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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.

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Early morning reflections


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Loch Ericht & distant Bridge of Orchy Munros


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Curious natives


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Culra mountain backdrop


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(Laggan) Geal Charn across Loch Pattack


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Path to the Culra


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Culra Bothy


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Sgurr Iutharn & (Culra) Geal-Charn


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Coire na Lethchois & the Long and Short Leachas


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Snow plateau to Ben Alder summit


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Looking back to Loch Ericht & Cairngorms


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West to Nevis Range, Mamores & Glencoe


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Grey Corries & Nevis Range


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Mamores


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


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The 'other' Culra Munros


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A sorry looking Ben Alder summit trig


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Loch Ossian with Glencoe background


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Ben Alder summit plateau


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Snow cornices on Garbh Choire


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Beinn Bheoil & Loch a Bhealaich Bheithe


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Southern end of Loch Ericht


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And looking north


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Beinn Bheoil summit


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Garbh Choire, Ben Alder
houdi
Scrambler
 
Posts: 288
Munros:93   Corbetts:1
Grahams:3   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:74
Wainwrights:48   
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
Knuttus
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 17
Munros:221   Corbetts:16
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:22   
Joined: Dec 8, 2012

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