Bothy Nights

Spent last night at Duinish bothy near Loch Garry. My first bothy trip since my illness and the 3rd of the 3 targets I had set myself during my recovery (the first two being a munro and a winter walk both of which I achieved). Duinish is about 5 miles from the road at Dalnaspidal. Reasonable walk in to a good bothy which was tidy without rubbish having been left. Long may it stay like this. Plenty of firewood from a collapsed roof next door.

Construction work taking place at the site of the bridge over the river NN 613 674. Looks like the bulldozed landrover track from Craiganour / Annat on Loch Rannoch is being extended.

Did Beinn Mholach (an 840m Corbett) by myself in the evening. Found it harder than expected as the ground was rough and the bit that I expected to be reasonably flat was in fact very peat haggy. Also some icy snow patches higher up which it was not easy to tackle with summer boots and walking poles. Thought I might have to give up at one point as was unable to kick steps in a steep slope (why had I left the ice axe in the car). Fortunately, found a less steep way through the snow and eventually made it to the summit cairn. By now it was a bitterly cold wind, so didn’t hang around. Good views of surrounding hills and a lot of snow still on the higher tops.

Made it down the hill and back to the bothy in an hour. By then my companions had managed to get the fire going and I very quickly made a pasta and tuna meal which tasted wonderful (but then all bothy food usually tastes good). The wee dog was tired and made herself at home on the small sleeping platform in amongst the sleeping bags and mats. And she hadn’t even been up the hill or had to carry a heavy pack into the bothy. What excuse had she to be tired?

Felt good to be back out in the hills overnight as I lay in my sleeping bag watching the dying embers of the fire.

Companions found it cold and uncomfortable though, and both had a sleepless night. The wee dog’s owner even made a bed out of two chairs for herself and the wee dog rather than sleep on the floor! Me, I was toasty and warm in my sleeping bag and reasonably comfortable on my thermarest. Slept reasonably well though the wee dog made groaning noises during the night. When told to be quiet she jumped off her chair bed, ran across the floor and licked my face.

Temperature probably dropped to just above freezing and there was a light dusting of snow in the morning.

Early start in the morning as companions wanted to leave asap and get home to hot showers. Quick breakfast and then commenced the walk out at 8am. Instead of walking round by the bridge, we decided to cross the river this time which I managed to do without getting water in my boots. Lovely walk out in the morning sunshine. A couple of hours later and we reached the roadside at Dalnaspidal Lodge. Wee dog was fascinated by the grouse but totally uninterested in the field of geese at the Dalnaspidal flats.

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