‘Not as Described’
20th February 2019
We wandered up Coire Ardair this morning expecting a few rain showers, not the ‘Full Goretex’. Which is what we got. And since there were two of us out on a personal/professional development type of day, we decided – eventually – to go somewhere a little different. A path less trod.
Initial plan on our morning online risk assessment (yes, we have to do that sort of thing) was to go into Easy Gully for a prod around, but there was already a group of winter mountaineers (under instruction?) about to wend their way up it so had a quick conflab about possible alternatives.
In our infinite wisdom we decided on Bellevue Buttress, or more accurately, the bottom of it.
Visibility deteriorated further as the wind and rain increased.
The initial attraction of our chosen destination was beginning to wear a little thin. Bellevue = beautiful view, seemed a more than somewhat ironic translation in the circumstances.
I’m reminded of other similar optimistically named locations in the Scottish mountains. My favourite has to be the ‘summit indicator’ on Ben Macdui in the Cairngorms.
(Above) The Ben Macd(h)ui ‘summit indicator’ located close to the trig pillar on Britain’s second highest mountain. The accurate direction of some of the mountains visible (allegedly) from this spot. Ordnance Survey also have this place marked as a tourist ‘viewpoint’.
I’ve been to Ben Macdui’s summit far too many times (sometimes at night, but that doesn’t count) and only once had a proper view.
I recall standing at the indicator on countless occasions gazing in the direction of, say, where the (nearby) Devil’s Point should be, and just stared into a thick grey void. Pentland Hills thataway….An in-joke, perhaps?
The inextinguishable optimism of chaps from the Cairngorm Club of Aberdeen back in 1925 has to be admired though. Or maybe their wry sense of humour?
Bellevue Buttress ≠ belle view. At least not today.
We beat a hasty retreat from Bellevue Buttress down to the normally simple burn crossing, where one of us managed to make a bollox of it in the swollen waters and had a wee wade. Oh, joy!
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