A’ Mharconaich ‘the place of horses’.975 metres just of the A9 and the Mountain Bothies Chat

I managed to get out on the hills at last it seemed was a stolen 4 hours in a busy day. It was freezing as I drove across the Dava Moor yesterday morning it was stunning with the frost and the hills clear in the background, how long is this weather going to continue?. It was then a drive through fog as always as you near Grantown until the A9 and then it cleared with great views of Ben Alder from the road. Today it t was a quick hill for me the sky was clear and a sharp frost at the parking site, the car outside temperature on down -2  I was going to have a look at A’ Mharconaich .975 metres a shapely hill seen from the A9 ! I met two others in the car park at Balsporran Cottage ( what a name) and we crossed the railway line. I only saw one train in the 4 hours on the line what a wasted resource,why do they not run the train more often ?I bet it would be filled if they made it cheaper and added a viewing train?

The railway really unused in my estimation it should be a busy line!

The railway really unused in my estimation it should be a busy line!

After the railway crossing it was an easy walk along the estate track for about 15 minutes then I was bored and then I crossed the river and into open ground until I hit the path and the ridge! It was wet here surpassingly and hard going then I hit the path/ track boggy in places The views were amazing and soon the Ben Alder Range came into view but surprisingly was surpassed by the Aonach Beag hills with Geal Charn still holding snow!

Great views into Ben Alder and Geal Charn

Great views into Ben Alder and Geal Charn with snow still in the coire

The views of Loch Ericht and Culra bothy dominated and with the clarity of the air the cliffs and crags were outstanding as were the views, I stopped and enjoyed them evert so often different hills emerged as did my faulting memory. The ridge I was on has superb walking around the huge Corrie cirque with signs of the heavy snow last winter in the runnels and gullys with loads of rock and mud avalanches. it is a wild place and ever changing.

The Big open Corrie A' Mharconaich .975

The Big open Corrie A’ Mharconaich .975

I wish I had more time it was a short stop at the summit but unfortunately  had to get down for some lunch and then give a chat to the Mountain Bothies Association in the village Hall in Newtonmore! It was still great to be out and these hills I had done so many times opened my eyes to the beauty even though they are so close to the A9. The huge pylons dominate near the  A9 but you soon leave the noise into another world how lucky are we!

P1010398

I was soon down and changed and off for a brew and soup in the Tuckshop in Newtonmore then into the hall for the chat!  There was a big turnout for the Mountain Bothies AGM and the 50 th Anniversary at Newtonmore Village Hall it was very busy. I was on after the meeting and they were a great audience so many characters all celebrating 50 years of the MBA. The work of the MBA and it volunteers is outstanding all are unpaid and they give us so much joy. Most of us have had a break of the hill in a bothy many have stayed the night how many join the MBA? It is still great that in this world of greed we have places like this open to all and free. I was amazed at the work they do and the plans for the future. It cannot be easy keeping all the estates happy and the constant repairs and work on each bothy across the UK. It was an honour to have a chat and meet some of the founders of this great organisation.  After that it was  a rush back  home as I am away to the Moray Mountaineering Club Meet to the North West another early start . The weather is holding! I am feeling so alive after a long illness and enjoying be able to get out on these hills and enjoy the wild places and meet real people! I met the famous “Cairngorm Wanderer” whose blog I enjoy and we sorted the world out! So many characters all in one room it was humbling especially meeting the founders of the MBA who were there what people and a lifetime of service to us hill people.
Mountain Bothies Association.

Mountain Bothies Association. Well worth joining great value and every penny helps!

Note to self must slow down!

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
This entry was posted in Bothies, Enviroment, Friends, Munros. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A’ Mharconaich ‘the place of horses’.975 metres just of the A9 and the Mountain Bothies Chat

  1. pondbug says:

    Ah, you’ve reminded me that I did A’Mharconaich so it one to put on the revisit list after I finish my round. You are leading a very hectic life just now! But since I’ve just started reading your blog maybe it’s always like this ☺

  2. Aye, it was good to meet you at last Heavy. You missed Heather Morning, who dropped by later hoping to meet you. Good (if overindulgent) ceilidh that night and I even got a hill done – A’ Chaileach – after the morning management committee meeting. Lots of stuff covered in the meetings, but I think the main value of these things is meeting the other bothy and hill folk.

    • heavywhalley says:

      And you I had a marvellous day in Assynt felt great and special to be on the hills in this weather ! Enjoyed our chat the MBA is a good bunch of people and do a superb job!

      Keep smiling Neil we need people like you working for those that love the wild places!

      Great to meet at last

      Regards Heavy

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