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In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoughts

In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoughts


Postby kevsbald » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:58 pm

Route description: Ben Alder and Beinn Bheoil from Culra

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bheoil, Ben Alder, Carn Dearg (Loch Pattack)

Date walked: 05/11/2011

Time taken: 24 hours

Distance: 54 km

Ascent: 2001m

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Sometimes you just wish you'd keep your mouth closed and stop yer tummy rumbling. A salient lesson from my Primary 7 teacher ignored. I had suggested to Graeme D that not only could we do the Ben Alder circuit from Culra bothy but we could add Carn Dearg on to this as well. As if it wasn't a long enough walk in and out. Why walk? Because we were purists and we didn't do mountain bikes. As we so proudly told the foursome on top of Ben Alder. How those words would come back to haunt me as we trudged back out past Culra on the way home 12 hours after starting out. It all started so well. I met Graeme at Dalwhinnie and we donned the head torches at 1800. The 10-mile walk in would afford a real stretch of the legs as well as time to catch up. A lot had happened in that space of time to both of us and 3 hours in the dark with a man was an unusual occurrence for me, and I presume Graeme. We covered everything from correct French statements, the accompanying 16-year old from Orkney, dire football teams (mine in particular) and babies (Graeme's in particular) - I know not the name of mine. Our pace was impressive until the 6th mile and we began to tail off round about Loch Pattack. However, we arrived at Culra and were the only ones there at 2100 - unusual on a Friday night. The fire got going, we opened our Loch affa Fyne beers and chilled out. Then, the Orcadian beauty was brought out and we savoured her. Hints of vanilla, smooth and mature for her age. My favourite Highland Park. Not long after we had fumigated ourselves with the fire, we put lights out in preparation for our big day. At 0530, we breakfasted and left the packs to tackle Carn Dearg. We hoped to see the hills as the sunrise came up and we were't disappointed. The higher we got, the more impressive Schiehallion in the distance became as did our 2nd and 3rd targets for the day. Ben Alder was a behemoth; massive; a brute; any Roget's definition you choose to make. We got to the summit at about 0730 and chilled out, looking over to Sgor Iutharn - Lancet Edge would be a destination for the future. Taste buds were truly whetted and we burned down back to the bothy to recharge food and water. At 0900, we set off for Ben Alder and the Long Leachas ridge. An excellent stalker's path took us up and over before we diverted over the burn - well Graeme went over, I went through - a faux pas of the highest order - bien fait. We began the climb up the Leachas and it was an absolute joy. We both felt strong, the exposure was stupendous and the views were fab. I really enjoyed this scramble ridge but at no point felt at risk. Once up on to the plateau, we walked along the corrie rim before setting off for the distant cairn. An off collection of 5 ringed cairns lay before us and as we took lunch in the shelter, Graeme spotted a fellow Walkhighlander, IainWatson who he had met at a WH meet. The man is a mountain goat. At this point, I boasted that as purists 'we don't do mountain bikes....bikes...bikes...bikes....' That phrase would circulate through my frazzled brain on the walk out. A steep descent off Ben Alder and up on to Beinn Bheoil with a couple of cracking rainbows and we knew we were on our way back. Still strong G? Yeah, still strong...ish. We didn't hang about much at Beinn Bheoil but marvelled in the majesty of Ben Alder across the loch. Our walk past Culra at 1540 in daylight meant at least a 2 hr 50 walk out. IW had already left us behind with his bike. I hoped he'd get a puncture. It would be fair to say that our conversation had dropped but what did come up was the lack of generosity of landowners driving past us with no thoughts of stopping for us - I mean, who are these people? Never mind, we were doing it the pure way. Pure mad mental min. The last time I checked my feet had worn down to stumps and Graeme stopped for a second - it was almost fatal as the regular gait was broken. So, were our spirits almost - oh, to be impure! Eventually, we reached the lovely, lovely level crossing at 1830 and departed after a supreme (retrospectively of course) day on the hill. Cheers Monsieur D.

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

WH1.jpg
Chateau Culra
WH2.jpg
Early ascent of Carn Dearg - rewarded
WH3.jpg
Sunrise over Schiehallion
WH4.jpg
SOS 2
WH5.jpg
Ben Alder comes into view
WH6.jpg
Lancet Edge looks appealing
WH7.jpg
Sgor Iutharn and Ben Alder
WH9.jpg
Start of Long Leachas
WH10.jpg
Long Leachas 2
WH11.jpg
Lovely Long Leachas
WH12.jpg
G on the ridge
Attachments
WH14.jpg
Homeward bound
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kevsbald
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:13 pm

Oops Dr P nearly choked on my coffee when I read this title!!! :shock:

Loved yer photies and report. Heart rate returned to normal!!! :lol:
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:29 pm

Great report and some really lovely photos :-) Like the one of the fireplace!!!
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby kinley » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:43 pm

8) Sunrise and Schiehallion 8)

Kevsbald wrote:We covered everything from correct French statements, the accompanying 16-year old from Orkney, dire football teams (mine in particular) and babies (Graeme's in particular) - I know not the name of mine.


:shock: The grizzled founders of the MBA are doubtless spinning in their graves. :shock:

Yellow Card Ref!

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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby Gable Gable End » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:33 pm

amazing. one of my favourite places.
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby LeithySuburbs » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:32 pm

Another enjoyable read Kev - despite the absence of paragraphing :lol: . This was almost my destination this last weekend as well but couldn't resist heading further north.

I used to use my bike for easier access but have lost my appetite for it. However, this route might require a re-think :think: .
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby dooterbang » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:33 pm

Pure..ist brilliant :)
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby Graeme D » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:34 pm

This may well be the most hilarious thing I have ever read. In the purely positive sense of the word that is. And believe me, I have read some hilarious stuff in my time mon vieux pote! It perfectly captures the spirit of the escapade and yet still doesn't do justice to the full horror of the last few kilometres back to Dalwhinnie. How's the trench foot by the way? My doctor says the club foot should disappear in time and there may not be any need for a double knee and hip transplant. Phew! :lol:
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby rockhopper » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:58 pm

Very entertaining....still chuckling away here :lol: well done both even if you are purists.....think I'll stick to using the bike. Lovely sunrise shots 8)
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby Stretch » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:00 pm

Heck of an effort guys. What a fantastic shot of Schiehallion!
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby Bod » Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:44 am

Loch Fyne beers and some Highland Park! Excellent...... :D :D :D

What a great trip out in the mountains - well done. Cool that you bumped into Iain.... :lol:
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:22 am

I used to go out with a bonny lass from Stromness... OoOoOOoOoooOo...
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby mountainstar » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:33 am

Nice one :D
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby weemistermac » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:36 am

So that's what Aldr looks like on a fine day! I might just have to go do it again sometime. Great report and cracking photies. Well worth the bleeding stumps! (says he from the (relative) comfort of his saddle)!
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Re: In Culra bothy - a 16-year old Orcadian and impure thoug

Postby kevsbald » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:59 pm

Cheers folks. Though a couple of cracking reports by Kinley and Dooterbang put me in the shade.
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