Whiteburn's Wanderings

One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression

3 Bothies

Time for a little trip to recharge the soul, I’d missed out on the prior week’s good weather & the forecast was a little mixed (typical Scottish spring forecast…….sunshine & showers, wintery on the hills) but that didn’t matter. I decided to forego the usual jump off points along the Dee valley & managed to talk the wife into giving me a ride over to Cock Bridge with a gentle wander up the LRT to the Faindouran bothy & then over to Aviemore in the offing.

A delayed kick off & last minute change in Plan A eventually saw me waving the Lecht Ski Centre bye-bye at 11am

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I climbed the easy service track up Carn Mhic an Toisich where the first target of the day came into view, Carn Ealasaid off to the SW.

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Getting there did require a less than direct approach traversing peat hags across the slopes of Beinn A’Chruinnich; the summit of Carn Ealasaid was reached in around an hour as a hale shower came through.  Not an inspiring summit but on a better day it probably boasts some classic views.

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My route west over Tolm Buirich to the trig point on Craig Veann proved straight forward with only semi-frozen peat hags to mar easy progress & the summit did provide an unusual view of Ben Avon even if the weather wasn’t playing ball.

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I descended the ridge S to Lagganauld noting some potentially good places to pitch up in the vicinity.

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Just a short distance down the track & Inchory House came into view; I’d not been up close since the rebuild, quite some holiday cottage.

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No time to hang around though it was 3pm & I still had the long LRT up the River Avon some 12km to the Faindouran to wander up.

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I did take the time to check out the FB at NJ126059, looked 100%

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The FB at NJ099061 looks serviceable, though I didn’t descend to the river for a close inspection.

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I finally made the Faindouran bothy at around 6pm feeling a little tired after the 24km dawdle as persistent sleet started to fall.

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No-one at home but the place was spick & span.  I did note that someone had tried to start a fire in the newly fitted stove but since the flue terminates inside the room I guess they soon gave up that idea when they were smoked out.

Day 2

No hurry today, plan was a gentle stroll of 18km over to the Ryvoan bothy so it was a 3 coffee breakfast & a 9am start.  No short cut west over Creag Mhor today but the slightly longer route SW following the Avon upstream as another snow shower passed through.

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Still a fair bit of snow around the Fords of Avon, but less average this year in my experience; the sunshine made the place feel really friendly but on a wild day the shelter can really feel a god send.

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I joined the Lairig an Laoigh N over the flank of Bynack More taking the time for a relaxing brew in the sunshine in Coire Odhar & just take time to watch the clouds go by.

Once over the ‘hump’ the view across Strath Nethy to Meall A’Bhuachaille looked remarkably spring like in comparison to the mountains behind.

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The Ryvoan bothy was clearly visible from 5-6km away (if you know where to look).

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I arrived at Ryvoan around 4pm, no-one at home again but it was still early; it took ½ hr to tidy up the place giving it a good sweep & burning the accumulated rubbish. There was a small stock of firewood which later provided a nice fire for a couple of hours in the company of a couple who’d turned up with a flask of Scotch.

Day 3

Change of plan; forecast was still reasonable so instead of a bus ride home from Aviemore it was a quick shop for supplies & then hop on a bus for the short ride to Kingussie with the aim of wandering up through Glen Feshie & over to Braemar.

All went to plan & after a good lunch in Kingussie I was off down the road on the 16km trek to Feshie by 2pm.  The first hiccup was at the FB over the Allt Chromhaig (NN824983) at Baileguish.

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I picked up that there’d been some damage to the FB (NN 827983) but was unprepared for the extent, the Allt Fhearnasdail has cut a new channel to the west of the FB rendering it completely useless (I suspect that it will take Highland council a long time to do anything about it…….if ever)

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I didn’t fancy a cold bare foot wade so headed upstream soon finding a place to cross dry shod about 200m upstream, trekking pole were an absolute necessity to aid teetering across the unstable cobbles.

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The next bit of significant flood damage that I ran into was crossing the Allt Garbhlach (NN850954. The normally quite small stream has ripped out a large gash in the hillside leaving with the approaching paths ending at steep but easily negotiable drop offs on both sides.

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Further up river (~NN849941) a 100m+ section of the LRT has been completely consumed by the river necessitating a bit of a scramble through the trees.

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I finally arrived at the Ruigh-aiteachain bothy around 6pm; no one at home again but the place was very tidy.

I resisted the urge to try & get the stove going having had previous experience of a smoke filled bothy (my guess if that the flue is undersided). I was later joined by another pair who’d come over from the Tarf Hotel who did try (despite my warnings) ending up with the same result & them giving up after an hour.

Day 4

I planned to pitch up for the night around the Linn of Dee about a 30km yomp so I was on the road around 8am with my companions for the night still curled up in bed. A fresh dusting of spring snow in the glen & a sharp frost.

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I always enjoy the wander up Feshie; the ground is never difficult enough to detract from enjoying the slow transition of the surroundings.

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Over the watershed I picked up the LRT track near Geldie Lodge around 1pm, just 12km down the easy track to Linn of Dee.

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Wandering down the LRT I hatched Plan C & on arriving at the Linn of Dee at 4pm I ensconced myself at the carpark entrance & stuck the thumb out. 30mins later I was enjoying a ride into Braemar & a well-earned (but expensive) pint in the Invercauld before the long bus ride home.

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2 comments on “3 Bothies

  1. Kirsten
    April 2, 2016

    Nice one, Paul. Useful information and good photos as usual. .

    • Paul Atkinson
      April 2, 2016

      I figured that some of this years TGO’ers would appreciate the heads up.

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This entry was posted on April 2, 2016 by in Trip Reports and tagged , , .
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