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Lairig Ghru in the 1970s

Lairig Ghru in the 1970s


Postby Mungo82 » Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:51 pm

A couple of years ago my dad and I walked the Lairig Ghru, he found the boulder fields pretty hard going.

The last time he had walked through was in the early 70s after badly spraining his ankle, he swears blind that the going was easier back then.

I have read that men from Rothiemurchus in the spring would clear the track of rocks that had fallen on to it during the winter as late as the 1870s.

My question is how long did it take to fill in ? Was there still some evidence of the drove road 50 years ago?
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Re: Lairig Ghru in the 1970s

Postby Caberfeidh » Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:00 am

I noticed big flagstones at the Aviemore end years ago, with rocks fallen on top. The route seems to have been quite substantial with a very good track of flagstones. I guess the clearance stopped sometime after the Great War, probably before the Second World War, when cattle droving had ceased and there were fewer men around to do the work. I wonder if we could get people to start doing it again? On a related historical note, there is a lintel stone now used as a bridge across a ditch beside Ryvoan Bothy, (which may have been a drovers stop at one time) with a date inscribed on it - 1781.

Ryvoan Slab dated 1781.jpg
Ryvoan lintel stone
Last edited by Caberfeidh on Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lairig Ghru in the 1970s

Postby gaffr » Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:03 am

Hello....I first went through to our overnight at Corrour bothy in 1959 with some school mates to do the summits... Three on the west side of the Lairig and the two to the East. I can't recall that the path was much different then than it is today. Well apart from the water deflector ditches on the North side.
It was just a path with the Sinclair Hut sitting above the main path.:-)
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Re: Lairig Ghru in the 1970s

Postby Caberfeidh » Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:28 am

gaffr wrote:It was just a path with the Sinclair Hut sitting above the main path


That was a miserable hut; all the charm of a municiple public toilet block, with ventilation holes aligned with the pass, to let the howling gales blow through the hut. Ryvoan was much nicer, with a big fireplace. You just had to humph wood from down near the Green Loch.

Sinclair Hut #r.jpg
Sinclair Hut, Lairig Ghru [now destroyed]


Ryvoan Bothy#r.jpg
Ryvoan Bothy years ago, now a fraction of the size.
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Re: Lairig Ghru in the 1970s

Postby gaffr » Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:24 pm

Yes you are right it was not much of a bothy. Only stayed in it once after biking into Einich after work and getting over Angels and Cairn Toul for a rendezvous in the Lairig. Had a few hours on the bench before getting back to the old Muddy Fox.
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