Archive for Bothying

High & Dry

Kiting around Peanmeanach

It’s not about the fishing

Can’t beat that feeling coming back after a nights fishing – even with no fish!

A Blank Canvas in Bothy Culture.

This last weekend we opened up a project on one of Scotland’s remote bothies.   As a regular visitor to bothies, it’s always on the back of my mind how a contribution can be made to keep the bothy culture alive and functioning for the future.

This particular building, perched spectacularly on the edge of a loch in one of Scotland’s most fantastic landscapes, has been in need of face-lift for some time having been abused by a very small number of the travellers passing through –  a handful of people who decided to leave rubbish rather than carry it out.  So a small team of us set out to tidy the space for anyone that might want to stay.  The plot thickened however – as we tidied an [almost] blank canvas appeared where the rubbish had been.  Maybe there will be more pictures maybe not, but at least it’s tidier now!

Halloween Bothy Mice Strike Terror into Female Residents

There were eight nationalities all happily packed into Pean Meannach bothy this last weekend.   Happily at-least, until the mice were mentioned.    With Ghosts and Ghouls forgotten about ‘they can’t get upstairs can they ??’ was the question on the lips of all but the crazy Belgians, who were too drunk to care.   It did seem that mice had penetrated the defences, and made it into some peoples’ sleeping bags though.

We did little the way of anything productive, instead, we incinerated some Bananas, didn’t find the buried whisky, and had Spad giving us one off his new album of cover songs ‘Rustic Charm’.   We also noted that the washing-up liquid situation is getting out of control.  If you happen to be going to Pean Meannach in the next few years, I wouldn’t say there’s any need to take washing-up liquid.

Lobster Bothy (but no lobsters)

Ahead of the bothying season we made it out for a warm up:

Bog, Bothy n Swim

With the forecast saying rain and low cloud, we skipped Glencoe’s curved ridge on the way up to the Ardnish Peninsula.   Somehow we all managed to leave the path on the way out to the bothy.  With my mind on my recently departed pal, one of the best on them, the path was doing no justice to my mind state; and so it was straight up the hill for me, until my legs burned with acid and lungs were bursting out my ribcage; it was up, over the top and down to the loch to drop a hook.  Not like earlier in the year, there were no fish, but the others walked through after their own adventure off the beaten track.  In the woods I found Nik holding a bright red mushroom alongside his picture book – we agreed it looked dangerous.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=arnish&ie=UTF8&hl=en&hq=&hnear=Raasay,+United+Kingdom&ll=56.858563,-5.755495&spn=0.00664,0.01929&t=h&z=16

The bothy at Peanmeanach must be one of Scotland’s most popular, and it’s easy to see why – pottering about here somehow reminds you of the greater things in life.  The two other bothy dwellers – Jonathon and Brett – were there for the same reason as us, and joined us for a dram after the duck and vegetable stews both courtesy of Lorraine.

Jen led a morning swim and Andy took it one stage further, while Nicky, never to miss an opportunity,  jumped in both salt and freshwater.  Thomas and Etta went airport-ward, too soon really, but hopefully not before  wetting the appetite.

Two rainbows appeared at once on the way out, we all agreed the widest we had ever seen, and from there on in the West coast hit us with it’s majestic best.    Without the extra hour in bed we might have made curved ridge on the grandest of Sunday evenings, but as we cruised down the road to Martyn Bennett’s ‘Grit’, it was far from our minds.

Life does exist in the bog lands of Scotland (although the fish are keeping a low profile at this time of year).

Misha for Andy/Jen/Thomas/Nicky/Etta/Lorraine + Jonathon/Brett

Cairngorm Cluster – pt. 3

After the terminal attrition that was our trip to Cairngorms I was left with flash backs of stumbling over boulders, sinking in bogs and looking mournfully at the trail below dreaming of the hard but smooth floor of the bothy. After 12 hours of slog and in the dark your mind plays tricks on you, every pointy boulder seemed like a pitched roof and every glimmer of light a window. Below, is a sketch which expresses my view of the trip, in particular the dark, trudge to corrour bothy, when my mind began to unravel.

