Sithean Mor (Fairy Lochs) - 225m
Wednesday 16th April 2008

Weather/Conditions: Nice evening with a little wind, clouds, and good views on top of Sithean Mor.
Accompanying: Dad, Uncle Steve

The interesting part to this hill has more to do with its' lochans than the actual hill itself. A bit of background: on June 13th 1945, a USAAF Liberator bomber returning to the US became lost. The aircraft crashed into the lochs beneath Sithean Mor and killed all 15 on board. It was found the aircraft had struck Slioch (scrape marks were found on the mountain afterwards) and had come down shortly after. After finding this out, dad, Uncle Steve and myself were all interested in visiting.

Up to the Fairy Lochs

We began early evening and after parking at the large car park we began the walk down the track. We talked, seemingly with eyes to the path until we began to realise we'd gone too far and had little idea of where the path went. We began trudging over moor land which became exhausting work. I'd maybe underestimated this walk a little and it was most definitely tiring: that may have had something to do with my low expectations of it, but we eventually picked up the path, and followed it (although boggy and rough) to the lochs. Sithean Mor was off to the left but I might run up and climb that after.

A final few minutes of walking brought us to the lochs and what immediately stuck me was the amount of wreckage lying around. Meikle Bin a few months before was certainly an anti-climax after finding one bit of wreckage but there was a lot more lying here. And there was still more to find. It's a poignant place, sitting in an odd corner of Scotland above Badachro, pieces of contorted metal lying everywhere. It's all accompanied by a memorial plaque which simply mentions the event and the names of people who were lost.

There's also a lot of debris lying beneath the loch and it glimmers from underneath, so I climbed higher in search of more and found an area covered very heavily in metal. My guess is that this is where the aircraft lay. Climbing higher, I could look down and see where the aircraft came to rest on the ground and this fan of wreckage around about. Although such an event can seem rather surreal to have happened, it suddenly became very real when I visualised its path downwards.

Sithean Mor

We left and took the path back. My peak bagging instincts took over and I ran head, taking a detour up Sithean Mor. (meaning 'Hill of the Fairies' or something close anyway. Hence the name Fairy Lochs) It was a quick walk and easy scramble in bits up to it's summit. There was no reason to stay and the other two were walking on ahead to I went off again, barely stopping until I reached the path. We walked back to the car, realising where we had gone wrong and wondering how on earth we had missed the turn off cairn. It seemed too obvious to miss so we mustn't have been paying great attention. It was a few minutes back to the car and then off back to the cottage for the rest of the evening.

Written: 2008-04-28
Edited: 2009-03-26