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Beinn Bheoil and Ben Alder from McCook's cottage

Beinn Bheoil and Ben Alder from McCook's cottage

Postby Yorjick » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:54 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bheoil, Ben Alder

Date walked: 10/10/2016

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 13.3 km

Ascent: 1203m

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This was day three of a five day trip, having climbed Stob an Aonaich Mhoir the previous day.

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I woke up at the crack of dawn and despite the previous day being very tiring, I felt full of enthusiasm. Me enthusiasm was in part being fed by the glorious weather. I had just spent my first night in the haunted Benalder (McCook's) cottage. The cottage is said to be haunted by the ghost of a gamekeeper called McCook, who worked for the Alder Estate, that hung himself in the cottage. However, no date is given for this event, and McCook apparently retired to Newtonmore. Apparently, strange lights and noises can be seen and heard within the cottage. Other than a few mice (or where they the ghosts of mice?), it was a very quiet night. The lengths that the landed gentry will go to to keep people away!


I headed off ahead of the DofE group from Robert Gordon College. They too were heading for Beinn Bheoil.


I initially set off along the wrong path, having not noticed the pathe leading directly up from behind the bothy, but it was not difficult doing a rising traverse across to the path. Crossing the burn, I took the opportunity to fill my water reservoir.

I headed for the Munro Top of Sron Coirie na h-lolaire, partly as I am a purist who takes in every little bump, but also because it is a great viewpoint:



The view to the other side of Beinn Bheoil isn't bad either! - The exquisite Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe


It is a delightful walk across the connecting ridge to Beinn Bheoil, especially on such a splendid morning. There was a nip in the air on reaching the summit, but that is to be expected in October!


Here, Ben Alder looks magnificent in the sunshine, but sadly, the weather was to change, though I still had no need of a waterproof jacket all day.


On my return towards Sron Coirie na h-lolaire, I stopped off at this small feature in the ridge to produce the reverse photograph of one taken the day before on ​Stob an Aonaich Mhoir.



As I approached ​Sron Coirie na h-lolaire, I could see the DofE group taking a break. I did not take the detour to talk to them as I wanted to push on. It is a quick descent down to Bealach Breabag and a not so quick and easy ascent up the scattered paths up to Sron Bealach Beithe, from where I could see the DofE group on the summit of Beinn Bheoil. :clap: :clap: :clap:


It was still a 1.2km walk round to the summit of Ben Alder. hile the blue skies were disappearing, visibility was improving and I was able to obtain some reasonably sharp photographs of distant hills:

The Mamores and The Big Four (Ben Nevis, Carn Mor Dearg, Aonach beag and Aonach mor). The Ben is 33 km or 20.5 miles away! The more distant hills are Ben Resipol and Sgurr Dhomhnuill. Beinn Resipol is 55 km away or 34 miles!


Looking towards a sunnier Knoydart: I have been trying to work out what's what! My best effort is that the prominent peak to the left is Sgurr na Ciche 1040m, the distant peak above the lowest pint in the Beinn Eibhinn - Aonach Beag bealach is Ladhar Bheinn 1020m (approximately 75km away) and to it's right is Sgurr Mor 1003m. Can anyone confirm this?


Time for some summit selfies and a check on the altimeter on my watch, not that there were any doubts that I was at the top!




To the north-east of the summit is a ruin and some circular stone walls. My research suggests that they are remains of a camp set up by Major General Thomas Fredrick Colby as part of the original Ordnance Survey mapping party. I believe that they are known as Colby camps. Thanks to Borderhugh for the information.



As I left the summit, the weather brightened up again allowing a photograph of a sunlit Beinn Bheoil.


I was back at the bothy around 1600, ready for a hot cup of coffee and some grub before setting about making a fire. I moved my sleeping kit from the room with the stove to the small middle room with the bunk beds.





Last edited by Yorjick on Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Beinn Bheoil and Ben Alder from McCook's cottage

Postby kev_russ » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:46 pm

Nice :) was there last month for a couple nights in the bothy & a similar day on the 2 hills like yourself. No ghost but that wee mouse woke us up a few times during the night!
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Re: Beinn Bheoil and Ben Alder from McCook's cottage

Postby rockhopper » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:48 pm

Interesting story about the bothy - haven't been to it yet but would like to some day. Good area for walking and for reversing the photo of the previous day :lol: - cheers :)
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