Walking out from Shenavall Bothy
Geoff's adventures into the bothy world began during his student days in the late 1980s, when he became an enthusiastic member of the Edinburgh University Mountaineering Club. In his second year of study, Geoff became bothy secretary for the club hut at Glenlicht, tucked away beneath the mountains of Kintail, and had begun to seek out bothy locations. At the time, these were closely guarded secrets, held only by a knowledgable few.
One of his first discoveries was the Mountain Bothy Association (MBA) bothy at Camban which sits on the lonely pass between Glen Affric and Glenlicht. Geoff vividly remember staring up at the mist-laden Munros surrounding the bothy, not quite believing that this isolated refuge was free to use by anyone who had the wherewithal to get there.
Through his love affair with bothies, Geoff developed an intimate relationship with the Scottish Highlands, a bond that has only intensified since the autumn of 2011, when he hit upon the idea of producing a countrywide bothy guide. Without the use of a car, it took five years to complete the survey and research all the background material – the vast majority of fieldwork undertaken using his trusty bike and public transport.
With the luxury of time, Geoff was able to rediscover the country at a slower pace and get a deeper feel for the history that has played out across the landscape over millennia. The Scottish Bothy Bible was finally published in March 2017 and, to his complete surprise and deep satisfaction, the book has become a popular and respected reference text.
Geoff's second publication, Scottish Bothy Walks, is a natural companion to his first book, showcasing some of the best bothies in the country using these unique shelters as a focal point. The walks range from a stroll along the cliffs above Rackwick Bay to the Old Man of Hoy on the Orkney Archipelago, to a challenging traverse of the 'Bad Step' on Skye. As well as including all the essential technical details, each entry offers a taste of what makes the area special, from its unique geology, wildlife and flora, to the intriguing history and culture of its people.
Guirdil Bothy, Rùm
The books have been a real labour of love for Geoff, who is thrilled to be sharing all his knowledge and experience to a wide audience. His aim has been to tempt you out into Scotland's rugged and beautiful landscape, whatever your level of ability...