Spring in the Scottish Wilderness
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Badrallach Bothy - 3 nights
It's May, the snow is finally receding from the mountains and the days are long and hazy; so come to the north west highlands and discover a magnificent area of mountains and glens - an area which includes Strathnasheallag Forest , often known as 'The Great Wilderness'.
We are going to spend a long weekend hopefully getting up some mountains, for there are a number of areas that are worth walking when we have the long hours of daylight, such as the Inverlael range, the Fannichs and quite probably the most well known in the area - the Fisherfield Six. What we end up doing will depend upon the weather, but May is usually a good month to get out onto the tops, plus as we are staying three nights we will have two full days to get out and about.
Our venue is Badrallach Bothy, it's a private venue so we have been able to make an exclusive booking; and has some features not normally found in bothies such as a showers, hot water and cooking facilities, however it is still a basic place to stay as you do need to bring your own sleeping mat and bag. Please note that Billy will be coming along, he is known as a dog but is very well behaved.
Getting there :
Badrallach bothy is not a million miles from Ullapool, as you follow the A835 from Inverness, turning off onto the A832 at Braemore Junction then 10 miles later turning right onto a minor road signposted 'Badralloch', which you follow for a further 8 miles.
If you are coming by public transport there is a Scottish Citylink service 961 - this departs stance 3 of Inverness bus station at 15:00 and is scheduled to stop at Braemore Junction at 16:00. From here you will need to organise a lift from another member as 18 miles is a long way to walk.
What to bring
The main activity planned for the weekend is to explore the area, good walking boots are a must along with clothing for any weather as in the highlands you could see all four seasons in one day!
Boots: Hiking boots are arguably the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere. Walker’s should make sure that their boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support. Boots should also be in good condition.
Socks: A good comfy pair of walking socks is essential really; they keep your feet warm and drier than normal socks.
Gaiters: Gaiters attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee. They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg. They are not essential to have but you will feel the difference if you have them when walking through muddy or boggy ground - which is almost guaranteed in Scotland.
Walking Trousers: You should have a suitable pair of trousers for walking in, jeans are not suitable as they take on water when wet and will make you cold. The same goes for jogging pants/tracksuit clothing.
Waterproof Trousers: Waterproof trousers are essential in case of wet weather. They are also good to be worn as a second layer as they can act as a windproof barrier, keeping the legs warm.
Base Layer: A breathable base layer should be chosen in order to let sweat escape from the body. This could be a cheaper sports top or you could go top of the range with a merino top, as cotton T-Shirts can become damp and uncomfortable when climbing a mountain.
Other Layers: On top of your base layer, you can have a variety of options such as a micro fleece, a fleece jacket or a rugby/sports top can sometimes be good. Having one or two additional layers gives you flexibility when the weather is changeable – the more layers, the more flexible you can be in adapting to the weather.
Waterproof Jacket: A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will require when hiking. Walkers should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable in order for them to be protected from sweat. Materials such as Gore-tex are often the best choices but they can be expensive unless you shop sensibly, don’t forget your OutdoorLads discount for Full Members at Cotswold outlets.
Hat: As most heat is lost through the head a good hat is essential.
Gloves: Gloves are essential in the colder months, windproof or better still waterproof gloves are the best choice.
Rucksack: A good Rucksack that is comfortable to wear is essential, and required to carry both food and equipment. Day sacks should have a capacity of around 30 litres. As an option you could store your items in waterproof bags inside just in-case or ensure the bag has a waterproof bag to pull over the top.
Emergency Equipment: The leader of the group will normally carry some emergency items, but you are welcome to bring your own such as spare energy food, survival bag, personal first aid kit, head torch and a whistle. It is not essential that you bring all or any of these items but it will do no harm if you do bring.
Map & Compass: If you want to learn to be a leader or you just like to know where you are, then you can bring a map that covers the area. If you are not sure which map to bring, just message the leader. It is best to bring your map either in a map case or purchase maps which are waterproof.
Mobile Phone: If you choose to bring your phone, then you are well advised to buy a waterproof bag or if that is not possible a simple food/freezer bag will suffice. You will however find that, unless you are on top of the mountains, there is no mobile signal.
Food & drink
Friday evening - please bring an item for the buffet
For the customary Outdoorlads buffet, please bring something to feed 2 or 3 people. Be imaginative with your offering... You could bring a selection of meats or cheese, some pasta salad, fancy bread or even do a bit of baking!
Saturday & Sunday breakfast and dinner along with Monday breakfast are included in the event cost.
Saturday & Sunday lunch - you will need to bring with you.
Tea & coffee is available throughout the weekend.