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Blue Skies In The Culra

Blue Skies In The Culra

Postby houdi » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:09 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bheoil, Ben Alder

Date walked: 25/05/2013

Time taken: 13 hours

Distance: 34 km

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Dalwhinnie, Saturday morning 6am, not a cloud in the sky, and one degree centigrade. As there was no wind just yet it didn’t really feel all that cold and I was in shorts from the word go. After biking down Loch Ericht for five minutes, I had to stop at The Sheiling gatehouse to remove my jacket. Before leaving Devon I hoped I would get one decent day out my week for the Culra. I knew instinctively this was going to be that day.

Everyone should visit the Culra at least once in their life. It’s a magic place and definitely doable in a day with the help of a mountain bike. Biking in from Dalwhinnie, I bagged Ben Alder & Beinn Bheoil, and made it back to Dalwhinnie in exactly 13 hours, so if an old duffer like me can manage it there’s hope for everyone.

I had a brilliant day, not surprising considering the location. I met three fellow walkers – Alex, Davie, & Norrie (from Dunfermline in Fife) - at the start of the walk and they ended up as my companions for the whole outing. I don’t know if they ever visit ‘Walk The Highlands’ but, if they do read this, I’d like to thank them for their excellent company. My day was all the better for having met them.

A retro snippet: It took me 2 hours to bike from Dalwhinnie to Culra Bothy. When I arrived there was a crowd of cyclists getting ready to leave. During a chat I discovered they were heading for Newtonmore via Loch Pattack & Laggan, a not insignificant distance of 20 miles.
“And how long will that take you?” I asked
“About two-and-a-half hours” one of them replied
Two-and-a-half hours! It had just taken me 2 hours to bike 9 miles! Something tells me my cycling technique isn’t quite up to scratch. Mind you, on the return there’s a long downhill stretch from the main track all the way to Ben Alder Lodge. It knocks a good half-hour off the home leg. You reach blistering speeds without having to pedal once.

I felt sad when I finally left the Culra. The place affects you that way. Hopefully, I’ll be back next year to tackle the remaining 4 Munros and also that fascinating pointy peak of Sgor Iutharn.

Early morning reflections

Loch Ericht & distant Bridge of Orchy Munros

Curious natives

Culra mountain backdrop

(Laggan) Geal Charn across Loch Pattack

Path to the Culra

Culra Bothy

Sgurr Iutharn & (Culra) Geal-Charn

Coire na Lethchois & the Long and Short Leachas

Snow plateau to Ben Alder summit

Looking back to Loch Ericht & Cairngorms

West to Nevis Range, Mamores & Glencoe

Grey Corries & Nevis Range


Black Mounts behind the Courror Munros of Sgor Gaibhre & Carn Dearg

The 'other' Culra Munros

A sorry looking Ben Alder summit trig

Loch Ossian with Glencoe background

Ben Alder summit plateau

Snow cornices on Garbh Choire

Beinn Bheoil & Loch a Bhealaich Bheithe

Southern end of Loch Ericht

And looking north

Beinn Bheoil summit

Garbh Choire, Ben Alder
Posts: 288
Munros:93   Corbetts:1
Grahams:3   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:74
Joined: Aug 29, 2010
Location: South Devon

Re: Blue Skies In The Culra

Postby Knuttus » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:47 am

amazing :crazy: i was there at 28 th May but no view for me
Mountain Walker
Posts: 20
Munros:263   Corbetts:18
Sub 2000:38   
Joined: Dec 8, 2012

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