/ Howff history?
On Tuesday I was pottering about, half-arsed bouldering, on the rocks along the shore of Upper Loch Torridon (sadly too hot to take my dog up any of the hills I had planned, damned heat wave; not again this year please) near Inveralligin when I found a howff nestled below a large boulder resting up against a sandstone outcrop. I thought odd to find one not on a mountain).
Some research (googling) shows that this area has been climbed etc. with lots of short routes. Anyone know the back ground to the howff?
It had a gap in the roof, which I repaired. I'll add some pics to my photo library.
What is a howff? google thinks it's a burial site near dundee, or a "haunt"
A howff is small shelter, sometimes crudely built and just big enough to sleep in, but sometimes larger and more substantial. Small ones can be built under the lip of a boulder or shallow cave. Large ones are distinct from Bothies in that they are usually built without the landlord's knowledge or permission. The slugain howff is a reasonably well known example.
I've spent one night there. Great little place.
The one I found is small: probably two people if they get along well, sizeable for one. Location is beautiful. If it was closer to me, I'd be tempted to work on it and use it. So much 'building material' around. That sandstone shatters into many useful fragments.
I'm fortunate to know this area very well. I stay often at both the caravan at the top of the road down to Wester Alligin and also at the croft of Port Laire on the Diabaig path. There are a number of howffs in the area. A lot used to contain illicit stills for distilling whisky away from the eyes of the Excisemen. My mum used to spend summers at Inveralligin in the 1950's and knew many of the old community. I vaguely remember some of the old Alligin residents from going there all my life, I'm not sure how long the stills have been defunct but they seem to have been ubiquitous and there are numerous old howffs and ruins in the area. A great reference is, if you can find it, 'Old Torridon' by Murdoch MacDonald ISBN 9530978 0 3
Just found a nice and pertinent quote from the book; 'Is fada Diabaig bho lagh' - Diabaig is far from the law.
Our Friday Night Video this week is a look at a bright young talent in British sport, trad and competition climbing: Jim Pope. Jim's climbing starts in the Lake District and catches up to his present day visit to Norway to sample some of the hardest...