Today is the sad 70 th Anniversary when 6 young men from RAF Lossiemouth crashed near Bynack More in the Cairngorms on 14 August 1944. Sadly all 6 young men lost there lives and I wanted to visit the crash site on the wild open moor and pay my respects. The weather has been wild, there are bridges down in the Cairngorms and big rockfalls in the Corries. We would have to wait and see what the day produced. The forecast was poor wind 30 -40 knots with gusts and the temperatures were dropping. Heavy rain was forecast as well, It was not a day for my “Baden-Powell” shorts and I put a bit more kit in my hill bag and a flask of tea. I pick up three mates on the way and we had a leisurely drive to the Cairngorms. The river Spey was still massive, brown and the waters still raging and we were soon at Glenmore Lodge where we parked, the midges were also there eating us alive as soon as we put our boots on. If I had been on my own I would have taken my mountain bike and left it at the old Ryvoan Bothy but not today as there was no room in my car for them. A large group of kids passed us about 20 all out for a run on the track and we were impressed by the banter. Great to see!
The Green Loch An Lochan Uaine a place of great beauty. Does the colour come from the fairies washing their green clothes in it?
Park at the Lodge, the midges bite!
The track, walk ski,cyle, run
The trees and wild flowers make this special
Past the Green Loch a place of peace
And beauty. Translucent green.
Where do its colours come from?
Nature at its best!
The trees Caledonian Pine, birch and juniper added to the smell and the carpet of amazing purple heather make this a lovely walk even if you just wander along to the bothy at Rvyoan . I used to escape to this walk during lunch breaks in Mountain Rescue Meetings in the past. Then would you believe it as we were all telling our “war stories” Rescue 137 The Sea King from RAF Lossiemouth flew over us heading for Glenmore Lodge. There must be a rescue on?
Rescue 137 Great memories!
We headed along the track to where the old Bynock Stables now gone, It was a place of haven in the past after a hard day on the hill or on a search or big walk on Strath Nethy a wild place in bad weather. There was a vehicle parked nearby and it belonged to the path makers who are rebuilding these popular paths and doing a magic job. In the past this was an awful muddy track now it is a work of art. The wee bridge was still there after the rain and looking good, the sun came out and the helicopter headed over for Loch Avon! I later found out that the helicopter was training with the RAF team!
The bridge over the river Nethy still there!
The smell of Heather along the track
The sound of a helicopter, a grand noise
Ryvoan nearby not today!
The Bridge still there.
The new path handcrafted.
Strath Nethy, the never-ending Glen!
Strath Nethy the never-ending Glen, the scene of many hard days in the past.
The path is such a great difference, I have done some big days from here in the past taking in most of the Cairngorm hills and always this was a wet eroded way to go. Now with the good path it is still hard work but you soon gain the high plateau of Bynack More. This is not a place to underestimate, there is little shelter and in winter or a windy day this is a wild place.
The new path to Bynock Mor what an effort that must have taken!
It was on with jackets, hats and gloves, a bit of food and drink the wind was gusting 30 mph at times and hard going. The summit was still clear on Bynack More and we headed out along the plateau to the prominent rocky North ridge. We found some shelter before the steepening near the granite Tors that allow some scrambling but not today. The views into Coire Odhar a desolate place today but so wild and how many visit this area despite the new paths? Dark clouds and the mist came in but we kept to the lee of the hill, still getting the odd gust but working our way in the summit. Again this can be fun in a winter’s day with good snow and the views (not today) are magic.
The rocky summit ridge of Bynack More before the mist came in!
The wind was really picking up along with a bit of rain but we weaved between the ridge on the lee side and only occasionally got a big gust. I saw a couple of hares still brown and darting about in the summit rocks. The summit allowed a break, no views the mist was heavy by now and it was cold, how far away is winter? We were soon off and hoping to get over the plateau to An Lurg about 4 kilometers away and visit the Wellington Crash site. I was not looking forward to leaving the path and the hard going in the peat hags that was to come!
Misty summit of Bynock Mor – above the 2000 foot contour there are no earthly worries. Tom Weir
The plateau, the windy rocky ridge
Hat and gloves on, shorts no more!
Steady walking, mist down, gusty
Use the lee side, old tricks
No views, worth the effort.
Too be continued!