Windmills and Wellingtons.
Vickers Wellington R1093 on Carn Garbh
16.8 mile/Ascent =+988m)
It was day 8 of my 2018 walking holiday before my good luck with the weather ran out. My plan was to go and have another look for any remains of a Vickers Wellington that crashed on a hill called Carn Garbh, it was another crashsite I had failed to find during a previous visit in 2001.
My freind Stuart had suggested walking in to Carn Garbh from the east along Glen Sletdale, he had done this route before and described it as a lovely walk. The alternatives were walking in along a Windfarm access road from the west or a very uppy and downey route from the north.
The start of Glen Sletdale.
Even though it was pouring down with rain I set off along Glen Sletdale in the hope the weather would improve as the day went on, it didn't. To make matters worse the first mile or so along Glen Sletdale was hard work, so it wasn't long before I decided to turn back towards the car and leave this walk for the following day.
The sight of Carn Garbh covered in clag in the distance helped my decision to call it a day here and turn back. As usual the torrential rain is not visible on the photo!
Calling it a day early on had the added benefit of allowing me a rest day, which was very welcome after 7 days of walking. The following morning I opted to utilise the mountain bike, so headed over to Gordonbush and the start of the Windfarm access road.
Off up towards the Wind Turbines.
The map I had with me was the one I bought for my visit in 2001, so it didn't have the Windfarm roads marked on it, but I knew the nearest Turbine to Carn Garbh was T35 and I also knew Wind Farms usually have signposts to each Turbine so I could follow those.
A solar powered beeping machine. It was solar powered and it beeped!
It was quite a long way to push the bike from Gordonbush to T35, all uphill apart from one drop passing the ruins at Ristockey. All uphill mean't it would be all downhill on the way back so a fraction of the time and energy used on the outward journey would be needed.
Carn Garbh taken from Ristockey.
Took me a moment to figure out what was going on with all these padlocks.
Wonder what the odds of getting caught would be?
It would seem that my good luck with the weather hadn't run out the day before but instead was simply having a day off, as by the time I was in sight of the first wind turbine the sun was shining.
Above and below:-Two views of the Gordonbush Windfarm.
I ditched the bike behind a little hut adjacent to Wind turbine T35 and set off on foot for the last mile to reach the crashsite. As with the Barracuda on Col-Bheinne I had the Wellington wreckage spotted this time from quite some distance away. I had passed quite close to it in 2001 but back then I had an incorrect grid reference which lead me to search too far to the east and I had approached from the opposite direction which meant I was able to walk past above it without seeing it.
above and next two photos:-Wellington wreckage on Carn Garbh(centre of photo)
There was quite a lot of wreckage still at this one, most of it collected in two large scars. There was further wreckage scattered around including some buried wing parts a little farther to the west.
The biggest pieces are in this scar halfway down the slope.
Another scar further up the hill containing lots of smaller pieces.
As I set off back to Wind turbine T35 a cloud plonked itself onto Carn Garbh and visibility was reduced to zero, I took a compass bearing off my map to where I now knew T35 was located and set off following that. As a Wind Turbine started to loom large out of the mist I was feeling quite pleased with my little bit of navigation until I got closer and could see no sign of my bike and the little hut seemed to have moved to the other side of the turbine.
That explains why there was no sign of my bike then!
When I took the compass bearing I took my position from the cross marked on my map showing where the Wellington crashsite was located, unfortunately I forgot that I put that cross on the map back in 2001 when I had the incorrect grid reference which was further east of where the wreckage actually is. Therefore because I was west of where the cross was marked on my map instead of walking towards T35 I was walking towards T34. This error was easily rectified however by simply following the Windfarm signposts to the correct turbine.
Very handy signpost.
Once back at the right windmill I found my bike still behind the little hut, then I was able to give it 10 nowt all of the way back to the car, using the brakes more than I used the pedals.