Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Bothy experience Culra Bothy

The Bothy experience, Culra Bothy.

I really enjoyed my Bothy experience at the weekend at one of the most popular bothies in Scotland, Culra Bothy, beneath Ben Alder. Its remote situation means that it is often used in conjunction with a climb on Ben Alder or the other five munros close by. I've stayed in the Bothy a few times and always had an entertaining time!

Our stay on April 16th and 17th, 2010, saw us joined by a diverse collection of people with one common interest, the wild country and mountains of Scotland. A pair of Geordies had been dropped off at Dalwhinnie by train and walked in to the Bothy en route to Fort William and a charity climb of Ben Nevis. They planned to climb a few munros and stay in other Bothies on their annual Bothy trip. Good natured, as all Geordies seem to be, we enjoyed a roaring fire and good crack long into the night. Two ladies joined us, again good company, and they went on to Climb Ben Alder and Beinn Bheoil on a day that many a hardened hillwalker would have remained by the fire. A great effort ladies! Three young American students also bothied the two nights and again climbed Ben Alder and enjoyed a dram of malt whisky and sloe gin, from ourselves as Scottish hosts.

That left little room in the Bothy for our final pair who decided to camp outside. We felt heart sorry about this until on joining us at the fire, they declared themselves as Merchant Bankers from London, having caught the sleeper to Corrour Station. Their station in life meant little here and they too enjoyed a dram from the Scots in the room! The next morning with sodden matches, unable to light their stove, we were happy to both offer and leave them dry ones. Bothy life is all about sharing and surviving, and brings us all together as lovers of the Scottish hills.

Try a bothy some time!

Culra Bothy from Carn Dearg.

Culra Bothy beneath Ben Alder.

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