The Shelter Stone

The Shelter Stone - Watercolour, 13 x 18 cm

Throughout Scotland climbers, and other users of the mountains, share knowledge of places which can be used as rough overnight shelters. They are often known by the old Scottish word, 'howff'. One such place is at the head of Loch Avon in the Cairngorm Mountains. The Gaelic name for it is Clach Dion, and it consists of a large boulder resting on a number of smaller stones. Long ago someone must have discovered the natural cavity underneath, with enough space for four or five people. For centuries ever since it has been used as a refuge from the severe mountain weather, although some people might not find it easy to sleep with such a huge boulder above them!

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