I’ve been sitting on some of these photos for a while now, mostly sent in by George Adams and Colin Campbell, always waiting for the context to use them.
Then one of the comments after Ashie Brebner’s skiing article remarked that there can be few photos of Altanour Lodge still in circulation – and I got all guilty. Sure, there are a good new old photos in Ian Murray’s excellent books, but here I am sitting with some on my laptop.
So. No narrative to link them all together: just a collection of old photos of old bothies and buildings which were once close enough to intact to spend a night in.
This is the Altanour Lodge, up at the head of Glen Ey, fleetingly mentioned in Ashie’s story as being a broken down even back in 1951. The upper picture, from George Adams, shows it a year later, still being used as a bothy but plainly in sad need of repair. The lower photo I took myself last year, showing how little remains in this remote corner of the Cairngorms.
This photo, again from George, shows Auchelie, lower down Glen Ey, later in the same year of which Ashie wrote. Again, there is very little remaining today.
Across the hills, follow Glen Geldie up to the Bynack Burn where it comes down out of the hills, and you find more ruins – Bynack Lodge.
Here it is as it was in 1952, in a photo From George Adams.
And in some later shots by Colin Campbell.
Further through into Glen Tilt, there’s a bothy – if you could call it that – which I’d never heard of. George Adams referred to it simply as a shepherd’s hut when he was there in 1952.
Colin Campbell, on the other hand, referred to it as Black Bothy when he was there 12 years later.
Heading back north, Colin has another photo – lower Geldie Lodge.
And a couple of Ruighe Aiteachain – the Feshie Bothy.
Finally, an old newspaper cutting from the start of the ’60s, just before George ‘Dod’ Adams emigrated to Canada (he subsequently moved to Australia) – a time when the papers would publish photos from under the Shelter Stone and in the bothies. Luibeg Bothy is, of course, the original Bob Scott’s Bothy. Rubbish quality reproduction by the papers, but good taste.
As an afterword, I’ve recently heard from Graeme Hunter, who’s looking for a photograph of Lochend Bothy, which used to sit at the lower end of Loch Muick. Graeme remarked that he used to stay there a lot when he was a young climber, but never had a camera in those days. If anyone has one it would be great if they could get in touch.