Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. I knew I had been lucky the previous day on Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre. The gently undulating terrain here is of open moors swept by the Highlands’ ubiquitous breeze. 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. ( Log Out /  On both sides the terrain rises steeply, and the rugged coastline is marked by rough rocks covered in grass and moss. Too hot, too many biting insects, too humid, too busy, too much like hard work. Beyond the bothy, the terrain becomes more undulating and barren, rising up to the sandstone mountain towering over the area. Excitement over. 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. In the windswept mountains of the Scottish Highlands a keen eye might spot, in the vast treeless expanses, a tiny outcropping that is too angular to simply be a large rock. A bothy is featured in the 2013 film Under the Skin. Height: 1148m Personality: Ben Alder has something for everyone, and it just might be the perfect all-round mountain. The route is easy until about 500 yards in when the track stops and you need to figure a way through roots, puddles, and tussocks. Its a 15km walk in to the Ben Alder area from Dalwhinnie, but it passes quickly on easy estate roads. The Walk. A single-story stone construction, it comfortably fits six people. Suddenly, I was awake, sure that I could hear a helicopter coming up the loch, I scrambled out of my bivvy, only to be disappointed when I realised that the sound was Frank snoring, giving a creditable imitation of a Sea King at cruising speed. VF used to be good, for voice at least. Walk Britain Loch Treig to Loch Ericht , hill-walk route & GPS track Ben Alder Sron Bealach Beithe Sron Coire na h-Iolaire Beinn Bheoil, ascent 980m, length 17.5km, creator melohara, Ben Alder and Beinn Bheoil from Culra MountainViews The finest approach, however, is from Culra bothy to the northeast (accessed via a long walk-in or cycle from Dalwhinnie). Search for a topic, destination or article, We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. End of Bill’s story in the Trauma Ward (28) of Stirling Royal. Celebrate Friendsgiving on a private island in the Florida Keys for just $50 a night, Download the A little further on, cross the Alder Burn via a footbridge to arrive at the bothy. My foray on the hills however was restricted to the following day – the walk out! Ben Alder. 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. Two will ‘o’ the wisps loomed out of the darkness, heading for the bothy, they assured me I was near the path so I ploutered on, knee-deep in muck, hoping I was sober enough to hit an 18 mile loch. These backcountry lairs are favorite destinations, or stopping points along a longer trek, for lovers of wild nature and lonely places — as they can be quite secluded and accessed through a hard hiking trail. Ben Alder is one of the most remote Munros. I made many visits to the cottage from 1980 to about 2000, a wonderful bothy with good trout fishing! Still need to go to Ben Alder cottage for a night sometime – one of the bothies I haven’t visited yet…. While you can find some bothies in Scotland and Northern England, and even a few in Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Isle of Man. Start from Lochinver, a small village on the coast, and follow the narrow road straight east. You have to do something. I arrived in the smirr of a rapidly improving highland morning as the others were getting ready for a day on the hill. A bothy is featured in the 2012 video game Dear Esther, providing a crucial plot moment in the narration of the unknown main character. But at midnight, they added: "'Injured' walker remaining at the bothy with his friends. You’re ten miles from anywhere (the nearest road) with two miles of rough ground to the nearest track and it’s a dirty, wet night with low cloud. 200 yards further on look for this wee bridge on your left and follow the trail to the chapel on the loch. Ben Alder sits proudly in the middle of the Grampian Mountains. Check for the insects’ presence on or around you before picking a resting stop. Frank and Trevor are very experienced mountain walkers and Trevor has been years in the Killin Mountain Rescue Team. The older, gray stone structure dating to 1871 is always open to the public while the dark timber addition is reserved. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The sign heralds the start of the narrow singletrack. Ice axe and crampons are required in snowy conditions. 14. A hard walk (mountain (above 600m)) in Highland, Scotland, about 44.70km (27.78 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 15:30h (1 overnight stay). Within seconds, it seemed, they were with me listening to Trevor’s report. Setting off for Ben Alder. The Chapel. The mountains rise steeply on both sides of the valley. EVERYONE venturing into the Scottish hills,not only the mountains should read your story for these reasons: Frank’s snoring was a great comfort, a kind of normality. Thirty five minutes and what seemed like a dozen farm houses later, I succeeded in finding a phone and raising the alarm. Starting point: Rannoch Station For some reason one image lodged in the memory, two grey figures like astronauts on the moon, simply titled “On the Ben Alder Plateau in deteriorating weather”. Member. It is unsuitable for families with children, prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs. Loads of fresh veg, real milk, 1lb of lamb, a bottle of red wine and a bottle of real drink. I remember the frustration of realising that cars in driveways showed that the inhabitants were reluctant to involve themselves in any late night drama, although the unearthly racket I was making and the fact I resembled the ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ may be mitigating circumstances. The hue is pervasive also because the island has very little vegetation, just a layer of grass. Vodaphone signal dissappearing is one sure way of telling your train is coming in to Pitlochry. I have been up there twice and it's a long walk, especially with the last part being a bit boggy. Easy walk-in and few Munros around. Also, there is a code that’s expected to be respected, which