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Tuesday, 16 December 2008

A secret Howff

As a little boy back in Germany I was very keen on stories about 'Räuber Hotzenplotz' - a Robin Hood-like bandit - who lived in a secret, remote place in a dark forest. My dream at the time was to know and use such a place as a hideaway. I only recently heard rumours that there was such a place in Scotland: built in the 1950s, tucked away in the hillside and unknown to the landowners in the area at least at the time. When researching a strategy for a remote winter climb 'the Howff' was mentioned and whilst there is no grid reference there are a few hints as to where it might be. In the end it warmed up and we did not do the remote climb but Ryan and I decided to look for the secret Howff instead.

The temperatures were well above freezing and a lot of meltwater came down the hills in a couple of streams that crossed our track. We could jump most but had to wade through one of them. The photo below shows Ryan crossing it.

The path then goes uphill and after quite a bit of searching we found the secret Howff hiding well in the hilside. Inside it is a very small place and there is a plaque mentioning those that erected it in the 50s, two Saltires, and a logbook. We took photos of each other with the Saltire in the background and another photo of both of us using the timer function of the camera. Here is Ryan on the photo below ...
and that's me, again below, Henning...

... and that's us both together.

I have on purpose not posted a picture of the Howff itself from the outside as that might reveal a bit too much of the story. So good luck to those that try to find it and thanks to the heroes that build it. If you find it, please keep it secret folks!

1 comment:

jake said...

I agree! keep it a secret, just give a hint to a good pal who will keep the place nice.
jake williams