Blue Skies In The Culra

Munros: Beinn Bheoil, Ben Alder

Date walked: 25/05/2013

Time taken: 13 hours

Distance: 34km

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

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Comments: 1

Picture Perfect - Grey Corries Traverse

Attachment(s) Munros: Sgùrr Chòinnich Mòr, Stob Bàn (Grey Corries), Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire an Laoigh
Date walked: 24/05/2013
Distance: 21km
Comments: 7
Views: 4978


Attachment(s) Munros: Cairn Toul, Sgòr an Lochain Uaine, The Devil's Point
Date walked: 21/05/2013
Distance: 38km
Comments: 3
Views: 3151

Tryfan & Glyders

Attachment(s) Hewitts: Glyder Fach, Glyder Fawr, Tryfan
Date walked: 08/09/2012
Comments: 4
Views: 5565

Beinn Eighe

Attachment(s) Munros: Ruadh-stac Mòr (Beinn Eighe), Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe)
Date walked: 04/06/2012
Distance: 17km
Ascent: 1180m
Comments: 2
Views: 2076

Bruache na Frithe, Am Bastier & Gillean West Ridge

Attachment(s) Munros: Am Basteir, Bruach na Frìthe, Sgùrr nan Gillean
Date walked: 02/06/2012
Comments: 8
Views: 5169

1, 2

Clogwyn y Person Arete - If Carlsberg did Scrambles!

Attachment(s) Hewitts: Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl, Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa
Date walked: 24/03/2012
Comments: 18
Views: 15287

Puig Campana

Attachment(s) Date walked: 11/07/2011
Ascent: 1406m
Comments: 8
Views: 10321

1, 2

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Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Chonzie
Date walked: 01/05/2011
Comments: 23
Views: 9832

A sunny stroll on Bidean nam Bian

Attachment(s) Munros: Bidean nam Bian, Stob Coire Sgreamhach
Date walked: 30/04/2011
Comments: 4
Views: 7089


Location: South Devon
Activity: Rambler
Pub: Clachaig
Mountain: Ben Nevis via C-Mor Dearg
Place: Glen Coe
Gear: Hi-Tech Boots
Member: None
Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ38
Ideal day out: A scary Scramble preferably as part of a ridge walk
Ambition: To do the Cullins

Munros: 93
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 3
Donalds: 2
Wainwrights: 48
Hewitts: 74
Sub 2000: 2

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Trips: 3
Distance: 93 km
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Trips: 4
Distance: 17 km
Ascent: 1180m
Munros: 5
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Trips: 16
Distance: 63 km
Ascent: 4826m
Munros: 10
Hewitts: 2


Trips: 12
Munros: 6
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Hewitts: 10
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Munros: 2


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Joined: Aug 29, 2010
Last visited: Nov 23, 2014
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