piece of machinery that we could manage under the libational circumstances. Ben Alder. Classic Walks (Diadem, 1982), keep en Alder in hot pursuit of Shenavall [s claim to the number one spot. With the sum total of the navigational advice being “keep the loch on your left then turn right”, I left the accident scene, with Bill (who I’d never met before, or have since) moaning softly as Trevor “made him comfortable”. The Chapel. You have to do something. For most of its length it’s flanked with thick vegetation in trees and underbrush, and the area is quite lush. The gently undulating terrain here is of open moors swept by the Highlands’ ubiquitous breeze. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, although this is a general indication as the weather might change unexpectedly. Layers can be peeled off as needed although it’s never really warmer than 70°F (21°C). Approaches are long from any direction; Corrour Station gives the nearest access from the west, whilst it is possible to approach from Loch Rannoch in the south. Donald arrived soon afterwards, with news that Frank and Bill were about 30 minutes behind and moving slowly over the very rough ground. In hill walking circles, this bothy is supposed to be haunted, with… I find my Vodafone mobile can get a signal just about anywhere, especially in Scotland. And so the long wait and much thinking. I knew I was lucky. In Gaelic, Aonach Beag means "little ridge" despite it being a Munro. Ben Alder Cottage is not just a bothy in the middle of the moors on the shore of a loch. By unzipping his overtrousers, it was possible to see and feel the location of the fracture – the break was simple (no blood, protruding bones and/or gross misalignment), so we splinted him up by tying his legs together with a combination of broad elastic and triangular bandages. The second, a sudden and dramatic abatement of the storm and parting of the mist and clouds, and an unspeakably beautiful moonlight vista of Loch Rannoch and the surrounding hills. At one point a boat was mentioned, I selfishly perked up at the thought of a lift back in a powerboat to a fire, food, dry clothes and some plasters for my badly bleeding feet. I found slow deep breathing cured that. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The view sweeps the length of the quiet Loch, its 14.5 miles (23.3 km) straight as a pin. My goal for this mini expedition was to walk into Ben Alder Cottage bothy… You arrive at the southern tip of Loch Ericht where you can fish trout if you have time. It’s actually the roof of a bothy. 999 should work on any compatible network but you’d be unlikely to find any at all 10 miles from anywhere. It’s unlikely you’ll see any traffic. We set off at about 7am and followed the path. The mountains rise steeply on both sides of the valley. After scoffing a cracking meal, knocking back the plonk and making a fair sized hole in the wood pile (and the whisky) our best laid plans ganged agley at a hell of a rate! Quickly, you work out that it’s going to be a long night. Directing them was tricky. The walk is a challenging one for one night/two ... An Grianan. ( Log Out /  With a little bit of mist the view gets eerie; even more if you’re lucky and see a deer drinking from the river below. Nature safari on Ben Alder. Ben Alder Lodge. Road tour for a couple of nights would have … The track ends but there is a clear trail to continue ahead, until you turn inland at a rocky knoll, or a small hill standing amidst flatter surroundings, called An Grianan. Difficulty: Easy. This makes for a constant roar — or “tumblin’ burn” as some call it — and in fact Guirdil’s name comes from the Norse Giùadal meaning “deep chasm.” On the horizon, the outline of the Isle of Canna stands high over the sea. Eventually I persuaded them to take me to Stirling. What ‘deus ex machina’ are these helicopter crews. The bothy itself is plush, boasting three rooms and even some bunk beds, but there’s also a resident spook, if the Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal is to be believed. With Scotland’s 10th largest loch, Loch Ericht, five Munros and some of Scotland’s most pristine scenery, Ben Alder Estate’s luxury lodges are an ideal setting for truly memorable holidays. Shortly after, you’ll cross a little bridge over Alder Burn Creek, and you’ll have the bothy in sight, overlooking a small semi-circular bay. At midnight, Donald came back up with the promised soup and coffee, so we talked the situation over, our best estimate being that Johnny would reach Loch Rannoch side by 0030 hours and that organised rescue efforts would be initiated by 0100 at the earliest. The undulating landscape and little human presence make for an introspective hike. A sign marks the turn for the bothy. