Posted by & filed under Mountains & hills, Science, December 7 2011.

The An Cùl Choire snowpatch on Aonach Beag

The author at the An Cùl Choire snowpatch on Aonach Beag in October 2010

One of my pet interests is the study of long-lasting (and sometimes ‘perennial’) snowpatches in the Scottish mountains. I have written many previous postings on my blog on this subject (see a list of these on my website here).

The question of what factors affect the longevity of snowpatches in the Scottish mountains through the summer and autumn seasons, and potentially until they are covered permanently by the snow of a subsequent winter (making them ‘perennial’), is one which has been discussed at some length in the relevant academic and scientific literature since the early 20th century (see a complete list of these references on my website here). Simply put, these factors are many and varied, but include:

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Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, November 24 2011.

Wreckage of the Beaufort in a small crater near the summit of Hill of Wirren

Wreckage of the Beaufort in a small crater near the summit of Hill of Wirren

Last week I went for a short walk in Glen Lethnot, one of the Angus glens north of Brechin, with my friend Katy. We walked from the farm at Auchowrie, up the west slope of Hill of Wirren, to look for two air wreck sites on the hill. However the weather was not as good as we had hoped and the light was very poor in the low cloudbase (not very good for photos), so we only investigated one of these sites, that of a Bristol Beaufort bomber that crashed on the hill in 1942.

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Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, November 14 2011.

A section of the Vikings wing and engine near the summit of Irish Law

A section of the Viking's wing and engine near the summit of Irish Law

Last week I went for a short walk on the moorlands to the east of Largs, in the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park. I was looking for the wreckage of a BEA Vickers Viking, one of the first commercial passenger aircraft in the UK, that crashed in the area in 1948 on approach to Renfrew Airport near Glasgow.

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Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, November 3 2011.

The two engines from the Airspeed Oxford in upper Coire Beanaidh on Braeriach

The two engines from the Airspeed Oxford in upper Coire Beanaidh on Braeriach

Last week I travelled to the Cairngorms and spent the day walking in the Braeriach area. I walked from Whitewell in the Rothiemurchus Forest, into the Lairig Ghru and up along Coire Beanaidh (where I spent a night camping on a Mountain Leader training course three years ago) to the 1296m summit of Braeriach. I wanted to explore Coire Beanaidh to see if I could discover any wreckage from a World War Two Airspeed Oxford training aircraft that crashed on Braeriach in 1943. I found many pieces of the aircraft in the upper reaches of the corrie, including the two engines from the Oxford. This wreckage does not seem have been recorded by anyone else, in any book or website, to the best of my knowledge.

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Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, September 23 2011.

Mosquito wreckage on the summit of Corserine

Three days ago I travelled to the Galloway Hills and walked to the 814m summit of Corserine from Forrest Bridge, through a large forest plantation and steep grassy slopes. Approaching the summit via North Gairy Top, I saw the unusual sight of a herd of wild goats, although I have now seen wild goats on various mountains in Scotland,  including An Teallach and  Slioch in the north-west Highlands and Swatte Fell in the Borders.

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Posted by & filed under Mountains & hills, September 19 2011.

OS map of the route (marked in light grey)

OS map of the route in the northern Cairngorms (marked in light grey)

Last week I met up with my friend Bernhard and we undertook a 35km cycle route in the northern Cairngorms. The route was an anti-clockwise loop starting and finishing at Loch Garten.

We took advantage of the only day with a forecast of good weather that week, and we had ideal conditions for cycling, with no wind or rain and some blue skies towards the end of the day. There were still some midgies about, but they were not too bad.

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Posted by & filed under Mountains & hills, Science, July 26 2011.

At the Ciste Mhearad snowpatch on Cairn Gorm

At the Ciste Mhearad snowpatch on Cairn Gorm

Last weekend I attended an Environmental Awareness course at Glenmore Lodge, as part of my preparation for the ML award.

Our group was lucky enough to get Keith Miller as an instructor for the weekend, who is a real expert on the environment of the Scottish mountains (he wrote the Invertebrate Life chapter in the SMC-published Hostile Habitats book), and who has also worked on long-lying snowpatch monitoring and research.

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Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, July 18 2011.

Anson wreckage with Ben Avon and Beinn aBhuird in the background

Anson wreckage with Ben Avon and Beinn a'Bhuird in the background

Last week I cycled into Glen Avon in the eastern Cairngorms with my new bike (a Giant Revel 1) from the east, starting at Corgarff Castle. The first part of the route was rougher than I expected, but the bike made it in one piece to Inchrory Lodge in Glen Avon, which is a large Victorian hunting lodge which looks rather incongrous in the remote Glen Avon, 10km from the nearest public road.

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