The Scottish winter is upon us! This weekend was yet another EUMC meet up to the Club’s very own bothy near the Five Sisters of Kintail.
We left Edinburgh around 6.30 PM and set off for the 4 hour journey north. As usual we stopped at a chippy for dinner. The minibuses could actually drive right up to the bothy, which was fantastic because by the time we got there it was late, snowy, muddy, and no one was wanting to trek.
There were around 30 people on the meet and we all piled into the bothy. It had two floors with two rooms each – they were not big, but they were warm and dry. The downstairs rooms each had fireplaces and between that, 30 people, and my warm sleeping bag it was nice and toasty.
Nothing much exciting happens Friday nights, it’s mostly just a grule to get to the campsite and grab the best spot.
I did have a late night adventure trying to find a bathroom spot outside (bothys never have proper latrines). It’s around 1 AM, I’m outside with my head torch a good 3/4 of a mile away from the bothy trying to find a good hidden rock because of my irrational fear of someone stumbling upon me mid bathroom break when my torch catches something on the ground.
It was a tibia – and for a spilt second I thought, ‘well damn there’s been a murder and the murderer is probably lurking here and not only is my irrational fear of bathroom intruders true but I’m going to get murdered.’
Luckily, I then saw the hoof and realized it was a sheep tibia. It was still gross. I cried.
The next morning was like stepping into a Christmas card. Literally. It had snowed all night and the entire ridge was covered with snow. The bothy had both of the fireplaces going and everyone was up and about making breakfast and getting ready for the day.
Saturday’s hike was up to the Five Sisters, a ridge with two munros. My group trekked out around 10 AM and had enough time to do two of the five. It’s starting to get dark really early here, and no one wanted to be up on the ridge too late. The sun starts setting by 3.30 PM. It was honestly an amazing day, the weather was fantastic. It was cold, but not rainy. It snowed lightly the whole day. And the snow was great! We had so many snowball fights all throughout the trek! We made it back to the bothy around 5 PM, when it was nearly dark.
Saturday night was the Bothy Party to celebrate the brand new roof that the National Trust of Scotland put on the bothy. And because, as I mentioned before, we didn’t have to trek to the bothy and drove the minibus literally up to the doorstep – people brought a lot of stuff. There were huge speakers, plenty of food, and large quantities of beverages. It was a killer evening up in the highlands of Scotland.
Sunday morning was very slow. I brewed myself a pot of coffee (I brought Starbucks Christmas Blend 2015 VIA packets with me because I’m #basic) and made breakfast. People weren’t very keen on doing another big day out so a group of us went for a nice paced hike up the trail. It was another gorgeous day out and the fresh air was sorely needed.
And not only was this weekend a good workout but as a history student there were plenty of old croft ruins for me to explore! During the late 18c to the mid 19c, many Highland croft farmers were removed from the land to make way for sheep. That and lot of them had been supporters of the Jacobite cause. A lot of the houses and barns are still standing partially or were used to make fences like the one in the picture below!
While on the hike, some people decided to go swimming in the river. I did not go swimming in the river. The river was very cold. Those people were crazy.
This weekend was my first ever Winter Meet! I’ve never hiked a mountain in the snow before, I fell a lot of times, but it was really fun. We don’t get much snow in Edinburgh, so it was nice to be able to go out and get a good weekend of snow. It’s one of the things about home that I really do miss.
The Christmas lights are all on now so it’s really starting feel like the holidays! I can’t wait for my mom to get here on Wednesday… I just need to finish my Archaeology paper!