Toast to The Lassies

Burns Night 
Comrie 2015
Glenbuckie House in Comrie 
'The Toast to The Lassies' from Andy


Jim Robertson

Jim Robertson
on Lurg Mhor
We all have our cherished memories of Jim - whether spending an impromptu music night at Nancy's in Fersit, or chatting on a long hill day 'bagging' Lurg Mhor, or searching for lost car keys on the Strathfarrar munros - Jim loved the outdoor life.

His daughter Lynn has created a fund raiser in memory of her Dad - her words will touch the soul of any hill goer, and tug the heartstrings of any parent.

on An Teallach
from JustGiving 

An immense amount of work has been done by Braemer Mountain Rescue Team to establish the likely circumstances in which our beloved dad, Jim Robertson, went missing.

It is likely that he left Bob Scott's Bothy early on the morning of Wednesday 2nd March 2016, two days before his 61st birthday. It is likely that he headed to the second highest mountain in the UK, Ben Macdui (in the Cairngorms). It is likely that he has had a tragic accident and has succumbed to the elements somewhere on this mountain.

Setting up this page is our way of sharing our deepest heartfelt thanks with the volunteers of BMRT and we would be extremely grateful for any donations, no matter how small they may be. 

Sadly, our dad will not be the last person to need the help of BMRT. We appreciate that our fundraising goal is high however the running cost of BMRT is 'tens of thousands - every year, year after year' and all of their work is 'done on a voluntary basis.'

There are no words to express our feelings of gratitude towards all of those who have been involved in the search thus far. Regardless of the outcome, we are truly overwhelmed by their kindness, compassion and commitment. 

We are now hoping that BMRT can recover our dad's body and bring him home to us. Once we have him home, we can say our final goodbyes and return our dearest dad to the hills, where he belongs.

We only wish our dad could see just how much has been done for him... He would be so amazed and deeply moved

Dad, may only the purest snow ever fall on you x

on the Horns of Alligan
A letter to my dearest Dad,

It’s been a week since Paul and I felt the pain of realising you may never come home. 

We knew something was very wrong when you didn’t show up for your birthday dinner that we’d all been looking forward to. When our fears were realised, my heart began to hurt more than I thought it ever could (the hurt hasn’t dulled one bit). 

That weekend of waiting was the longest and most hellish weekend of our lives. The desperation and the not knowing were the worst.... Or so we thought until Monday when everything changed and we had to accept that the search was then for your body. I will never be able to put that pain into words so I won’t even try. 

We all travelled up to Braemar on Wednesday and visited the Rescue Centre. There were teams up on the hills risking their lives for you while we were there. One of the volunteers took us out to Bob Scott’s Bothy in the Land Rover – we were all thinking of you walking the 7 miles out there in the dark with your head torch on, carrying your rucksack (and your polybag of course). We looked out at the mountains that you had looked out at, we walked the path you had walked down and I laid my head where you had laid yours.

When we got back to the centre, we had to make another statement, telling everything from your birth up until that present moment. My god dad, I never knew it was possible for one man to have so many jobs, homes and hobbies. Mum gave us all a laugh when she spoke about that year you took out of uni to live the hippie life on a croft in Badachro, growing your own vegetables and flying your kite. 

We then left the centre and met more of the rescue team – purely by chance but some might say it was meant to be. I think they could see in our tears just how much both you and their efforts mean to us. It was a special day that I know none of us will ever forget. 

Yesterday Joanna came round and brought little baby Lucas. He was like a wee light shining on us and he lifted our spirits for a while. I only wish you could have met him as I love him so much. We gave Joanna the money you left for him and she told us they’d buy something special for Lucas to keep in memory of you. (I know I said I’d buy a wee gift with the money but I never got round to it – sorry!) The same day, Susan gave me one of the most precious gifts I’ve ever received.

She shared those photos of you up at the very top of your beloved mountains. I’m so so thankful to her for showing me all those beautiful moments I would never have seen. Don’t worry dad, I’ve made sure she knows what a special friend she was to you.

Then we met Susie for the first time which was equally special. No wonder you liked her so much. Lucky for you, it’s pretty clear she feels the same way. I gave her an acorn that I picked up outside the Bothy. She filled up with tears and I could tell that she’ll cherish it. It definitely won’t be the last time we meet her. (Unless we scared her off because we told her that you called her your "potential new soulmate” after just two ‘dates’!)

On Sunday we’re finally going to meet Matt... so that will get me through tomorrow. In your absence, he has comforted me in the way that you would, so I’m going to thank him from you as I know that’s what you’d want. Dad, you wrote in a card years ago ‘I know I’m not much use to you’ and it kills me to think you ever felt that way as nothing could be further from the truth. Mum keeps reassuring me that you knew that you were so much loved and that Paul and I were both totally devoted to you.

Although only a week has passed, I know my heart will never heal completely but I’ve promised mum that we won’t fall apart. She keeps telling us ‘Your dad would be devastated to think he caused his children any pain’. I promise to look after and appreciate my brother and our mum. Mum also keeps reminding us that we are ‘your riches, your treasures, your pride and your joy’. We’re so lucky that we’ve always known that.

I'll love you forever and always x

PS. Remember when I cried because Lukasz and I got mixed up and went all the way to Neist Point instead of Camus Cross. Then I wrote you that card to tell you about it and you cried too.
Well, I’ll meet you there at the little lighthouse, the one you took me to when I was a little girl and promised that we’d go to again.

on Slioch

Skye - Journal 14 - 1990

Seagulls, mist & Skye


Picture of the Month - May 2013

The Caledonia Way
Slighe na h-Alba
A wonderful, traffic-free path, with a few sections on minor roads.  Much of the path is built along the former railway line which ran from Connel to the slate quarries near Ballachulish. 

