Ben Alder

9th January 2024

(Above) In to Ben Alder today. Looking SW down Loch Ericht toward Benalder Lodge and Ben Alder itself top right. Utterly baltic first thing: -9 degrees C. where I parked up in Dalwhinnie. Was expecting a fast, easy cruise on the bike up the vehicle track beside Loch Ericht. The hard frozen road offered little resistance to the tyres but a katabatic headwind (SW to NE) slowed progress a little and gave my ears a little frostnip prior to donning the hat.  The wind direction had reversed for my return leg, which was annoying, but no biggie in the grand scheme of things. Overall, ’twas a great day.


(Above) Ben Alder left and the alpine-lite Lancet Edge right. Culra Bothy in the foreground. Culra Bothy has been closed for quite some time now due to the presence of asbestos in the structure. Very low temperatures mean foot passage is good and fast everywhere at the moment – even the mossy/heather away from the track was really quite firm underfoot in quite a few places.


(Above) Profile shot of Ben Alder’s Long Leachas Ridge nearest, and the Short Leachas Ridge.


(Above) The Lancet Edge (Sgor Iutharn 1028m) together with a snowy-looking sunlit coire to the east of Geal Charn 1107m. ‘Heavy’ Whalley was avalanched just off the ridge when he was young and in his ‘salad days’, he relays his cautionary tale here:

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