January. Even before lock down i would spend a few hours at the beginning of every month using maps and books and online resources (and of course www.mountainbothies.org.uk) to see where that months bothy on the MBA calendar ‘actually’ is …. how would i get there ? … logistics ? … firewood ? … where is the nearest bothy on from there ? … could i make a long weekend link-up … ? Not only do we walkers go to places like bothies to press pause and chew the fat with friends, but all of the bothies have their own stories to tell …. On the 9th April 2001 XW200, an RAF Puma helicopter crashed near the Kacanik Defile in Kosovo. Of the 3 crew and 4 passengers on board, the 2 pilots were killed, one of whom was Flt Lt Mark ‘Magoo’ Maguire. Mark had been a keen hillwalker and a family trust raised enough money to convert a derelict shepherd’s dwelling nr Oykel Bridge in to a bothy. Cue Mark’s family, friends, colleagues, and some helicopter sorties turning a ruin in to a bothy in 2 weeks of manual labour in 2002. ‘Magoo’s Bothy’ occupies the western end of Coiremor Bothy, and the MBA maintain ‘their’ bothy at the eastern end of the building. It is a wonderful refuge in a remarkable setting on the shore of Loch a’ Choire Mhoir, with a story of it’s own to tell.

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