From the Cairn Ban Archives... 

To Alder & Beyond...
Ian Collinson, 22 October 2005

It took 3.5 hours to get from Clarkston to Pitlochry on Friday evening due to incredibly busy traffic, crap weather and accidents at Perth. Billy, Douglas and I met up with sister Jennifer who'd been up the Tarmachan Ridge at Killin and Alex who'd battled similar traffic from Edinburgh.

Cracking grub at the Moulin Inn, Pitlochry raised spirits but an ‘I'm gonna get a soaking’ unease had developed in the camp and a crap weather alternative to cycling into Alder - going to the Tipsy Laird Bunkhouse at Kingussie was mooted.

Miraculously at Blair Atholl the skies cleared, the stars shone and the stalker at Alder Lodge gave us permission to drive down the estate road as far as the Lodge. A delightful 45 minutes on the bikes passing Loch Pattack gleaming in moonlight took us to Culra Bothy where the fire had been roaring all night and was splendidly warm. Stags bellowed all around in the dark of night.

Morning brought a light sprinkle of rain which did not go away all day and generally got wetter and harder and windier. Jennifer brought ridicule upon herself by bringing out a make up compact at breakfast to see how rough she looked - could have saved the effort and asked us I suppose.

The Long Leachas gave an easy ascent onto Alder’s plateau and given cloud level was 500m there was no real indication to the airyness of the ridge at all. Alex departed at the summit as he was on strict instructions to get home by 6.30pm. Meanwhile Jennifer brought out her make up bag again to loud jeers as she sought out lipsalve.

I feel a nomination coming on...

Beinn Bheoil was a pleasant stroll and we sauntered back to the bothy where another two walkers had walked in carrying a huge sack of logs only to discover the bothy had no axe! They looked despondant but we soon got a good fire going to leave them in better spirits.

We ate & drank all remaining provisions before cycling back out and stoped en route at the Moulin Inn again.

A big, big, wet, wet, day.

Cheers All


Re: To Alder and Beyond


A fantastic couple of days it was too. From a novice to Bagging [I celebrated my 15th on Sat] I certainly did notice the ‘airiness’ of the ridge... even when shrouded in cloud. Eerie and totally stunning [if terrifying!].

Freezing cold on top... was struggling to get my eye liner on!

Key lesson for me was to remember to take ear plugs or drink lots more alcohol to avoid a sleepless night courtesy of the mighty Collinson roar [stags bellowing had nothing on that!]

Thanks to boys for taking me and certainly hope to by joining you all again!

Jenny :0)


Re: To Alder and Beyond


Eh... is it just me or has something crucial been missed off of this report Ian??

  • Bike? Bridge? fence? Comedy crash with an audience?

  • Not putting your bike wheel on tight enough - £20

  • Not realising why the wheel was wobbling and disconnecting the brakes to stop them rubbing - £35 - Steaming headlong over a greasy wooden bridge towards a closed fence with no brakes - £50


You can tell where this is going can't you.....

  • Falling off in front of everyone and their dog - PRICELESS!!!!


HORSES ARSE... you have been nominated!!!

We can all laugh now that the bruises have receded.



Meanwhile elsewhere on the Sunday....


Myself, Bob, Campbell and David Gray went down to a place near Dalmellington and did a Corbett called Cairnsmore of Carsphairn.... A nice little hill, nothing too strenuous... we were hit by a couple of showers but nothing to spoil the day... It was great to be out walking and enjoying the views in an area that we very rarely visit.