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The Eastern Cairngorms

Our Story, Series 1 Episode 5 of 8

The mountains around Upper Deeside were out of bounds for the masses up until the mid twentieth century. Groups of young climbers started exploring Lochnagar, Ben a Bhuird and the Eastern Cairngorms, jumping on the 3.15 Strachans bus from Aberdeen out to Ballater and Braemar on a Saturday afternoon, and returning to the city on a Sunday evening. Because of the long walks in, a particular kind of bothy culture emerged, which continues to this day. Certain characters of the hills like gamekeeper, Bob Scott became famous for their very special sort of hospitality towards young climbers.

One pioneering group of young men in the 1950's decided to build their own Secret Howff in the foothills of Ben a Bhuird, to make accessing the crags in winter easier. The sole survivor of this group, Ashie Brebner, shares his memories of that exciting time, dodging gamekeepers and carrying roofing materials on the bus for the Howff. Mark Stephen joins climber and author, Ian.R Mitchell on a journey to the Secret Howff, which is still standing, and discovers that the whereabouts remain private knowledge. We also hear from composer and mountaineer, Matilda Brown, who has worked with children from Braemar Primary School to create music which reflects their experiences of being out and about within these mountains.

Release date:

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 28 Dec 2014 11:05