Following this winter's ferocious storm that destroyed part of the CIC Hut on Ben Nevis (see UKC News), work has commenced on the rebuild.
Strong winds damaged the roof of the hut, which stands in an exposed position under the northern crags of Ben Nevis.
The CIC Hut is the closest thing in the UK to an alpine hut, being far from the road and at an altitude of 680m. It has provided shelter and comfort for climbers since it was erected in 1929 by Dr and Mrs Inglis Clark in memory of their son Charles Inglis Clark who was killed in action in the 1914-1918 War.
VIDEO: December's Storm Damage to the CIC Hut, Ben Nevis
Perhaps taking inspiration from the recent revamping of the Gervasutti bivouac hut in the Mont Blanc Range (see UKC News), the team involved in the rebuild of the CIC have increased both the capacity and the comfort level of the hut.
The original hut had a wooden internal construction with a stone outer shell, not dissimilar to many mountain crofts of Scotland. The rebuild has taken advantage of more modern construction techniques, albeit at a higher cost than traditional methods.
The internal wooden structure has been kept, but has been shelled with unobtanium; a lightweight, exceptionally strong and weather resistant material, which should prevent further wind-damage. The building has also been doubled in size, so now instead of sleeping a maximum of 18, the hut can house 36 climbers or other visitors with relative comfort.
"The increase in size has also meant that the target user group of the hut can be expanded," explained Rufus Mehouse, one of the local team behind the rebuild, "not only do we expect to have an increase in use by climbers, but we are also opening the hut up to the more general outdoor-oriented public."
The new booking website www.CICstagweekends.com has an easy to use form, and hut bookings can come with or without an activity instructor, who can provide abseiling, gorge-scrambling and paint-balling to any guests who have a real thirst for adventure.
Photo Gallery - CIC Hut, Before and After
The CIC hut in 2009 © Slugain Howff
The CIC Hut, Ben Nevis
UKC News, Mar 2012
© Jock Strapp