A refuge in need of rescue

Glen Licht House needs your help

Countless hillwalkers have been thankful for Glen Licht House. Now the building is in peril – but you can help save it. 

Photograph: Chris Prescott, Minerva Designs

Glen Licht House is a stone hut nestled under the Five Sisters of Kintail. It was built in the late 19th century as a deer stalker’s cottage and now belongs to the National Trust for Scotland, which has leased it to the Edinburgh University Mountaineering Club since 1956. The club maintains it in memory of Elliot Woodburn and Fred Hadden, two students who died in a storm on Ben Nevis in May 1955.

So what’s the problem?

Unfortunately the roof of the hut was damaged in a severe storm in winter 2012-13 and since then things have got considerably worse. The roof has been gradually falling apart, the porch has been blown off and without action soon there will be considerable damage to the interior.

The Damaged Bothy at Glen Licht

Photograph: Willie Fraser

Why should I help?

Glen Licht House is a fantastic resource in the area and is accessible to all. Before it was damaged, mountaineering groups and members of the general public could use the house for £5 per person per night – cheaper than most campsites. The Edinburgh University Mountaineering Club also maintains an attached open shelter for people seeking refuge in bad weather or emergencies. We are extremely keen to see Glen Licht House continue to provide a base for hiking in this spectacular place for years to come. It is a particularly good base for walkers aiming to hike through to Glen Affric and Strawberry Cottage or climb the Five Sisters and Three Brothers. The house has given generations of students and hill-goers refuge and good times in the heart of the mountains. It would be a great shame to see it lost.

What’s the plan?

The total cost of the repairs is estimated to be between £30,000 and £40,000. If we are able to raise a significant portion of this sum in the next few months, the National Trust for Scotland will work with us to fund the necessary work and repairs can start this summer. Without this work, the building is unlikely to survive the next winter – so we have very little time and a lot of money to raise. We are also looking to spruce up the hut’s interior and hopefully add sleeping platforms, a toilet, a solid fuel stove and a better water supply. This will ensure that Glen Licht House is an excellent facility for mountaineering clubs, outdoor enthusiasts and hillwalkers for years to come.

So how can I help?

You can donate money at JustGiving page. So far the response has been astounding and it would be truly amazing if we could keep it up. You can also follow our progress on our Facebook page.

What donors have been saying

“Good memories with the boys, just last September. Experienced the leaky roof and realise the need”

“This bothy saved my life. Tent blew into the river. Luckily this was metres away from our campsite. Slept nice and warm while the wind howled outside”

“I cannot think of a more deserving roof. Nice job organising this”

“It would be a shame for a used bothy to become another Highland ruin in the landscape”

“Those walls will have seen some sights – inside and out. All the best with the project. First night in the repaired building will be worth it”

“The scene of many happy memories. Long may they continue”

“Last used the bothy half a century ago! Several epic visits at Hogmanay. Well worth preserving this superbly sited house for posterity”


Mary Leese
Vice-president, Edinburgh University Mountaineering Club

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3 comments on “A refuge in need of rescue
  1. Mr Tool says:

    slating hammer your after you lazy greedy wee *****.

    get it fixed and then use your own money to pamper yourself with a woodburner

  2. Jock Strap says:

    £40,000 wow? Are you trying to create a hunting lodge for the gentry? Seriously doubt it’d need £40k to make the place watertight and habitable, and I don’t mean in an any way spartan state. Laughable sums of money. Good luck.

  3. Mary Leese, EUMC VP says:

    Unfortunately, it’s more than a slating hammer that the roof is going to need. New sarking, new rafters, lead work, and some masonry at the wall tops are also required. The landlord insists that it be done professionally. It’s been put out to tender, and come back at £30k.

    Maybe the article didn’t make it clear, but we don’t have to fund all of this, the landlord will contribute too. Click the links for more information.


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