23rd-24th July 2017
As part of Adventurous Ink, a print subscription service by Gather Outdoors, I receive an outdoor related journal, magazine or book once a month. I’ve gotten a great range of different books and magazines about a variety of outdoor related activities, but the one that has come in particular use was the target=”_blank”>Scottish Bothy Bible that was delivered just in time for this years pilgrimage to Scotland. The book outlining all the Scottish Bothies, with detailed descriptions about the size, facilities and location of each bothy, really helped out when planning our trip. I always like to spend a night in a Bothy when in Scotland, it adds an extra experience and memory to a trip, as well as being a pleasant change of scenery from the tent (and a chance to escape the midges).
Shenavall Bothy is situated high up the West Coast, in the shadow of the An Teallach massif and overlooking a spectacular wild and barren valley that can only be accessed by foot; a 4 mile walk from the nearest road. The trail, which meandered along a 4×4 track before taking us across rougher ground and rock, wouldn’t have been particularly taxing, but with a days good climbing on Liathac and hot summer sun bearing down on us it was hard work. We arrived a little after 5pm happy to have reached out destination for the night and welcoming a chance to rest aching quads and calves.
One of the great traits not mentioned in the book is the great company found in some of the more remote mountain huts. Miles from any real civilisation, or modern conveniences, you often found yourself confound to a small room with several other complete strangers. Bound together by shelter, experience, and a love for the outdoors these conversations usually flow well – without formalities and small-talk, conversation is usually dominated by stories of previous trips and mountains. With the night growing dark and the tea-lights in cabin dying out we retreated upstairs to a large loft-space, where we’d previously layed out our sleeping bags for the night.
A bright and sunny day greeted us as we made our way down the stairs and out through small wooden door. The previously night’s clouded sunset had dispersed leaving a clear blue sky, and warm shining sun. Our legs barely recovered from the previously two days walking we began our hike out, back over the rocky trail descending back down to the car and civilisation. Considering we were reasonably north, and with a very substantial drive back down south the following day we decided it would be best to make a decent dent in the journey and promptly began following signs for Inverness