A brand new club hut is currently under construction in Glen Clova. When finished this replacement for a popular but dilapidated older hut will be available for clubs and group bookings; but funds are still needed.
Hut owners the Carn Dearg Mountaineering Club (CDMC) have been working on the project for the last five years, and it's now finally nearing completion.
'The prospect of building a new hut was a difficult decision for the committee and members to take' says CDMC Secretary Jim Crosthwaite.
'The old hut was no longer fit for purpose, and there was always the option to demolish it without replacement. This may have been the easy path to take, but it would have been a loss both to our members and the wider climbing and walking community who regularly book the hut.'
'There is no other similar sole use accommodation in the glen, especially one with its own car parking and camping area, so the loss of the hut would have meant many groups wishing to visit Glen Clova would have had to use alternative accommodation further away, wild camp, make multiple day trips or simply not visit at all.'
'We hope the new improved hut will be of use to a broad range of organisations, including those catering for the disabled.'
Organisations who've used the original hut include the Scouts, Boys' Brigade, Fairbridge, Duke of Edinburgh, Tayside Mountain Rescue, Territorial Army and other mountaineering clubs.
The floor space of the new hut is about 60% larger than that of the existing hut, and it has been moved around 50m from the previous position onto higher ground to reduce flood risk and the potential impact on the nearby river South Esk, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Improvements include: two sleeping rooms with space for 16 in total to facilitate mixed group use; a shower room; disabled access and facilities; and increased energy efficiency, insulation and double glazing.
Since the foundations were laid in 2011 the hut has gradually taken shape inside and out. Work yet to be done includes wiring and the installation of a wood burner.
The club, which has only around 70 members, still needs to raise further funding in order to complete the project. Additional waste treatment is planned to remove the risk of effluent discharge into the river South Esk; but this won't come cheap.
The project is being part-financed by the Cairngorms National Park Authority through the Cairngorms Local Action Group, and by the Climate Challenge Fund, the Scottish Mountaineering Trust and Awards for All Scotland. The CDMC have also received donations from a number of other Mountaineering Clubs and individuals.
Without significant cash reserves the CDMC is relying on the fundraising efforts and generosity of club members and hut users. Anyone wishing to donate to the hut fund can contact the Club Secretary here.