Deer, Eagles, Munroes and Plane Wrecks
and don't forget the Milk

EE Canberra WJ615 and a Fairey Swordfish in Glen Callater.
(Distance covered = 19.5 mile/Ascent =+1238m)

Last day of my week in the Cairngorms, the following day I had to drive home get a good nights sleep then drive down to Gatwick to pick up the Girls. I'd found out the night before that despite there being over 300 Dancers entered in the Canadian Highland Dancing Championships 2013, Heather had finished 7th in her age group, no mean feat indeed!

Because of the good news I'd received the night before I woke up in a very good mood and raring to go! I was so proud and happy that morning at how well my little girl had done in Canada I would not have been bothered if it was zero viz and chucking it down with rain, but the weather was sort of matching my mood and it was clear blue skies and warm sunshine from the off!.

Blueberry Esmerelda Muffin II parked at the head of Glen Callater,
it would be 15hrs until I was back here.

I love those moments while out walking in the mountains when you can't help but think "things can't get any better than this". Walking alongside the burn in Glen Callater at 7'o'clock in the morning was one of those moments, in fact on this day I was going to have quite a few of them.

No wind, no midgies, no people, no noise, just blue skies, warm sunshine, fresh air and that lovely babbling noise a stream makes.

As I made my way along the landrover track the 3 miles or so to Loch Callater Lodge the weather, although glorious to start with, was just getting better and better and by the time I reached the Lodge the sun was beating down and the heat was becoming a little uncomfortable to walk in. Why do I never think of taking sunblock??

Loch Callater Lodge, the two old boys that live here can be seen sitting
in their deckchairs enjoying the sun.

I had an interesting chat with two old boys sitting in the sun outside Loch Callater Lodge,they told me the RAF had visited the Swordfish wreck and carried a lot of it away in large sacks. I asked them if they had a 4x4 as it was 3 to 4 mile from the main road then another 5 mile or so to the nearest village. Turned out the only transport they had was a pushbike and they walked the 16 to 18 mile round trip to the shops. I asked them what happened if they forgot the milk?
"We do without milk" was their reply.

Jock's road meandering its way up Glen Callater towards Tolmount.

Up until I reached Loch Callater Lodge I was still undecided whether to visit the EE Canberra on Carn an T-Saigert Mor or the Swordfish wreck up the top of Glen Callater near Tolmount. After talking to the two old Boys, who told me although there was no path along the tops between Tolmount and Carn an T-Saigert Mor it wasn't too difficult going; I decided to visit both of them.

View up Coire Loch Kander from the Jock's Road

The path onwards from Loch Callater Lodge is called The Jock's Road, it skirts the shore of Loch Callater then across what looked like a flood plain before meandering its way up the higher reaches of Glen Callater with the Allt an Loch burn as company.

The crashsite is on the right hand slopes of the Glen below the bealach.(Note the 3 snowbanks)

About 1 mile from the Swordfish crashsite the Jock's Road takes a sharp turn to the left and climbs up out of the glen, I had to carry on right up the to the head of the Glen. Before leaving the Jock's Road I lay down in the heather to eat my sandwiches, I don't remember what sort of Sandwiches they were but I do remember lying on the heather, in the sun, watching an Eagle soaring above the cliffs opposite and some Deer walking along the slopes below. Definately another one of those moments!.

The Deer grazing on the slopes, without a telephoto lens the Eagle would have appeared as a black spot in the sky,so I didnt bother with a photo of that.

The last mile to reach the Swordfish crashsite was 'off piste' and because it was so sheltered up here as the Glen narrowed, it was becoming very hot.
I was doubtful if there was going to be anything to find after what the two old men had told me but I could see from quite a way off that there was still plenty of pieces left .

The Swordfish wreckage is collected in a gully on the other side of the glen from Tolmount.

Some pieces lower down the slope, probably left here by the RAF

Above and below:-Exhaust collector ring from the front of the engine and views of the main pile of wreckage.

Hauling myself up onto Tolmount from the crashsite was warm work but once onto the top there was a very slight breeze, which was nice. At 3143 feet Tolmount is classed as a Munro so I made ever so slight a diversion to the summit to do a bit of bonus Munro Bagging .

The summit of Tolmount and the summit of Fafernie, Fafernie is higher than Tolmount but because of the Munro Bagging rules does not qualify as a Munro.

The going from Tolmount across to Carn an T-saigart Mor was pretty easy going and didn't involve too many contour lines. I came across the first fragments of the Canberra in the baelach between Fafernie and Carn an T-saigart Mor then contoured around the mountain in an anticlockwise direction gaining height as I went and finding a non stop trail of wreckage until I ended up back where I found the first pieces, but slightly higher up. I then turned up onto the summit plateau where the remains of the engines and several burial pits full of wreckage can be found as well as an almost complete port wing. I also passed the summit cairn which meant I had bagged another Munro!

Large lumps of tail on the eastern slopes

The starboard jet pipe lying on the northern slopes. This is often referred to as being one of the engines but it is not. It was attached to the rear of the engine, both engines lie in pieces on the summit plateau.

Both main undercarriage legs on the western slopes

This piece of jet engine was also on the western slopes

Above and below:-Pieces of the two jet engines lying on the western end of the summit plateau

Above and below:-Two of the wreckage filled burial pits

By the time I found the big lump of port wing which lies on the north eastern side of the summit plateau it was 9.30pm at night, so I had to put a spurt on to get off the mountain before it got dark.

Above and below:-Port wing with the jet pipe still attached, that's how I knew the one in the rocks was the starboard one!.

Probably not often you can stand on top of a Scottish Mountain at 9.30pm at night wearing only a T-shirt.

I knew I wouldn't make it back to the car before dark but as long as I got back down to the landrover track at Loch Callater Lodge I would be happy. One problem I encountered with being on the Mountain so late was I had missed the 'midge curfew', so for the 4 mile trek along the landy track back to the car I must have had about 10,000 of the viscious little ******s for company.

Looking up Glen Callater from the descent of Carn an T-saigart Mor.The three banks of snow on Tolmount can be seen on earlier photos near the Swordfish crashsite.

Luckily my Wife had bought me some pink insect repelling wristbands from Asda, these may have looked a little gay but worked amazingly well and I didn't get bitten once!, not even by the gay Midges.