Bog and Boulders
Avro Ansons N9589 and W2630 on the
Clints of the
(Distance covered = 12.1 mile/Ascent
My plan on this day was to get a hat trick of Avro Anson wrecks, the two on the Clints of the Spouts and one on nearby Craigronald. As is usualy the case I ran short of time for picking the girls up from a competition in Dumfries and only made it to the first two.
I took my bike to save a little time on the walk in as it was about 3 mile along the forest tracks, although they looked level enough in places the forest tracks were actually slightly uphill all the way so I ended up pushing the bike most of the time. This mean't the return journey would be a lot easier and quicker though.
View across to Cairnsmore of Fleet from the walk in.The Clints of the Spout are the cliffs beyond the lighter coloured trees in the centre.
I left the bike behind some trees about 1 mile short of Loch Granoch Lodge. I figured this was about halfway between the Clints of the Spout and Craigronald so if I made a large circle I would end up back at the bike.
Loch Grannoch taken from just above where I ditched the bike.
An initial steep climb up onto Little Multaggert proved to be very tough going as the ground was very tussocky and boggy and it didn't improve much over the distance to the Clints.This area is a nature reserve and there were no sheep which meant no sheep tracks to follow either.
Approaching the Clints of the Spout,where it wasn't boggy it was boulder strewn!
Battling through the bogs, boulders and knee deep heather, some of which was concealing boulders, I was pleased I wasn't going to be returning this way. I was also half expecting to meet the odd Adder or two in amongst the boulders, being as it was a nature reserve, but I think they could all hear me cursing every time my foot dissapeared down an unseen ditch or hole so they had plenty of time to get out of the way.
The Clints of the Spout. The location of the two areas of Anson wreckage are circled in yellow.
The going became a little easier once I reached the lower flanks of Meickle Multaggert which I contoured along to the northern end of the clints. Surprisingly I couldn't see any sign of the two Ansons even through my binoculors but aircraft alloy and engines can be almost identical in colour to rocks and boulders and there was plenty of those scattered about.
One of W2630's Cheetah engines, notice the similar colour of the engine and boulders
The first engine I spotted was lying down at the foot of the cliffs in a boggy area, once I'd found that I followed a trail of wreckage uphill to find a second engine which was wedged between some large rocks. Both these engines belonged to Anson W2630, just below the cliffs not far from the second engine was more scattered wreckage and a scar containing lots of small parts and fixings which indicated where the bulk of the aircraft had finished it's final journey.
Scar containing small fixtures and fittings lyeing at the top of a trail of wreckage. More wreckage photos.
I couldn't see any sign of N9589 in amongst the boulders but I knew it was only about 100 yards away so I just walked south below the cliffs until I found a 3rd engine. As Avro Ansons only had two engines and I'd already found two engines near to each other 100 yards back, I knew I had found remains of the second Anson.
One of N9589's engines.
N9589's crashsite is an almost replica of W2630's. One engine lies in a boggy area at the bottom of the hill and the second one is higher up wedged against a rock. One of the undercarriage retraction units has survived at this one as well. There was however no sign of any scar containing small fixtures and fittings to indicate where the bulk of the airframe had ended up, I was to discover on a later trip here in 2021 that this was because N9589 actualy crashed a lot higher up above the cliffs, so the parts down here below the cliffs were most probably dumped over the edge by the Maintenance Unit at the time to dispose of them.
N9589's scar, a lot higher up the hill above the Clints of the Spout.
Looking over N9589's crashsite towards the top of the Clints of the Spout. Several reports online describe the Anson as hitting the cliffs with the wreckage cascading back down to where the engines lie. This photo suggests otherwise.
above and below:-Photos taken about 300m downhill from the crashsite directly above the Spout of the Clints waterfall, looking down to the area where N9589's engines lie. Bits of Anson wreckage can just be seen in the photo below.
'The Knee of Cairnsmore',
After spending way too much time taking photos and searching around amongst the boulders I had to decide whether I would have enough time to head over to Craigronald. As I didn't fancy tackling the bog and boulders obstacle course again I decided to head up the steep incline onto the baelach between Cairnsmore of Fleet and Meickle Multaggert and decide then.
Meickle Multaggert from the lower slope of Cairnsmore of Fleet,I came up the gully between them on the right
Once I made it onto the top of Meickle Multaggert I decided there was no way I could cover the last mile over to the Anson crash on Craigronald*, take some photos, get back down to the bike, cycle to the car and drive back to Dumfries in time for the competition finishing so I dropped down the other side then headed straight back to where the bike was. The going this way was ten times worse than what I experienced on the way out and by the time I eventually arrived at Dumfries I was 45 minutes late.