A different klass.
Vickers Wellington R1646 on Carn Aosda.
(Distance covered =
2.1 mile/Ascent =+306m)
I was a bit undecided on where to go for a walk on day 12 of my 2020 walking holiday in Scotland, my two choices were to visit the crashsite of a Vickers Wellington on Beinne a Bhuird which was quite a long walk or a very short walk to visit the crashsite of another Wellington on Carn Aosda.
I eventually decided on the lazy option after changing my mind quite a few times. The Wellington below the south top of Beinne a Bhuird would have entailed a 12 mile walk there and back, and if I'd reached that one I would have wanted to continue on to an Airspeed Oxford wreck which was further north on the same mountain and that would have culminated in a 19 mile round trip. The one on Carn Aosda was just over 2 mile there and back.
View from the Sean Spittal Bridge over to the Allte an Dubh Choire burn.
From the large carpark at the Sean Spittal Bridge on the A93 in Glen Clunie it was a short walk across some boggy heather to reach the Allte an Dubh Choire burn which I was going to follow up to the Wellington crashsite. I also figured there may be some pieces to be found in the burn as well and indeed as soon as I reached the burn and started walking up the hill alongside it I began coming across bits of Wellington.
Where I intersected the burn, the first piece I happened across was lying beneath the small rock outcrop on the left.
The first of many pieces of Wellington found in or beside the burn.
I had imagined the climb up to where the Wellington impacted the hillside might be a bit of a chowing but it was actually very easy going alongside the burn and really quite enjoyable and the weather although a little overcast at first improved as the day went on until it was clear blue skies and sunshine.
Nice grassy areas on both sides of the burn made the going very easy.
Further up the burn, note the grassy banks and bits of Wellington.
Waterfall picture bagged for the day.
Another impressive deer antler, I left this one where I found it.
above and below:-More bits of Wellington.
I came across several bits of wreckage scattered up the gully in or beside the burn culminating at what I thought from a distance was a large lump of geodetic structure from the Wellington which actually turned out to be a pair of more modern alluminium ladders; bit of a mystery how they got there but perhaps they originated from the Glenshee ski centre which had ski tows on the top of Carn Aosda or maybes the group that had the engines away in 1999 left them. There was no more Wellington wreckage to be found after the ladders so I began climbing out of the gully where the burn flowed and up the steep slope towards a large scar up on the hillside.
Both of the Wellington's Pegasus engines used to be at this site but they were removed in 1999, one was incorporated into a memorial in Braemar town centre which I accept is a reasonable reason to remove it, but I have no idea what happened to the second one and why did they have to remove both of them anyways?. Hopefully it ended up in a museum somewhere and not in a private collection or turned into a coffee table as happened to two of the engines that were removed from the B17 crashsite in the Cheviot Hills.
View further up the Allt an Dubhe Choire burn from the ladders. Wellington wreckage is up the slope on the right.
I spent quite a while zigzagging back and forwards across the slope finding numerous pieces of wreckage which eventually lead me up to a large area of exposed peat which is where the Wellington had crashed. The area of peat contained hundreds of tiny pieces with larger bits lying around it's bottom edge. The peat was very unstable and had obviously suffered a great deal from erosion which probably explained why all the larger pieces had made their way to the bottom edge.
above and below:- Where Wellington R1646 ended its days.
By the time I'd finished taking photographs the weather was glorious so I climbed a little farther up the hill to a large boulder field where I found myself a nice flat stone to sit on and eat my sandwiches, in the sunshine with some canny views to look at up and down Glen Clunie.
above and below:-A couple of views taken from above the scar.
A herd of Deer over on Dubhe-Choire.
After eating my dinner and having a bit of a rest I started making my way back down the hill, I took a more direct route and found myself passing well above the waterfall I had photographed on the way up. As the weather was now much better I contemplated going back down to get a better photo.
above and below:-Will I go that way or that way?
I decided to head back down to the waterfall, not only to get a better photo but as it was now extremely warm I was quite sweaty, and added to the fact I had been walking and wild camping for the previous 11 days I figured I could do with a shower, and that waterfall looked very inviting.
Above and below:-A couple of better photos of the waterfall.
I'm pretty certain I would not have looked anywhere near as good as Myleene Klass did when she had a shower under a waterfall on 'I'm a has been get me out of here'!.
After a lovely refreshing shower I sat in the sunshine beside the waterfall for quite a while until I had dried off then set off back down the hill, looking out for bits of wreckage I may have missed on the way up. I only found one more piece that had done a good job of disguising itself as a rock.
Above and below:-The other piece I found on the way down, it's in the bottom left corner of the photo above and until I touched it I couldn't decide if it was alluminium or just a rock.
On the way down I followed the Allt an Dubh Choire burn all the way to where if joined the Clunie Water, still on the lookout for bits of Wellington, but I spotted nothing else. As I was unable to get across the Clunie water onto the A93 without getting my feet wet I walked along it's western bank back up to the car park.
above and below:-At the intersection of the Allt an Dubh Choire and Clunie Water.
above and below:-The large scar where the Wellington crashed can be seen from the A93 in Glen Clunie.
above and below:-One of R1646's Bristol Pegasus engines in the Centre of Braemar.