Winter Walking on Ben Alder, Scotland Highlands

Scotland’s Highlands is at their most beautiful when the Munro’s and mountain tops are dusted in fresh snow. This winter the wet and and windy weather has made it challenging for hiking

and walking out on the high peaks but we managed to climb Ben Alder a Munro height peak in the South Highlands
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Ben Alder is actually one of the most isolated peaks in all Scotland being miles from the nearest road. The approach to the Bothy, Ben Alder Cottage involved a 14km cycle ride, from the lonely Loch Rannoch, then a few KMs hiking across a bog.Marion1-13_result

It was raining hard as we approached the bothy, the closest bridge was just about still standing after previous floods. It was precariously perched with the steps on left total washed away and the wood resting on a few inches of stone support, but we still climbed up and quickly crossed. The white water was raging down from the days rain.Marion1-14_result

Once the second river in spate had been negotiated by jumping higher upstream we reached the bothy which to our relief was open and in good shape.
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There was an axe and a saw so we cut some rain sodden deadwood down and split it carefully to reach the dry interior and soon started a good warming fire. This bothy is apparently the most haunted in Scotland and with a gale blowing it sounded like we might not be alone!
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The wind did blow the cloud away and the stars outside were stunning, there was apparently lots of Northern Light activity but we saw nothing, the sky did have a strange hue to it though.
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The next day we set off up Ben Alder and quickly headed for the fresh snow line in the bright early morning.IMG_4761_result
The sun struggled to breakthrough the cloud and we did get some brief golden rays!IMG_4810_result
As we got higher the snow got deeper and navigation had to be sharper a the cloud swirled around.
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It’s always cool to see broken spectres, although this was really more of an ice rainbow, to be technical!
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The views up towards Laggan were spectacular in the snow.
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After something to eat on the summit we retreated back towards Ben Alder Cottage. We arrived much earlier than expect so had time to pick up the bikes and ride out to the car parked near Loch Rannoch in the same day.
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