Bothy nights and mountain days at Ben Alder

I recently wrote a piece for Edinburgh-based brewery Top Out. You can read the whole piece over on their website here. The below is a short excerpt. I highly recommend you try the Kellerbrier beer they sent us!

According to Tom’s 1:40,000 map, the Aisre Ghobhainn looked like an extremely narrow ridgeline. Agreeing we’d head over to suss it out and having made a get-out option, we trotted along the soft, easy top to this thin shoulder.

When we arrived, we could see the scale of the map had exaggerated how serious the ground was. Even so, it still required care – even more so given my attention was suddenly drawn elsewhere. As I stopped halfway down the ridge, I looked up to Tom and saw a cascade of ice clinging to the coire. A series of freeze-thaw cycles had created a stunningly beautiful natural phenomenon, with the water fixed in never-ending motion.

As I dropped further, I couldn’t help but say, “Woaaah!” The Loch Coire Cheap the lies at the foot of the coire was partially filled with sheets of ice, most of which clung to the southern shore, probably due to the wind. On its northern edge, the water looked like a teardrop as it ran its course to Allt Cam below. This was really a moment for the memory book.

We had now left the clag behind, running along easy ground to Carn Dearg. Once or twice, a white ptarmigan would erupt from behind the rocks, while a heard of nearly 40 red deer bounded across the heather ahead of us. Once over Carn Dearg’s rocky red peak, we had to shoot off right to Culra Bothy.

Culra is currently closed due to asbestos, but word on the street is it is to be demolished in 2022 and rebuilt. That’s the rumour, anyway. As we dropped down through the heather, I looked ahead and thought Beinn Bheoil. looked reeeeeally far away.

Full blog here!

Published by Ross Brannigan

“It is worth ascending unexiting heights if for nothing else than to see the big ones from nearer their own level.” - Nan Shepherd

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