This weekend was a bit of a let down.
I intended to head up a hill called Beinn Dearg (Red Hill), which is a little north of Blair Atholl. I failed to catch the very first train out of Edinburgh, and in the end didn't even arrive in Blair Atholl until after 10:30.
I walked out to the bothy at the foot of the hill (Allt Scheicheachan bothy, don't ask me how it is pronounced) with the intention of dropping my overnight stuff and heading for the summit. With much snow on the ground, the walk out to the bothy took longer than I'd hoped and I arrived unsure whether it would be sensible to try and make it up and down that afternoon or whether I ought to wait for the morning. In the end I opted to leave it to the morning, and so spent the afternoon and evening kicking around the bothy, feeding the fire and getting the place as warm as its drafty old structure would allow.
I spent a couple of nights in this bothy two years ago, at about the same time in the year. On that occasion I had tried to get over the Minigaig Pass to Ruigh Aiteachain bothy in Glen Feshie (a lovely bothy indeed). I turned back half way across the pass, in fading light, after very slow progress, and with the tougher section still to face.
The morning I awoke at the bothy this weekend brought no greater success. Wind was rattling the eves of the rickety building, and rain was falling heavily on its corrugated roof (I would have preferred snow). I couldn't see the hill through the window and so the decision was taken (with ease) to sit by the fire, drink coffee and read.
Although the weekend flopped in some ways, the walks in and out of the bothy were good. And to sit by an open fire, reading a good book ('High Summer' by Chris Townsend), is not the worst way to spend a Sunday.