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'Dreadful news' for the selfish etchers of Corrour Bothy

By Gavin Musgrove

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Corrour Bothy is located in below Coire Odhar between The Devil's Point and Cairn Toul on the western side of the River Dee in the Lairig Ghru.
Corrour Bothy is located in below Coire Odhar between The Devil's Point and Cairn Toul on the western side of the River Dee in the Lairig Ghru.

There is some 'dreadful news for selfish visitors' to one of the Cairngorms' best loved bothies.

All records of their stays etched into the wooden window frames and ledges have just been removed at Corrour Bothy.

Two hard-working members of the Mountain Bothy Association recently put some elbow grease into removing all trace of the graffiti and the MBA hopes it stays that way.

They are encouraging people to sign the accommodation's guest book if they want to record their trip.

Before 2005 the popular bothy was rather Spartan accommodation – just four walls and a roof, with a concrete floor and no insulation.

It was substantially renovated in 2005 and 2006 with wood lining and floor, insulation, an internal porch and a toilet.

The MBA hopes following the tidy-up that people 'leave their mark' in the correct way by signing the book, saying that this record is 'much more lasting and helps keep the bothy nice for others'.

Neil Reid volunteers for the MBA and is one of the maintenance organisers for Corrour Bothy.

He posted online, with tongue at least a little in cheek, that it was 'dreadful news' for the etchers that there is no longer a trace of their stay.

But on a more serious note, he told the Strathy: "We have tried to keep it the bothy to a high standard ever since the renovation in the mid 2000s.

"Seeing graffiti, which generally starts as people's names and dates but all too often degenerates to misogyny and racism, is not only disheartening for the volunteers but makes the building look uncared for.

"This has a knock-on effect with people less inclined to treat the bothy with respect and more inclined to leave their rubbish.

"To get rid of the graffiti – some written, some scratched into the wood – two volunteers had to walk all the way in, carrying battery driven power tools, and spend several hours sanding off as much graffiti as they could before walking all the way back out again.

"It was a whole day for the sake of some selfish people who feel they have to make their mark.

"Ironically, while all trace of their visit has now been removed, record does remain of those who signed the bothy visitors' book.

"When full, those books are removed and archived, and just a few years ago provided the material for a book by well-known outdoor author Ralph Storer, celebrating 100 years of Corrour as an open bothy."

Sited at the foot of the arrowhead peak of The Devil’s Point, Corrour Bothy occupies a prime position at the heart of some of the wildest country in the Highlands.

Even reaching it requires a long walk into the middle of the Lairig Ghru.

The simple stone building is on Mar Lodge Estate and comprises a single room with a fireplace and chimney in its northern gable with the toilet in the wooden extension to the building.

It is used as a mountain refuge and as a starting point for ascents of Munros including The Devil's Point, Cairn Toul, and Braeriach.

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