The path has great views, hugging the coast for much of the way and has very few gradients. 


The Cavemen of Glen Loin - Arrochar

Standing on the shoulders of giants
Saturday 28th March

turn on your speakers for all the atmospheric sounds !

One of the famous Arrochar caves mentioned in Alastair Borthwick's book 'Always a Little Further' first published in 1939

These caves are also mentioned in 'Mountain Days & Bothy Nights' by Brown and Mitchell 1987.

Take care exploring the area as the rocks are very slippy and polished when wet, and be warned - June to September is extremely midgy!

Not too difficult to find - but it does take persistence as they are not obvious. Torches, helmets and not being scared of tight places pretty essential.....

Video shot by both Andy and Bill


Burns Weekend - Fearnan


1988 Burns Weekend

Journal 12

Fearnan Outdoor Centre
Oor ain Burns prose

click on the link below to find out

Background about Fearnan -
it is no longer an outdoor centre and was on the market during 2011

The estate agent marketing literature stated,

'The former school room was built as a Free Church School around the mid 1800s, with the Schoolhouse following in the early 1900s. Until fairly recently it was used as an Outdoor Centre. The building was originally two individual buildings of stone and slate roof construction. One building is of single storey, which has then been connected with an inner hall to the two storey building. The accommodation comprises of five individual rooms, kitchen, three bathroom/shower rooms and changing room. 
The property also requires major refurbishment...
Offers in Excess of £250,000
Can anyone remember how much it was for a weekend hire?


Picture of the Month - April 2013

Ben More
Saturday 6th April 
I said 'bend ze knees'

Roni demonstrating winter skills to Graham


Stonehaven to Montrose NCN1

The flat middle bit
Saturday 2nd June

Our journey south is an off-road cyclists treat.
The short section between Inverbervie and Gourdon follows the
line of the disused railway - flat and traffic free.

If you haven't been to Gourdon - imagine any village scene from the 1983 Bill Forsyth film 'Local Hero' - through half-closed eyes Ferness could really exist.....

We didn't have time to slow down and absorb the atmosphere 
(but did look greedily at Hornblowers chip shop by the harbour)

We left the village initially on a superb track
However the coastal path is rough in places
No complaints from us - fabulous to be off road and beside the sea
OK, we all agreed it's a bit bumpy in places......
Rape fields are so YELLOW - intensely so on a bright day
Roni checking out future accommodation for us Moray Clubbers
We entered Johnshaven,
a village in which fishing remains the focus of life.
The School of Lathallan sits on the village outskirts.
Suspect the headie would have a few choice nicknames in Glasgow!
At this point we headed uphill, out of Johnshaven, swinging away 
from the coast and taking to quiet rolling farmland roads again -
Anne 'yellow jersey' leading the way.
Our detour was suggested by Bill as he didn't fancy 
the A92 down to St  Cyrus....far too busy
More bright yellow field crops of rape seed.
To some the fields smell sensational - a sort of dense, honeyed, mustardy, oily, deeply musky scent. Others find it disgusting!
In the absence of a picnic site and table, 
Isabel found her own comfy spot for 2nd (or 3rd) lunch
Only another 16 miles to go.....


Picture of the Month - March 2013


Beinn Chìochan - Mountain of breasts

'perfect winter conditions'

Bill at the coo's tail


Stonehaven to Montrose NCN1

Saturday 2nd June

Our weekend explorers were Roni, Anne, Bill and Isabel   
Quite a cultured lot - aren't we?
Bloomfield Steading is a peaceful cottage set within the grounds of Bloomfield, the childhood home of 
James Leslie Mitchell better know 
as Lewis Grassic Gibbon
 Everyone chose cycling in preference to the hills,
Anne particularly so - as she almost lives in the saddle!

Bill's chosen cycle route was from Stonehaven to Montrose...but the Bervie Braes closure after landslip meant Dunotter was our start point
Isabel was glad as this would shorten our route to 'only'
30 miles....

We suggested to Anne that with her Hi-Vis vest she should charge £5 a time directing cars to a parking place...well she was asked a few times!
it's a stunning agricultural landscape you pass through

Catterline was particularly colourful
Isabel hadn't been out with the club for a few years
-did she know what a gentle cycle this would be?
Following narrow country roads we arrived at Kinneff.
If you are fascinated by Scottish history Kinneff Old Kirk is a must - its famous as the site where the Honours of Scotland were hidden after the Siege of Dunnottar Castle in 1651 until the Restoration in 1660
 The significance of the church in our history is... 
as is often the way in Scotland, rather understated.
Good information panels inside the church.
The Scottish Crown Jewels were hidden here after they had been rescued from Dunnottar Castle during Oliver Cromwell's siege in 1652.  The minister James Grainger and his wife Christian Fletcher devised the plan to smuggle them out of the castle right under the noses of the besieging forces,
aye, great stuff!
The Honous Three - our Scottish Crown Jewels
We had our pieces amongst the graves in the churchyard.
It's a very peaceful spot
....there is a rather steep hill back up to our route....
We were soon speeding downhill to 
10 miles done.....only 20 to go!


Picture of the Month - February 2013

Days you dream about.....

Beinn a'Ghlo
It really doesn't get any better than this....the view from Carn Liath
Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain was climbed over Carn Liath -
two parts of the classic traverse of Beinn a' Ghlo from Loch Moraig.
Our coldest day on the hill - ever