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Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite

Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite


Postby Gavin99 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:07 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Lochain

Date walked: 22/01/2012

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 11.8 km

Ascent: 1020m

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Participants : Daveh , Dave , Gavin and Islay the dog
A late start today , meeting up in Lochgoilhead at 9.30 before setting off towards Lettermay in a fresh NW wind and showers .

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The first part of our route followed the WH route for Beinn Bhuela ( and part of the Cowal Way) , on good forestry roads for the first 2k before crossing Lettermay Burn on a new footbridge and turning left at a white marker post to enter a firebreak/swamp which leads to the base of a fine waterfall.
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Islay

At the top of the cascade we left the WH route and followed the Cowal Way markers to the outflow from Curra Lochain where an improvised crossing had been constructed , allowing us to reach the north bank and make our way along the shoreline , ducking behind a clump of pines to get some shelter from of a heavy shower of sleet.
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Cowal Way crossing
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Ascending Beinn Lochain
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View back to Curra Lochain

After following the shoreline for 400m we set off N up the steep slopes of Beinn Lochain , picking a likely looking gully to aim for to clear the crags . Reaching the summit ridge we were treated to brief views of Loch Fyne to the west and our onward route to the north .
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Summit ridge
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Loch Fyne
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N to Beinn Tharsuinn
Poking around on the ridge Dave discovered a great wee hidey hole , a narrow crevasse with a sheltered grassy floor , like a mini Whangie , except this one had its own window .
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After sheltering in it for a while we set off again ,a short wander along the ridge brought us to the handful of stones which acts as a cairn ,though we didn’t linger, a stinging shower of hail and sleet had us hurrying off northwards .
From the summit we descended to a col before contouring around the western slopes of Beinn Tharsuinn , aiming for the high point of a spruce plantation which holds the crash site . On 17th January 1949 a Boeing B 29 Superfortress flying home after participating in the Berlin airlift experienced icing problems , lost height and clipped the summit of Beinn Tharsuinn before crashing in the valley beyond . All 20 on board were lost . Even today the devastation caused by the impact is evident . A memorial cairn has been erected , touching tributes and poems from surviving family really bring home the tragedy of the event . A sad and lonely place .
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http://www.aircrashsites-scotland.co.uk/boeing_b-29a_succoth.htm
Leaving the crash site we headed NW to gain the summit ridge of Stob na Boine Druim-fhinn, a short but steep ascent brought us to the 658m trig.
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Onwards to Stob na Boine
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Ridge to summit
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Looking S to Beinn Tharsuinn
Strong winds and snow showers meant views were in short supply so before long we set off down the long SE ridge towards Lettermay . This route is well guarded by crags and we had to backtrack a couple of times before finding a way down , the sodden slippy grass not making the job any easier .
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SE descent ridge
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Route down through crags
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Craggy E face of Beinn Lochain
Eventually we reached pt475 and from here the rest of the route is obvious , heading down a wide firebreak , clear-felled on the eastern side , crossing one new forest road before turning right onto the second to wind down through the Drimsynie estate yard .
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Down through firebreak
Back to the cars after 6 hours and a lot of exploring .
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Gavin99
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Re: Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite

Postby daveh » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:54 am

Great report and pics again Gavin and had a good day out with another 2 tough Grahams done.Watching and then getting hit by the fronts coming in was fun too and all in all good to be out on the hill.
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Re: Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite

Postby kevsbald » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:42 pm

Despite the conditions, that looked like a very interesting if not poignant day out. Be good to do these over the next few weeks.
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Re: Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite

Postby daveh » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:53 pm

A good walk Kev and the bomber site is well worth the visit and a very touching poem has been left by the widow of the pilot who was 87 i think when it was left in 2009.A couple of more routes available in the area and reckon we will be back too.
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Re: Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite

Postby Cuillin » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:42 pm

That looked a really interesting day out and it can't be bad bagging two Grahams and seeing a B29 wreck site! :)

Like yourselves, I feel a mixture of emotions when you see an aircraft wreck site but respect for what these guys did usually wins out. Thanks for all the great info., as I somehow hadn't connected the crash site with the Grahams. Finally, I was surprised to see the rear gun turret was intact. :shock:
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Re: Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite

Postby Gavin99 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:08 am

Cuillin wrote:I feel a mixture of emotions when you see an aircraft wreck site but respect for what these guys did usually wins out.

Absolutely , there is an amazing sense of history at these crash sites , finding this poem from the widow of the pilot really stopped us in our tracks , so sad .
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:(
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Gavin99
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Re: Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite

Postby BoyVertiginous » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:35 am

Wow...that is beautiful.
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Re: Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite

Postby Cuillin » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:25 pm

BoyVertiginous wrote:Wow...that is beautiful.

That is indeed moving and have a look at the age of the person who wrote it.

Was that picture taken at the Fairy Lochs Liberator crash site near Gairloch by any chance?
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Re: Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite

Postby BoyVertiginous » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:28 pm

Cuillin wrote:
BoyVertiginous wrote:Wow...that is beautiful.

Was that picture taken at the Fairy Lochs Liberator crash site near Gairloch by any chance?

No. As described above, it was this one:
http://www.aircrashsites-scotland.co.uk/boeing_b-29a_succoth.htm
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Re: Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite

Postby skillinabottle » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:01 pm

Thanks for posting, it looks like an interesting day you had there.
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Re: Lochgoilhead Grahams and B29 crashsite

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:13 pm

Thanks for posting more reports on the Grahams in that area, this looks a good walk with the added interest of the crashsite. I will revisit your posts before i start climbing them, cheers :thumbup:
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