amounts to just being clean and considerate. A minibus takes you east along the narrow road (B846) to the trailhead at Bridge of Gaur, right by the eastern tip of Loch Rannoch. Not a bad place to spend a couple of weeks watching World Cup rugby. The Key-Stone of the Bridge, a novel and audiobook by Craig Meggy, is part homage to Robert Burns, set in Ben Alder Bothy. As it was I did make the 7am BBC Scottish news and three lines in the Courier: ‘retired elderly man’. By definition, bothies are reachable only by foot, cycle, or boat, and they’re typically located near running water. Starting point: Rannoch Station Midge bites are itchy and usually painful. Ben Alder Cottage is not just a bothy in the middle of the moors on the shore of a loch. Aonach Beag is a 1,116-metre (3,661 ft) mountain in the Highlands of Scotland in the remote area between Loch Ericht and Loch Laggan located about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) northwest of Ben Alder.Its prominence is 99 metres (325 ft) with its parent peak, Geal-Charn, about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) to the east. Many folk mountain bike in which seems a good idea, although when chatting to a man from the estate (more on this later) he said that mountain bikes are causing a lot of erosion problems on the smaller trails higher up. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. But even they should consider spending the night, as Benalder Cottage is surely as fine a place to stay as any in Scotland. Summary:Ben Alder is one of the great remote mountains of Scotland, set in the very heart of the Central Highlands. – Frank popped his head in, dropped his bombshell and we were forcibly transformed into as rough an approximation of a well oiled (extremely well oiled!) Length (round trip): 10 mi/16 km As a reminder, once at a bothy, follow the Bothies Code. It was one of those weekends for which the epithet “character building” was designed. A bothy is a simple shelter found in remote areas of Scotland. Learn how your comment data is processed. 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. I knew I was lucky. Ben Alder. I was different. Here is what you need to know about bothies, and some of our favorites to visit. 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. I remember the relief I felt upon reaching the bothy with a ridiculously heavy load, but the prospect of dining royally for the weekend made the additional weight worthwhile, (for the first five miles!). Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. What ‘deus ex machina’ are these helicopter crews. They vary in size, from small single-rooms to two-story cabins. Ben Alder (Gaelic: Beinn Eallair) is the highest mountain in the remote area of the Scottish Highlands between Loch Ericht and Glen Spean. Location: Western Highlands The walk is a challenging one for one night/two ... An Grianan. The view sweeps the length of the quiet Loch, its 14.5 miles (23.3 km) straight as a pin. The parking is at the western edge of Loch Arkaig, surrounded by brownish and green fields devoid of trees and no rocky sides. I don’t usually do much of my hillwalking in summer. Frank can sleep anywhere, so he was soon snoring away, but my attention was divided between checking on Bill’s condition, worrying about Johnny (I had broken a golden rule by letting him go alone, what if he falls into a hole, no one will know where he is, or that we have a rescue situation up here) and thoughts about the likely means of rescue. This was familiar territory for us both, so as the loch came into sight, with the forest fringing the shore up to An Grianan and the huge bulk of Ben Alder behind, we knew that the view was deceptive, and that it would be quite a plod before we crested the final brow to see the Bothy, nestling at the side of Alder Bay. Access is never restricted. Near the bothy we saw a few people heading for the hills in different directions, but soon we were on our own.. Scots Magazine, November 1984, which taken with various walking articles about the bothy e.g. Nature safari on Ben Alder. I had no intention of being unlucky on Ben Alder. We settled in for the evening, sawing up the roots and wood thoughtfully left by previous visitors (an unforgivable sin is to leave the bothy without fuel for the next visitor) and preparing the evening meal. 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. 3.The remoteness of some Bothies/Shelters. Home » Mountain routes » Central Highlands » Ben Alder 6 Munros. Boots clumping on the ground outside meant that we would not be on our own, the new team being a mixed group of fishermen and walkers, tired after trekking in from Corrour and with blisters to prove it. I tilted myself forward and a dreary moorland climb became a floodlit descent through an iridescent forest. The isle’s name comes from the ubiquitous hue of dark red color given by the iron ore present in the rocks. Ben Alder is one of the great remote mountains of Scotland, set in the very heart of the Central Highlands. Ben Alder, some 1,147m tall, is one of the most remote peaks in the UK, and Ben Alder Cottage bothy sits in the mountain’s shadow on the shores of Loch Ericht. It was 2045 before Bill was settled down, Johnny’s torchlight disappeared into the gloom and Donald went back down to the bothy to finish his meal, promising to bring back some hot soup and coffee. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I refused painkillers. Apparently, folk, probably reporters, listen in on short wave to police messages hoping to pick up exciting news. I knew I’d done it before I hit the ground. “Crofting” is a Scottish traditional social setup of small-scale food production particular to the Highlands, so integral to Scottish culture to have its own commission. If you have caught any trouts, cook them over the campfire. Note the way branches have been sawn off the trees for the bothy fire! It was not to be however. A Ben Alder Crossing from Rannoch to Corrour Station. 68000 acres stretching from Loch Rannoch to Corrour bothy near Ben Alder Cottage bothy ( McCook Cottage... End of Bill ’ s expected to be a long, narrow, one-story building in two parts the sweeps. 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