There is an old saying that "live with no excuses and travel with no regrets". Traveling to the farthest corners of Scotland, I discovered that the wise words of Oscar Wilde were descending into a sharp, undeniable truth. And, as my journey took me to the extended glory of Ben Alder, I was certain that despite the constant scuffles with my thoughts about where to stay, what to eat, and how to find the way, there were no regrets. And based on that very experience, I place in front of you 6 reasons why you must visit Ben Alder if you have stepped on the hills of Scotland.

An Adventurer's Adrenaline Rush

A mountain of vast size, Ben Alder is aloof from the surrounding plateaus. Located in the center of the Central Highlands, it seems to be in a commanding position, catching the attention instantly. And, it is as difficult as it is beautiful to look at. The roads are a treasure hunt leading to the base of the mountain through Dhalwhinnie and Corrour. If you are a winter traveller, be prepared for the snow to add to the distinct protection of its secret roadways.

Grade 1 Expedition

The base of the mountain has the Long and Short Leachas, a set of ridges that have been providing grade 1 expedition. The experience is enhanced in winters when the western side of the plateau peaks through the ridges like a playful child.

Where the Sky Meets the Land

There is more to Ben Alder than just the ridges and plateaus. The mountain follows the Loch Etrich shore closely. In the blooming winter, the grey sky casts over the mountain and meets the blue, calm water. At the same time, the cold parapets of the northern Creag Dhubh lean on the shore as icefalls pour their grieving lonely selves into the solitude that envelops the area.

Bike Rider's Dream Route

Scotland is best travelled on a bicycle. Ben Alder poses miles of opportunities for easy backpack bicycling. In winter though, you will need more practice and tolerance to feel the rush of the wind against your skin. Even the remote areas of Loch Patrick turn out to be not as steep as many would assume and with a leg tap here and there, it can be a smooth ride through the lodge and the valley.

Challenge Worth Accepting

The snow-covered lands of Ben Alder take a smooth turn as you cross towards the south, towards a heaven of a kind that has been named Allt a’ Bhealaich Bheithe. Covered in the cloudy blanket, you have to be careful to not be lost in the beauty. Her beauty equates to her treacherous creation and you may slip here and there if you aren't careful.

A Cloudy Destination

Ben Alder is embraced by a serape of clouds and as the snow transforms into a deep foamy cloak, the land turns into a uniform white sheet underneath which hides a landscape that is meant to take your breath away. Now and then, the wind dances to move the clouds, making you feel like you have landed on some celestial territory.

Ben Alder is a unique amalgamation of terrific beauty and eerie calmness. Yet, it possesses the charm of providing peace, especially as the sunlight cascades through its cold and unfriendly exterior and warms you with glimpses of the blue sky. On a clear day, the neighbouring plateaus and peaks wave from far like ships sailing for unknown adventures. Ben Alder is a poetic beauty, hidden from the world in an epic corner.