Hunting a Hunter.
Hawker Hunter WT721 on Carn Liath.
(Distance covered =
8.4 mile/Ascent =+585m)
The first crashsite visit of our bonus trip in October 2019, aka CC19c. I had set off from home at 2am, picked Stuart up from Glasgow at 5am then we had driven straight up to Loch Moraig above Blair Atholl.
As we set off from the car the sun wasn't quite up above the hills and it was baltic. Luckily the effort of pushing our bikes up the first incline soon had us nice and warmed up and the effort of cycling the rest of the way kept us that way.
A crisp frosty start to day 1 of CC19c.
Stuart had been to search for this Hunter before, as had several other people we knew about, all without success, but on this occasion Stuart was in possession of two possible grid references he had acquired during his research into the crash so our hopes were high, ish!
Approaching the base of Carn Liath.
After about 2.5 mile of cycling my knees were relieved when it was time to dump the bikes and head off cross country towards our search area. By this time the sun was up and it was a lot warmer but the top of Carn Liath still looked a tadge chilly as it had a light covering of snow.
Above and below:-Off the bikes and on foot towards the steep slopes of Carn Liath.
As we neared our search area Stuart veered off left and I veered off right and we started doing large opposing zigzags up the hill. After quite a bit of zigging and zagging we both eventually found ourselves past the first possible grid ref with nothing to show for our efforts but after a bit more searching and near to the second grid ref Stuart raised his walking pole and shouted to indicate he had found something.
above and next 4 photos:-Some photos taken during the zigging zagging up the slopes of Carn Liath.
A bit I found while making my way over to see the bit Stuart had found! After finding the initial bits a search of the area turned up a myriad of others, we were then able to figure out the direction of the wreckage scatter and determined we had come across it near the top of its travel. Following the wreckage trail down the slope we eventually found the spot where we believed the Hunter had initially struck the hillside and to corroborate our theory there were no more pieces below that point.
Stuart examining a piece of Hunter on the steep slopes of Carn Liath.
Looking up the hill, wreckage is scattered in these rocks up to and over the skyline.
Crater in the rocks where we believe the Huinter struck the hill, wreckage was scattered uphill from here for quite a distance.
More wreckage photos
The area on Carn Liath where Wt721 crashed. Our plan for CC19c had been to visit the Hunter on Carn Liath then nip up the road to Dalwhinnie where we were going to cycle in most of the way to the remote crashsite of an AW Whitley near Loch Pattack; then wild camp in the area before visiting another remote site where a Wellington crashed on Ben Alder the following day. However it had taken us a lot longer than we anticipated at the Hunter site because we spent so much time looking for pieces in amongst the very loose and unstable boulder fields; then we returned to our bikes to discover mine had a puncture so I ended up walking most of the way back to the car. A change of plans was therefore required for the rest of CC19c.
above and next two images:- A few photos taken on my enforced walk back to the car.