Sunny snow and Rainbows
Hawker Hind K6819 on Bishop Hill.
(Distance covered = 5.9 mile/Ascent =+519m)

Heather was at a competition at Queen Annes High School in Dunfermline so it was just a short trip across the other side of the M90 to reach the Lomond Hills.

My day started well when I was halfway to where I was going and had to return to Dunfermline as the girls had left the trophies in the car that they had to return to the competition, luckily it wasn't a very long car journey to Bishop Hill so the time I lost didnt matter that much and I was still parked up and ready to go by 10am.

There are several carparks dotted around the base of the Lomond Hills.

There were several routes I could have taken to reach the crashsite but I chose to park to the north west and walk in via Glen Vale

The start of a lovely well made path that runs up Glen Vale between West Lomond Hill and Bishop Hill

The weather was sunny but a bit breezy so I was relieved that my route didn't involve going onto the tops where the breeze would undoubtably become more ferocious, I could also see the Ochill Hills over to the west were being subjected to some snow flurries.

Bishop Hill from the path up Glen Vale.

I expected to walk about a mile and a half up Glen Vale following the path then joining another path which came back down the other side of the Glen but after about a mile there was a sign saying the path was closed due to danger of rockfall and to follow a diversion.The diversion went straight down into the gully and up the other side to join the path on the other side of the Glen so cutting about a mile of my journey.

A rock outcrop and cave up Glen Vale called John Knox's Pulpit the path up the Glen can be seen below it.

On my way back to the car I went further up the Glen to investigate the curiously named John Knox's Pulpit, it turned out it was the reason the path was closed as three large boulders had become detached,two were teetering on the edge and one had already fallen on the path below.

                          Closer view of John Knox's Pulpit and the offending boulders.

Once onto the other side of the Glen my plan was to follow a path marked on the o/s map which ran along the western base of Bishop Hill, however on the ground the path was indistinct so I just followed the fenceline instead.

Western slopes of Bishop Hill, the Hawker Hind crashed into the cliffs at the top left(circled), wreckage is to be found at the bottom of the slope(smaller circle)

With no steep slopes to negotiate the hardest part of the walk was crossing a couple of boggy areas and scaling a rusty old barbed wire fence. The wreckage at the foot of the slope was found easily but I knew from experience that this wreckage had probably been left here by the Recovery crew at the time and the Hind most likely crashed further uphill so as I had'nt used up much energy and I still had plenty time I set off up the steep slope to investigate.

The wreckage lying at the foot of the slope consisted of rusty framework and a few strucural brackets mostly lying beside a large boulder.

After doing a search of the areas to each side of the gully where the remaining wreckage was lying I found no sign of an impact area and eventually I worked my way right up the top to an area below a cliff face where I took a photo across Loch Leven to The Ochill Hills which were again being subjected to a snow storm.

                                                         View west from the top of the gully

When I returned home I found an old newspaper clipping on the internet which detailed how the Hind had hit a cliff face then fallen backwards onto the slope below, the article also contained a photo taken immediatley after the Hind had crashed, by comparing it with the above photo I realised I had been standing on the exact same area to take my photo.

After cropping my photo it matches exactly the photo taken in 1938 If I'd seen the old newspaper photo before I visited the crashsite I doubt I could have taken a better comparison photo if I'd tried! As I headed off back towards Glen Vale I was clipped by the edge of the snowstorm that had been busying itself over the Ochills, it didn't last long and the sun was quickly out again.

Rainbow, courtesy of The Ochill snowstorm.

I was pleased I was in the Lomond Hills today and not the Ochills as they had been hit by one snowstorm after another. I keep maintaining that I am particularly lucky with the weather in Scotland and this day was to prove no exception as apart from being clipped by the edge of one, all the snow flurries passed harmlesly by to the west and I enjoyed sunshine all day.

Leaving the crashsite, The Ochills beyond Loch Leven are again shrouded in snow filled clouds.

I took the same route back as I came, only higher up the slope, very gradually loosing height as I went.

These two gullies looked like they might be difficult to traverse but the local sheep had kindly manufactured a decent path around them . On a later visit here I found some other wreckage on the ridge ahead, possibly from DH Vampire VV636, but on this occasion I must have passed within feet of it and not noticed it.

Once back down to Glen Vale I made a diversion further up the Glen to investigate the cause of the path closure and to see what John Knox's Pulpit was.

Looking up Glen Vale towards John Knox's Pulpit.

Walking back down the Glen towards the carpark I became a bit photograhically creative as my attention was drawn to the contrast in colours of a large green tree, the deep blue sky and a red tractor which was ploughing the field, unfortunatley I wasn't creative enough to catch the Tractor.

Green Tree, blue sky and almost a red tractor

Lower down in Glen Vale it was sheltered from the breeze and so was warm and very pleasant, so I took my time and even had a sit down in the sun, Glen Vale is named presumably after the Glen Burn which runs down it so theoretically should have been called Glen Glen. I'm usually in a mad rush to get back in time to pick the girls up from their competition but on this day it was nice to be able to dawdle.