and friends.



Spartan bothy – Pete Greening Photo Terry Moore A Chuil bothy>


There was an article in the Guardian that some might like to read. I am a member of the Mountain Bothies Association and have been for many years, its a way to help and how many of us stop in a bothy if just to get out of the weather?

Why bothies need a helping hand – a photo essay

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 Articles, Enviroment, Views Mountaineering, Views Political?. Bookmark the permalink.

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 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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.