Monday, December 11, 2006

18-19. Ben Alder (25), Beinn Bheoil (112) (13/07/2006)

Three of us set our from Corrour station, the only station in Britain not to be serviced by any roads. There was a track, however, down which we travelled on the walk-in to Ben Alder. The whole of the first day, in fact, was a walk to Ben Alder Cottage, a small bothy at the foot of the mountain on the shores of Loch Ericht. The next day we carried our packs up to the bealach and left them behind a rock before scrambling our way up onto the huge summit plateau of Ben Alder, still a mile from the actual summit, which is little more than a cairn and only a few metres higher than anywhere else on the plateau. Here we really noticed the wind, almost blowing us over and cooling us down very quickly whenever we stopped. For this reason, we didn't hang around at the top, but instead made our way back to our bags and began the climb of the smaller Beinn Bheoil, by which time the wind seemed to be even higher. Christian even lost his hat, blown straight off by the wind. Afterwards we had a pleasant and sheltered walk down the other side, with a great panoramic view of the whole of the sheer side of Ben Alder. We spent the night in Culra bothy, where we met a dustman from Glasgow who had climbed all the Munros (including a favourite one 7 times) and Henry, an interesting bloke also from Glasgow who had climbed about 200 of them. Areally impressive view of Ben Alder from here:

The Ben Alder Massif from Culra Bothy
Walking along the side of Ben Alder to the cottage.
Ian looking back after the first part of the climb from Ben Alder cottage.

Beinn Bheoil from Ben Alder

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