GormDillusion

Bothy X

There’s nothing like finding a secret bothy from time to time.  I could tell you where it is but then I’d have to to then kill you!!

Cairngorm Cluster

Sometimes things go to plan, and sometimes they don’t.  After a couple of days of pushing bikes through the wind and rain in the Cairngorms I think it’s fair to say that this one didn’t go quite as planned!  The remote tracks in at the back of the Cairngorms didn’t make for easy mountain biking after several weeks of rain, but these are the sort of weekends that you learn the most, and the team pulls together to finish what was started, in whatever style (hopefully we’ll be able to post a video of kathryn nose planting into a bog).

Tim/ Kathryn / Spad / Somhairle / Robin / Misha

ROUTE:-

Friday:
Glasgow > Aviemore by Train (with bikes)
Aviemore > Ryvoan Bothy for sleep (night cycle with a stop off at glenmore lodge for a pint).

Saturday:
Ryvoan > fords of Avon (carrying bikes through Strath Nethy on all but short sections)
Fords of Avon > Derry Lodge (pushing bikes before descent through Glen Derry).
Derry Lodge > Corrour bothy for sleep (pushing bikes through night and arriving at 11pm).

Sunday:
Corrour bothy > White bridge
White Bridge to Braemar (planned route through Glen Tilt to Blair Athole train station changed because of time limitation).
Braemar > Pitochry by taxi!!
Pitlochry > Glasgow train  (back at 10 ish)

all looking like serious mo fo’s in those pics so if you’ve any to add (or video) give me a shout misha @ high-8.com

About High-8

High-8 is a loose gathering of like minded adventurists who document first person, on the ground experiences with words, photos and film. The hope is to form a rough guide to outdoor adventure sports in Scotland and provide a warts and all, honest representation of what we find. No sport is excluded from mountaineering and mountain biking to gorge walking and kayak all are welcome and encouraged.

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Weather

We have compiled a list of usefull weather forecasts to help with planning trips. This list is designed to work on mobile phones, so it can be used when out in the wilds. Signal willing of course...

The Code

The Country Code, which most of us learned in school (and we probably haven't read since!), was updated in 2004 when it became the Countryside Code. Here's the updated version:
  • Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under close control
  • Consider other people
In Scotland, where there is a more general right of access, there also exists the Scottish Outdoor Access Code:
  • Take responsibility for your own actions
  • Respect people’s privacy and peace of mind
  • Help farmers, landowners and others to work safely and effectively
  • Care for the environment
  • Keep your dog under proper control
  • Take extra care if you are organising a group, an event or running a business.
There's obviously a lot to to be learned from these - it's amazing how many people get out to enjoy the countryside but are still happy to leave it in a mess. Even with the recent updates, the Countryside Codes seem slightly outdated when considering the wider issues involved when lots of people get out into the countryside. Some places just can't handle high volumes of people, no matter how they behave and publicity, no matter how interesting or well-done , has the potential to attract lots of people to an area. Blogs including video, pictures or words, form part the the wider media which could easily contribute to tipping the balance, and so we as bloggers have to consider the implications of what we decide to post. Can the place we're writing about take more people, and if not, it might be wiser to leave maps, place names or grid references out of posts. In Scotland, the Mountain Bothies Association has been careful to protect the location of some Bothies due to mis-treatment and, in some cases, even malicious vandalism. That is not to say they would not advocate people using them - in fact, a well used, maintained and loved network of bothies exist, and the MBA as an organisation is there to encourage this. Some bothies are busier than others but generally it is the less remote places which are more susceptible to abuse - something which might be worth considering when deciding whether to post information. It must be said, in most cases it's obvious what should or shouldn't be publisiced, but it's worth taking these considerations to mind.

Please note: The Code is constantly being revised and added to. If you like to add something login in to the discussion on the forum.