Friday, 30 July 2010

Cairngorm Caper Part 3

Bit rushed this one as I'm off to France in  two hours.

Tuesday (seek and ye shall find)

Last day, and i've planned a big one. Going to head in to do the Munros Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird and at the same time satisfy my curiosity about the fabelled Secret Howff which is roumoured to lurk nesteled away in these parts. The Howff must be the best kept secret in outdoor circles, one that has held for over fifty years. Info is hard to find, a reference here even the odd picture but never too much deatail. I can't let such a secret elude my I must find it.

By far the best way to start todays route is by bike, the track up Glen Slugain is good and distance and hight can be gained quickley. A landrover track winds through the Caledonian Pine forests of the Invercauld Estate then into a open valley gradually climbing towards the ruins of Slugain Lodge. Once past the lodge the track shrinks to winding footpath contouring round a huge open valley.

Then disaster in a poorly judged bunnyhop of a drainage ditch I land heavily hear a pop and a hiss will bbubble appearing around the rim of my front tyre. Bugger; pinch puncture, and guess what; no spare as I used it yesterday. Gutting, miles of amazing track lie infront of me not to mention the decent back town the track I will now have to push the bike down. No rewardfor all that effort. Arghhhhh!!!!!!!

So on I plod on food the path is weel construced and leads gradually up to a coll at 980m from which it is a short pull onto the smmit of Ben Avon. The top is covered with some amazing granite tor's including one which forms the summit. There are good views right into the heart of the Cairngorms. It's a really pecefull place not a soul in sight and just birdsone to keep me company.

I drop back down to the coll then pull up the other site onto the vast plateau of Beinn a Bhuird. The summit is a pile of stones barley noticable as a highpoint and would take a bit of finging in bad weather. I do feel a bit uneasy out on the vast plateau even though the visibility is good.  Not exposed in a climbing sence but more lost in a vastness, never felt that in the uk before.

So the Howff? Yes I found it, quite easily actually a wonderfully constructed shelter hidden away from prying eyes. Now however, I feel bound by the traditions of the last fifty years, and must sware myself to secrecy about its whareabouts.

1 comment:

  1. You need to switch to UST wheels mate, pinch punctures are a thin of the past, not to mention much lighter wheels too!