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Old Nov 8, 2005, 6:21 PM   #1
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Lairig Gruh.. Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland.

Around 4-5 hours walk from "civilisation"
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Old Nov 9, 2005, 5:22 AM   #2
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Oh, yes! I seldom see images here of such sentimental value to me.

In the late 1970's, I went with a colleague/friend on an winter mountaineering course at Glenmore Lodge, not far from there. The most demanding bit was spending a night in a snowhole on Ben MacDui with a not terribly exciting Tax Inspector. A friendlier course member staggered along the line of snowholes (linked by a rope) with a bottle of whisky, saying "Would you like a wee Draaaaaaa...........................m" as he slid down the steep snowslope below us.

We were dropped in the Lairig Ghru by a flight of small Army helicopters, doing a course in mountain flying. As we flew the wrong way down the pass, the pilot alongside me gestured frantically at his map to say "where are we?". We were unable to switch on the intercom, and the noise was deafening, so I pointed behind me over my shoulder. At this, he turned the machine on its side and headed back up the Glen. I was sitting comfortably, well strapped in alongside the pilot, but my friends were loosely strapped in with their feet out of the side door. They therefore gazed straight down vertically to the ground, loosely held, as we turned, and have never forgiven me. As I watch on TV the helicopters flying in the deep, steep valleys of Kashmir, my heart is my mouth.

This was just the start. We were dropped off from the helicopters, which perched wth one skid on the hillside as we leapt out, Vietnam-style. Then we went & had a big walk on the Cairn Toul/Braeriach plateau, a long way from anywhere. The plan was that we'd be picked up off the plateau by the helicopters. It didn't turn out quite like that, as we couldn't establish radio contact Even my 3 feet of bendy wire (for measuring distances on maps) couldn't raise a signal. (Note: no default 'if all else fails' plan was present).

Our leader (now an eminent Scottish winter mountaineering expert, who probably learnt a lot from this little day out) said " We'll have to walk out", and that's what we did, down the wrong valley, all the way to Coylumbridge hotel (the nearest telephone). As we saw the helicopters overhead looking for us in the duskand frantically waved our orange cagoules, I said to the the Leader, "Why not fire a flare?" and received the immortal reply "Och, ah'd rather die than fire ma 2-star red!". He was right of course; we just had to walk out down the dirt road in the cold rain.

BTW Glenmore Lodge still does absolutely brilliant mountaineering courses & I recommend them. I hope yours is less eventful than mine.

Keep on camping!, Alan T


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Old Nov 9, 2005, 7:23 AM   #3
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Who was the leader?

I do a LOT of camping and outdoor sports... I manage a store in a well known scottish outdoor sports shop chain so have real interest in anything "outdoorsey" lol



Thanks for the story!


Also i'm adding another photo that I took that night.. I'd say its the best photo i've ever taken..its just a shame that I didnt have as good a camera as i do now so I dont have a really nice HIGH quality copy do make large prints from,
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Old Nov 9, 2005, 9:19 AM   #4
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ceecrb1 wrote:
Quote:
Who was the leader?
Not telling you, sorry, because it might upset him, and I wouldn't want to do that, and he's a really good bloke. I could give you a 1-word, 3-syllableclue, but I think I won't.


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Old Nov 9, 2005, 9:23 AM   #5
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hehe thats ok

I had problems uploading the other image but i'll try again!
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Old Nov 10, 2005, 10:34 AM   #6
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Beautiful spot for camping.

I've graduated from tents through pop-ups and now have a 31' RV. I can't seem to find a road, electrical and sewage hookups, etc., in your photo. As much as I love my RV, I sometimes miss the advantages of primitive camping.
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 4:28 AM   #7
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ok and the attachements have gone... where?
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