What are the odds?
Miles Master AZ333 on Tipperweir,
(Distance covered =
6.3 mile/Ascent +316m)
Hawker Audax K7473 on Thorter Hill.
(Distance covered = 2.8 mile/Ascent +215m)
I like it when Heather is Dancing in competitions at Aberdeen as its not too far too reach the south eastern area's of the Cairngorms and partly because of the training airfields at Montrose there's plenty of crashsites to visit.
As it was the Aberdeen Championships on this day I figured I would have time to visit two crashsites.
Parked at the start of the forest track below Spital Hill]
My first objective of the day was Tipperweir Hill. I wasn't at first sure
I had the start of the correct forest track to follow so I drove past it
to Spital Cottage and back again to be sure.
I know I bang on a bit about my luck with the Scottish Weather, well I'm afraid I have to again as this day was absolutely perfect and I had that feeling from the start when I think to myself, "It can't get any better than this", clear blue skies, warm sunshine and the lovely smell of a pine forest.
Off up what I was now sure is the right forest track
A little further up the track the trees thinned a bit and some fantastic views were on offer up Glen Dye and across to Clacknaben which was easy to identify because of the large Tor on its summit. I could also see the location of three other crashsites I had previously visited.(see here)
A little further on and some fantastic views opened up.
After a couple of miles I had to make a choice, follow a path marked on the O/S map which made its way along and up the southern slope of Tipperweir or stick to the forest track which ran around, below the northern slope and would only involve a short climb through the Heather to the crashsite.
The track around the north of Tipperweir
I at first opted to take the more direct path up the south side of Tipperweir but soon realised the path marked on the map was non existant on the ground and involved going up a very long boggy and uneven clearing in the woods so I about turned and took the forest track around the north instead.
Along the northern side of Tipperweir, much easier going, the crashsite is a short climb up the clearing on the immediate right.
I knew from reports on the interweb that the wreckage of the Master lay beside an isolated conifer so as I could see a conifer standing by itself on the skyline I ignored the grid ref I had and made for that. Of course it was the wrong conifer and I could now see about 6 more isolated conifers so I checked them out one by one and still no sign of any wreckage.
The first 'isolated' conifer I checked out and the seemingly ever present nowadays, windfarm
Having no luck with the 'check the isolated conifer' technique I decided to head for where I had the wreckage marked on my map and of course thats where it was all the time, beside a small 'isolated' conifer that was slighty concealed from view in a gully.
Although some panels were painted bright yellow the wreckage is not visible until almost on top of it.Clachnaben with its large Tor can be seen in the distance.
The Master wreckage is collected together in two craters, one right next to the illusive conifer and the other about 100 feet downhill.
above and below:-The second collection of wreckage
There was also a Hawker Fury that crashed on Tipperweir a little to the North East, I had considered going to have a look for that as well but it was right in the area where the windfarm had been constructed and I had also exchanged emails with someone who lives in Aberdeen who had been to look for the Fury a couple of times and found no trace. (In 2021 I found the remains of the Fury)*
After exchanging a few emails with the man from Aberdeen he signed off by saying, "I might bump into you on the hills one day, look out for some one pusing a bike, juggling a map, compass, camera and gps", highly unikely you would think but as I was making my way back down the forest track I could see a man on his way up, pushing a bike and carrying a map, compass, camera and gps. At first I thought nothing of it but as we got to talking and I was explaining how I had taken my daughter to the highland dancing competition in Aberdeen he said "I know you, we exchanged emails a while ago".
Heading back to the car, a good view of Clachnaben over the other side of Glen Dye.
After chatting to Jerry for way to long, comparing notes and crashsites we had visited, I found myself in the way too famliar postition of being pushed for time so I put a spurt on to get back to the Pug so as I might still have time to visit the second crashsite on my itinerary. I only had to move the car a couple of mile further down the B974 to Cairn O Mount and Jerry had told me the easiest and quickest way to reach the wreck so I went for it still.
Thorter Hill from the B974
One unique thing about visiting the Hawker Audax on Thorter Hill is that the car park is higher then the crashsite so for a change I left the car and began to walk downhill. The crashsite is less than a mile from the road and I'd had news that the Championships at Aberdeen was going to be finished later than expected so I easily had time to reach the wreck and be back to Aberdeen in time.
The remains of the Audax have been collected together and buried in a pit.
The remains of the Audax were difficult to spot in the heather but they were exactly where they should be so didnt pose too much of a challenge to find.
second wreck of the day and the suns still beating down
I usually will carefully move stuff to photograph, then put it back where I found it but in this case, although there was quite a bit of wreckage in the pit it was so corroded I didnt touch it and just photographed what was on the top.
The remaining wreckage is very corroded
One downside of having to walk downhill to reach the crashsite was I now had to walk uphill to get back to the car, my legs and lungs were very confused!
Coming back around the side of Thorter Hill the Car Park is on the top of the hill ahead
Once back onto the B974 I had quite a steep incline to negotiate to reach the carpark on Cairn O Mount and it was now swelteringly hot but at least it wasnt that far.
Shaun the posing sheep! I thought it might be stuck but when I approached it ran away so it would seem it was just posing for the photo!