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Bike in to Culra bothy nr Culra lodge fm Dalwhinnie it takes about 1.5hrs, climb the hills the same day. It seemed that the message had been relayed around the force as they decided who’s patch the incident was on. Here are some suggestions for journeys with varying difficulty, terrains, length, and bothies. Shortly after 3am, about six hours after Johnny had set out; I heard it,  the gorgeous sound, the ‘M.A.S.H.’ sound. A bothy is a simple shelter found in remote areas of Scotland. Bill seemed to be cheerful enough, so after reviewing my mental first aid checklist (casualty conscious, lucid, able to explain what had happened, check for signs of head injury like obvious blood, contusion, pupils different size, etc), I gave a ‘hands-on’ examination. Location: Islands of the Western Highlands (Isle of Rùm) The hike was simple but the reward is the south view towards Suilven, a contrast of dark shadows and bright grassy fields, as it’s always against the sun. A bothy is featured in the 2012 video game Dear Esther, providing a crucial plot moment in the narration of the unknown main character. ( Log Out /  Allt Scheicheachan would be my vote. Most are historic buildings restored to basic windproof and watertight standards, made available for the public. Always open, the 1870 bothy is small but well kept, with two rooms downstairs and some additional sleeping space in the attic. I had no intention of being unlucky on Ben Alder. A little further on, cross the Alder Burn via a footbridge to arrive at the bothy. The bothy is small but well kept, and a camping ground is available closer to the beach. Our job done, we tidied up the accident site before trudging wearily down to the cottage, lit by the pre-dawn glow and with the full moon reflecting off the loch and lighting up the rocky ramparts of Sgairneach Mhor. Frank said, “blow the whistle every 3 minutes”. I didn’t know where we were and nor did they. The Walk. This route begins from Culra bothy; the walk in from Dalwhinnie to Culra is described separately. Apparently, folk, probably reporters, listen in on short wave to police messages hoping to pick up exciting news. Location: Central Highlands Starting point: Rannoch Station Length (round trip): 10 mi/16 km Difficulty: Medium. It requires an initial walk or bike ride on an off-road track of some nine miles from Dalwhinnie to Culra Bothy. An early Monday morning start saw me standing at Fort William railway station waiting for the 7.44am train to Glasgow, my destination was Corrour Station, only 46 minutes away and the highest station in the UK and probably the remotest too. Therefore, no matter how long the trip is to reach and stop at a bothy in the Scottish Highlands, you need to be self-sufficient and ready to handle adverse and unpredictable weather. Near the bothy we saw a few people heading for the hills in different directions, but soon we were on our own.. The south and west views are treeless but peaceful. If the bothy is full then there is good camping ground either outside it or in the wood across the river. Ben Alder Cottage. Bill seemed to be OK, he was playing a full part in our discussions and we kept his morale up by promising him a ride on the ‘paraffin budgie’ – so with no option other than to just sit it out, we sent Donald back to the bothy, switched off the head torches and settled back into our bivvy bags. Not even I could get lost here without a map. It was one of those weekends for which the epithet “character building” was designed. But at midnight, they added: "'Injured' walker remaining at the bothy with his friends. All thoughts of a relaxing bothy evening evaporated as we swung into rescue mode; a quick review of the available assets showed inadequate material to build a stretcher, but enough first-aid kit to handle a small front line casualty dressing station. It is as remote as they come, making a trip here a two-day expedition for all but the fittest or maddest. The plan for this bothy weekend was simple enough. Home » Mountain routes » Central Highlands » Ben Alder 6 Munros. I estimated where the path to Loch Rannoch was and headed up into the hills in an ever-densening white bubble that, once again, necessitated switching off the torch and trusting to the feel of the ground on my boots and the frequency with which I was stumbling to show me the path. Walk in to Ben Alder Cottage (aka McCook’s Bothy, after the last permanent resident), climb Ben Alder and Ben Bheil, do a little trout fishing and generally have a good time. of vibram on wet track , and by a series of curses prompted by a couple of ten foot fences which had to be wearily surmounted. Ben Alder Cottage is not just a bothy in the middle of the moors on the shore of a loch. Head north. Ice axe and crampons are required in snowy conditions. Check for the insects’ presence on or around you before picking a resting stop. I tilted myself forward and a dreary moorland climb became a floodlit descent through an iridescent forest. 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