Some time ago I wanted to visit Luib Chonnal Bothy, Glen Roy with Lynn, so on one October Saturday afternoon we drove past Aviemore then along the Loch Laggan road turning up the six mile long single track road to Braeroy- that last six mile drive was a slow one- narrow windy single track road with big drops to one side and sheep on the road after blind summits!
It was a walk of over two hours to the Bothy on a track up a beautiful Glen. The track itself had a few short but steep sections and a few stream crossings.
We arrived at the Bothy to find a work party of about seven people in the midst of doing various repairs etc. We didnt know about a work party at the Bothy as it was organized at the last minute, but we were made very welcome.
We had a cracking evening with everyone- making new friends, enjoying a drink and chat in front of the Bothy stove. It was an evening I will remember for a long time!
Recently Derrick the Bothy M.O. (Maintenance Officer) whom we had met that night got in contact with me asking if I was interested in become a joint M.O. with him for Luib Chonnal, so I thought briefly about this, and of course I said yes.
Further to that, not only have I been roped into being an M.O. for the Bothy, so has my partner Lynn.
Last weekend the forecast didnt look to great for hillwalking or so it seemed. We decided that a trip to Luib Chonnal Bothy was called for. After finishing work late on Saturday morning we set of on the 120 mile drive to Braeroy. The forecast was for rain for both Saturday and Sunday and we were expecting a waterproof clad walk into the Bothy.
We arrived at the road end at Braeroy about 1.30pm. It had stopped raining, but we donned our waterproofs as there were a few dark clouds in the sky.
After about fifteen minutes of faffing and sorting our gear out and getting our waterproofs on, we set of on our walk. Funnily enough the dark clouds vanished whilst the sun and blue skies emerged with rising temperatures!
We were soon overheating and were soon stopped to strip off a few layers. This was our fourth trip to the Bothy and first thing I noticed was the lack of water in the river Roy- this was the lowest I had seen it and we had to walk over many a normally submerges stone and boulder to fill up our water bottles.
After our short break, we were soon on our way making our way along the track up the little climbs in this lovely Glen.
The next hour’s walking was delightful in the warm sunny weather and many of the puddles on the track and small stream crossing were dried up, but all this was about to change with a sudden change to the weather with dark clouds rolling in, and ten minutes or so before we got to the Bothy, the thunder started- Ive never seen Lynn walk so fast with a heavy pack on. Luckily no lightning came!
We arrived at the Bothy just before the heavens openend and was pleased to see the Bothy looking clean and tidy.
Recently we had been copied in on two Bothy reports- one about mice droppings and one about a water coming in at one of the windows.
Now, you are always going to get mice in a Bothy- these old buildings make a great home for a mouse and there really isnt too much you can do about this- its a fact of Bothy Life! Yes there was some mice droppings, but I wouldnt say that there was a mouse infestation- probably the work of one lone mouse perhaps. We had a good clean up and got rid of what few mouse droppings that there was.
One thing I would say is, that what was attracting the mouse in the first place? Answer- people leaving behind food is the most likely cause, and yes there was food left behind by previous visitors- Porridge oats, bottles of sauce etc… Of course that will attract the little fellows, so I got to work and bagged up all the left behind food to carry out next day.
We also noted that the leak was not coming in through the window, but infact through the roof as several slates have worked their way lose and will have to be replaced before winter sets in.
Shortly after doing some cleaning, I looked out the window and could see somebody with a bike heading towards the Bothy. This was Peter who turned out to be the Bothy M.O. for Kinbreak Bothy. I had the stove on, and we sat down with a brew and chatted. Peter had got soaked on the way in, but was in good spirits despite this!
It was early evening and the sun had came back out. Lynn and I went for a short walk to the White falls not to far from the Bothy. In normal conditions, the rivers would have been to high to cross over to get anywhere near the falls, but with dry condition over the past couple of months, we crossed them with ease and got some close up pictures of the falls.
We headed back to the Bothy and I fired up the stove to boil some water for our evening meals, then proceded to get the Bothy stove going for a good heat- I had carried in a small bag of coal, so I wasnt going to waste going to all the effort of lugging that weight in on my back! It wasnt cold, but its always nice to sit in front of the Bothy stove chatting away over a nice heat.
I awoke early next moring and headed outside for some pictures, whilst Lynn had a lie in.
Peter had suggested the previous evening, that the Bothy stove was perhaps due a new coat of paint, so on our next visit at some point within the next eight weeks we will return to get this job done- I’m looking forward to my return visit already.