Just me and the Midge.
Gloster Meteor WL336 on Cam Sgriob.
(Distance covered =
4.8 mile/Ascent =+287m)
Day 10 of my 2020 walking holiday in Scotland aka CC20. The previous day I had the company of 4 people to look for remains of a Fairy Albacore on Whiten Head on the far northern coastline, they had all gone home now leaving me to visit this crashsite alone.
This walk had originally been penciled in for day 2 of CC20 but we had opted to do a shorter walk instead. I then decided to tackle it after saying my farewells to Stuart and Chloe as they headed back to Ireland. I camped beside Lochindorb the night before with the intention of walking in to Cam Sgriob from the north, but the following morning the midge were out in force due to my proximity to the Loch. As I didn't fancy doing battle with the hordes of blood sucking little bastards I moved the car south and walked in from that direction instead.
Parked up near Achnahannet, just west of Grantown on Spey. Cam Sgriob can be seen in the background.
Parking was a bit of an issue above Achnahannet with a no parking sign ruling out the only flat bit of ground, I settled for backing the car into the verge where there was enough incline for a gravity assist to hopefully prevent it becoming stuck. There were still a few midge loitering around down here but no where near as bad as beside Lochindorb.
above and below:-Nice start to the walk; along a country lane in the sunshine..
There seemed to be more tracks on the ground than what was marked on my map but because it was such a nice clear sunny day this didn't cause much confusion and I soon found myself on the correct track that lead past some ruined buildings at Wester Rynechkra to a newish looking lodge at Easter Rynechkra.
On the right track.
One of the ruined buildings at Wester Rynechkra.
Above and below:-The Lodge at Easter Rynechkra.
Once I reached Easter Rynechkra it was time to head uphill to where the Meteor had crashed, but first I had a look for a 6ft wing section that I had read about in a report on the internet which stated it was behind the track near the bothy. I found no sign of that piece but there is a sizeable bit of wing spar about 500m up the hill from the Bothy so perhaps that is the bit mentioned in the report I'd read.
Approaching the area where Meteor WL336 crashed.
Above and below:- Bits from both engines, the piece below is the same piece as the bit above, which is still attached to a chunk of wing spar.
Looking down onto the area where the engine components are to be found.
I had a good mooch around for other bits but found nothing else until I
was close to the summit where I came upon several fragments lying in what was
undoubtedly the impact
scar. Stuart had told me there used to be some bits of the Meteor beside
the summit cairn on Cam Sgriob as well but there was no sign of those, I came to
the conclusion that they could be in a large depression next to the summit
that was full of water on my visit.
A photo taken from the summit cairn, one end of the water filled depression can be seen to the left.
Impact scar near the summit, there are several fragments of Meteor lying in this.
Above and below:- photo of the Impact scar taken from the other end, on the image below I have added arrows pointing to three gouges that I believe were made when the two engines and the nose of the Meteor struck the hillside. These photos also show to good effect how close the Meteor was to clearing the summit.
My plan to sit on the summit to eat my butties was cut short by a swarm of quite large insects which it would appear had made their nest in the summit cairn and weren't too pleased by my presence, so instead I retreated back down to the Bothy and sat on a rock there to eat them before retracing my route back to the car.
The summit cairn on Cam Sgriob.
View north from the summit over Loch an T-sithein to Lochindorb.
Above and below:- A couple more ruins at Wester Rynechkra.
I was pleased the midge had forced me to change my plans as the walk in to Cam Sgriob from the south proved to be very enjoyable and it also meant I was ideally positioned to hit the Fish and Chip shop in Grantown on Spey on my way to the start of my planned walk for the following day. The experience of eating those fish and chips in my car parked on the side of a remote road in the Cairngorms during a thunder and lightning storm will take some beating!