We took a more leisurely drive over to Breamar to meet up with the others, where we ate dinner, packed expedition packs and wound up in the pub getting the latest weather and avalanche forecasts. Finally at about 8:30ish we drove over to Lin of Dee to set off to the Bob Scott bothy by Derry Lodge to spend the night.
Unfortunately 2hours later we were still searching for the Bothy. It was pitch black. The house at the grid reference that we had for the bothy was, in fact, the ranger post. Nick had braved a gnarly river crossing to check it out. We ended up finding the bothy at midnight. It was a very nice place to spend an evening, shame we had walked past it at 11. As it was we didn't play Uno, we all simply crashed out on the sleeping platforms after a bit of polite conversation with the chap who was already set up for the night.
Tuesday morning dawned bright and blowy. From inside the snug bothy we could see the trees taking a battering from the wind. At this point Lee decided to join Tom in the walk out and went back to bed. Nick, Sarah and I decided to stick to the plan to get up Derry Cairngorm, over the Bealach at Macdui and down to Corrour Bothy.
It was a walk in the park (literally) to the summit of Derry Caringorm. However from when we left the summit things got interesting. After leaving Derry Cairngorm we didn't get another view till we were defending into the Lairig Ghru. Exhilarating.
That all said and done it was a fun experience (for me) and a terrifying experience for others in the party. But we made it down to the base of the Lairig Ghru before nightfall.
I have never been so glad to see a building as when I saw the Corrour Bothy. What I wasn't so pleased to see where the 7 people who had got there first. Corrour Bothy is a small bothy. It would fit inside most front rooms. Its sleeping platforms hold 4 (if you are very cosy). All 10 of us literally covered every inch of floor space.
It was a warm night and for some reason everyone was in bed by 7pm! We slept a flu 12 hours not getting up till Sarah's alarm viciously dragged me from my slumbers. We had planned a long day for Wednesday stopping at another Bothy that night, however one look out the window at the 3inches of fresh snow put a stop to all thoughts of new summits. Besides, we were all shattered and soaked after the day before. We decided to walk back to the cars.
Sounds simple. The thing is that Corrour Bothy to Lin of Dee is a long old walk. Not high, just long. By the time we made it back to the vans I was ragged and looking forward to a day off in Aviemore.