Hutchison renovation Pt 2

The Saltire flies above the Hutchison Hut, Coire Etchachan, Cairngorms, during the renovation

The Saltire flies above the Hutchie during the renovation

When we started to plan the renovation of the Hutchison Hut we hoped people would start to think better of what had been a legendarily cold doss.

But little did we think its charms would be broadcast to the nation!

A report went out on Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland on September 10, followed by a television report shown on the lunchtime and early and late evening shows of Reporting Scotland, featuring a brief explanation of the project and interviews with some of the culprits.

Lots of fun all round and quite gratifying to those featured in the clips that their friends and family could at last see that these weekends weren’t just drunken get-togethers.

More to the point, though work which had been picked up again on Thursday (despite some rotten weather I believe) carried on apace through to Sunday morning, with a colossal difference now visible in the bothy.

All the insulation is in place inside the bothy and the pine-lining is almost complete. The porch is framed out and partially boxed off from the elements. The stove has been fitted and even had an initial fire lit, although timing of work on the roof meant it had to be removed again until next weekend. A surprisingly big difference is made by the replacement of the old window. The new window is double glazed and can open for ventilation but what makes most difference at first sight is that you can see through it! The old window required careful positioning of the head to peer through the distorting Perspex, but now you can sit there and gaze out on the view with ease. Lovely.

The roof, as well as being insulated inside, has new sheeting on the outside and has been extended slightly to cover the new boxed in storm porch.

A somewhat exhausted crew of volunteers (and a visitor) sat inside the bothy on Saturday night scarcely able to take in what has been achieved so far – and scarcely able to keep their eyes open. That has to be the quietest and driest Saturday night at a work party ever, with people starting to drift off to their tents at about 9p.m.

Several other bits of work were done at the weekend, including a general tidy-up of the ground around the hut and you can see most of it in the photos below.

Work is due to start again on Thursday September 13.

Oh, and you may still be able to see the Reporting Scotland item here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-19542881

The new window at the Hutchison Hut, Cairngorms

People working on the roof of the Hutchison Hut, Cairngorms

Posers on the roof. MOs Lithgae Jim and Piper putting on new roofing sheets

Progress on the storm porch, Hutchison Hut, Cairngorms

Progress in closing in the new storm porch

People working with midgie nets on at the Hutchison Hut, Cairngorms

Midge nets were now and then still essential PPE, even though they made vision a problem

The flue is put in place at Hutchison Hut, Coire Etchachan

The flue is put in place – temporarily

The storm porch enclosed at the Hutchison Hut refurbishment

The new storm porch takes shape

Volunteers gather in the Hutchison Hut after a hard day's work

After a hard day’s work Saturday was a quiet affair: a seat by the new stove, a couple of beers and an early night

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11 Responses to Hutchison renovation Pt 2

  1. andywightman says:

    Well done folks. Looks like an epic job done.

  2. Not finished yet, of course, Andy. But about 20 people have helped out on site as well as many more in the planning and preparation stages. And more will have lent a hand before it’s all completed. A great example of people coming together for the common good. (And cos it’s great fun, of course!)

  3. Mal Evans says:

    Is it an optical illusion or have some of those roof sheet fixings been put in through the troughs of the corrugations? There may be trouble ahead. 😦

    • Check with the roofer who did it for the fuller explanation, but that’s how it’s done. Fixings are fully sealed and there’s less distortion of the sheets and a tighter fit to the roof – essential with the winds you get in that coire.

  4. David Steane says:

    Great work Neil and others. On a lengthy hike around the central Cairngorms a couple of years ago (Carn a’Mhaim, Ben Macdhui, Derry Cairngorm and Beinn Mheadhoin) I poked my head into the Hutchison Hut, before returning down Glen Derry to the car at the Linn of Dee. Your photo in a previous blog reminded me of why I tend to steer clear of the hills in the summer months!! How you and the others worked in those conditions, I have no idea. But well done! Next time in my travels to the area, I’ll pop my head in again and check out the refurb. Looks like a great job’s been done.

  5. To be honest, the midges haven’t been bad this summer up until this work party started. Maybe they were saving themselves! Midge net and work gloves takes care of the worst of it – it just means there’s a certain amount of working in braille.

  6. Smuj McBride says:

    Neil – thanks for the hospitality during my stop over. A real pleasure after a long day in from the Linn of Dee. Got to see a braw stag on the way down Glen Derry when I broke camp early the next morning, he was just looking at me so I still cannae copy the bellow. All the best to you and the work party, Smuj fae Bath, late of Rosyth. Good yardage stare I have on in the last pic btw 🙂

  7. Hi Smuj, glad you enjoyed your visit. I wouldn’t worry about your stare – that’s a product of my camera – it doesn’t seem to do smiles. I have a photo taken during a ceilidh at Bob Scott’s and I swear everyone was having a great time, yet it looks like a line-up at a funeral – when they haven’t decided who’s going in the grave yet!

  8. Colin Campbell says:

    Myself, Big Rab Pirie frae Easterhouse (now dead) and auld Wullie Hanna frae Goven (long time dead) spent two nights in the Hutchison in March 1966. It was bitterly cold staying there, even with three Primus stoves going full blast it was still very cold. I woke up one morning to find one of the bothy’s resident mouse snuggling in my arm-pit. how it got in was anybodies guess as there were no holes in the floor. I’d really like to see the new-ish rebuilt bothy now. But, my arthritis would definitely prevent me from walking great distances.

    • A common memory of the Hutchie in days gone by, Colin. Shame you can’t get in there now: you’d love it. Couple of the guys were in there last weekend and said they woke to find four inches of snow had fallen overnight but they were still warm as toast inside.

      • shibbe says:

        Just found this blog and I have to confirm that the insulation is doing wonders. I stayed there last Friday and it was freezing + rather windy up there (although there was almost no wind down at Bob Scoots). We burned through not more than 50% of our log that evening and I was sweating soooo bad in my sleeping bag – should’nt have brought my -30°C sleeping bag 🙂

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