Two words spring to mind when I think of Ben Alder - remote and big. I've been eyeing Ben Alder for yonks now and had tantalising views of it down Loch Ericht when whizzing past Dalwhinnie on the A9. Its been a bit of a tough one to crack though considering its distance and the conditions I wanted to capture it in. Considering all the recent snow we have had in the Highlands I decided to attempt it this weekend.
Got up early and biked the 10 miles along Loch Ericht to Culra Bothy, dumped the bike then set of up the path with the intention to climb the long Leachas ridge to gain the summit plateau but couldn't be bothered crossing the river so carried on to Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe, made a shot of the inpressive rock scenery then ascened the plateau from the col between Beinn Bheoil (its a Munro but its boring so didn't bother with it). A foot of fresh snow covered the plateau and a mile walk took me to the summit, great views but very cold so snaffled a bit of snap before heading down.
The dilemma was how to descend, via the long Leachas or short Leachas ridge or a long easy detour down a gentle slope, I opted for the short Leachas ridge as it had the best views of Ben Alder's crags. A bit dodgy in snow and wet rock at the top of the ridge but as soon as I got on a level then I took this shot which picks out some of Alder's finest features.
Once off the ridge I walked back to Culra bothy where two chirpy chaps were renovating it, had some more snap before the 10 mile return bike ride back to Dalwhinnie, a ten hour round trip in fabulous country and one of Scotland's finest big and remote hills.
Version 2 shows the approach to Culra, Beinn Bheoil on the left and Ben Alder central and right, the bothy is in the shadow on the right of the image.
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