For the first time in more than 10 years Corrour Bothy will be without a toilet – temporarily at least.
Renovations will mean it’ll be out of action for about a month.
The toilet extension will remain, but all the structure inside will be removed to allow for a complete redesign which will ease the load on the volunteers who for the last decade have walked out as often as once every month to move bags full of human waste.
The existing toilet will be removed this week, on Thursday June 21, but work to built the new interior can’t happen for another month or so, so anyone planning to visit Corrour in the four to six weeks after that should be prepared to take a spade for a walk if nature calls. Advice shouldn’t be needed, but bitter experience shows it is, so anyone in any doubt should read this about how to shit outdoors.
This Friday, June 22, a helicopter will fly the waste and other materials out, having delivered the materials for the new toilet. The toilet will then be locked until work can be completed.
The delay is because the main business of this weekend is the renovation of the Garbh Choire Refuge. The helicopter will be flying in materials and tools for that job, and flying out the unusable materials – tarpaulin fragments and hessian – from the original build.
The Refuge, for long in a state of dilapidation, will be made weatherproof and the stone shell replaced over the top but, according to the wishes of the estate, the restoration will be like for like, so it will still be tiny, very basic and very much a refuge rather than a bothy of resort.
It’s been heartening to see the interest it has raised though. Many people expressed their support during the campaign for its renovation, but that level of support remained as high when we were given the go-ahead for the repair. Despite the considerable walk-in, with much of it pathless, the work party is oversubscribed (albeit some people will get a lift in by helicopter, but they’d already volunteered.), and many of those who will be there were quite determined that they should be involved.
As mentioned above, a helicopter will be making a number of flights in and out from both Corrour Bothy and the Garbh Choire Refuge, dropping and picking up several loads from each location. For that reason people are asked not to camp in the immediate vicinity of either building on Friday June 22nd, both for safety reasons and to avoid obstructing loading and unloading procedures. People should also keep clear of all work and helicopter related activity.
Needless to say, Garbh Choire Refuge will be totally unavailable for use over the weekend and Corrour will be extremely busy so anyone needing accommodation in the area should take a tent in case. Hopefully the inconvenience will be more than made up for by the improvements.
The renovation of the Garbh Coire Refuge is being carried out by the MBA, which will be taking on future maintenance of the building. It is important to remember that the refuge is in a particularly remote and sensitive area and its future depends on responsible behaviour by users, who should leave no litter. As said above, it will not be a plush bothy, but a very basic shelter which can only, reasonably, accommodate four people in fairly cramped circumstances.