Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, December 20 2009.

Hawker Hurricane Merline engine in Galloway Forest Park

On Monday last week I travelled to Galloway Forest Park to walk near Loch Doon. The weather was pretty bad, with freezing rain, mist and frozen ground underfoot.

I walked in a plantation of fir trees to the southeast of the Loch, west of the Rhinns of Kells ridge, to the site of a Hawker Hurricane that crashed in the Second World War. There is still some wreckage at the site, hidden away in a firebreak in the forest. The wreckage is in danger of disappearing into the new forest growth but the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine from the Hurricane is still visible sitting on the ground underneath the canopy of trees.

You can see my page about this wreck site on my website here.

Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, December 10 2009.

Fairey Firefly remains on Meikle Bin

Fairey Firefly remains on Meikle Bin

Last Sunday I went for a walk in the Campsie Fells, starting just north of Queenzieburn and walking directly up the escarpment of the Kilsyth Hiils, going via the Birkenburn Reservoir towards the 570m summit of Meikle Bin. It was a gloomy day and the moorland of the Campsie Fells is a pretty desolate and featureless place, even though there are views towards the centre of Glasgow from the high ground.

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Posted by & filed under Mountains & hills, December 4 2009.

On the summit of Ben Chonzie

On the summit of Ben Chonzie

Last weekend I climbed Ben Chonzie with a work colleague. It was a the first proper winter hillwalk of this year, with ice on the route and a good covering of snow on the broad summit ridge above about 800m. We saw plenty of all-white mountain hares, they are very widespread in this area.

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Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, November 17 2009.

Wellington wreckage on Carn Aosda

Wellington wreckage on Carn Aosda

A couple of weekends ago I went for a short hike over the summit of Carn Aosda near the Glenshee Ski Centre. I walked up to the summit along one of the main paths underneath the ski tows but I descended off the summit into the little-frequented northern corrie of Carn Aosda, Dubh-choire. The conditions were perfect, with frozen ground underfoot and excellent visibility. I had an amazing view of the Cairngorm summits to the north with a covering of fresh snow. You can see a couple of photos I took on the trip on my website here.

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Posted by & filed under Mountains & hills, November 3 2009.

Last weekend I went on a NNAS navigation course organised by C-N-Do in Stirling. Some of it was revision for me, but some of it was new, so it was a very useful course. A lot of time was spent doing micro-navigation in pretty featureless terrain in the Touch Hills near Stirling on the Saturday and in the hills north of Callander on the Sunday. Heavy rain on the Sunday added to the navigation challenge.

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Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, October 30 2009.

B-29 Superfortress undercarriage

B-29 Superfortress undercarriage

On Monday I travelled to Argyll to spend the day in the hills between Strachur and Lochgoilhead. The day was mild and dry with no wind and some sunshine in the morning. I walked up Succoth Glen from Strachur, past the secretive waterfall of Eas an Fhithich and up to the rocky 658m summit of Stob na Boine Druim-fhinn. From the summit there were excellent views of Jura and Mull to the west, the summits of Arrochar to the east, a naval ship moored in Loch Goil and the tower-blocks of Greenock and the Firth of Clyde to the south-east. Proof that the best views are not always from the highest hills.

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Posted by & filed under Travel, October 9 2009.

On top of the Empire State Building

On top of the Empire State Building

A week ago Lesley and I were in New York for a 6-day holiday. We did all the usual tourist things, like visiting the Empire State Building (sensational views from the observatory at the top on a perfectly clear early morning), and we did lots of other things like walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, visit Grand Central station, take a ferry past the Statue of Liberty to Staten Island, walk in Central Park, shop in Macy’s and Tiffany’s and have a wander around Times Square.

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Posted by & filed under Military/Aircraft, Mountains & hills, Science, September 24 2009.

An Garbh Choire and snowpatches in Garbh Choire Mòr

An Garbh Choire and snowpatches in Garbh Choire Mòr

Last Sunday I spent the day in the Cairngorms (again). I walked from Loch Morlich, past Rothiemurchus Lodge (where I spent a week on a school trip in 1983), and into the Lairig Ghru pass. From the Lairig Ghru I climbed up to Coire Ruadh to the east of Braeriach to look for wreckage from a RAF Bristol Blenheim bomber that crashed here in 1945. I saw a lot of this wreckage on a trip to Coire Ruadh in August (see my previous blog posting ‘Yet another soggy night in the Cairngorms and yet more aircraft wrecks‘), but the debris is so extensive that a second visit was required to find it all. You can see new photos from this second trip on my website here. The view from this location down to the southern parts of the Lairig Ghru pass, and towards the western slopes of Ben Macdui are absolutely stunning, it’s a truly remote and wild area with high summits and glaciated corries.

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