July 1969, a high adventure – Watercolour

Having just graduated from teacher’s training college, a group of us spent a week at Glenmore Lodge in the Cairngorm Mountains. This is from a photo I took. We had equipped ourselves with sketching materials and boards and set off, from the summit or Cairngorm, towards Loch Avon above the Shelter Stone. The plateau was easily reached as we used the ski chair lift, something which was not allowed for a long time afterwards as this area is one of natural conservancy and walkers/climbers were encouraged to actually get themselves to the top. This put about 95% of sightseers off. Today it is possible to take a funicular railway to the top of the mountain.

I remember the trip being quite exhausting. (I wonder how I would cope these days?). We stumbled across a lunar landscape for some time and, suddenly, hundreds of feet below us was the loch with Ben Macdui, Scotland’s second highest peak after Ben Nevis, away to the right. I returned a couple of times after this but the first sighting has remained with me all of these years.