Our blog - Knoydart, Sep'17

A blog of our mountain adventures in Scotland, hiking, biking, rock-scrambling and more !

Knoydart Munros

4-7 September 2017
Guided 4 days staying in the Knoydart peninsula bagging 3 Munros - Luinne Bheinn, Meall Bhuidhe and Ladhar Bheinn (Larven).. Emma was leading....

It had been a very wet morning in Mallaig whilst we were waiting for our scheduled departure to Inverie, but as we boarded the Western Isles Cruises ferry the clouds broke and some blue sky appeared. We were lucky enough to see some dolphins on the journey across the water, as well as getting glimpses of some of Knoydart’s mountains. With the rest of the afternoon free to explore the village and beach, we dined at the Old Forge and had an early night.

Our plan for the first days walking was to make the most of an improving forecast and walk up the Mam Barrisdale towards Luinne Bheinn. The walk to the pass is an old right of way between Inverie and Barrisdale and climbs gradually giving good views into Corrie Odhar which sits between Luinne Bheinn and Meall Bhuidhe. Unfortunately, near the top of the pass, some wet weather arrived with the cloud basing lowering to 350metres and heavy rain setting in, this stayed with us all the way to the summit of Luinne Bheinn. The name translates as hill of mirth or hill of anger and we definitely felt it was the latter which was showing its colours today! There wasn’t much to see on the summit so we pressed on, with the cloud soon breaking on the descent and rain easing we took an opportunity for some well-earned lunch.

It’s a long undulating walk to Meall Bhuidhe, through some very impressive scenery. The Moine rocks of Corrie Odhar have been scoured by the ice and along the ridge crest to Meall Bhuidhe there is some easy scrambling. We had good views all afternoon, though there were several heavy showers which kept us moving and on the summit of Meall Bhuidhe a rainbow stretched the whole way across the corrie below. With our 2 Munros climbed we turned back to the west and started the descent towards Inverie,the views from here out towards the Isles of Eigg and Rhum are fantastic. The lower part of the descent was quite tough with some wet, craggy ground to traverse and an even wetter bog to cross with a rather precarious bridge taking us back to the solid ground of the track.

It was a smaller group who set off for Ladhar Bheinn the next day. Unfortunately we weren’t expecting views as the cloud base was forecast to remain stubbornly low all day. We opted for the walk up the glen rather than over the Corbett as there were some weary legs in the group. Jonathan was followed a little too closely by some hill ponies on the walk in, which at first was very amusing, but when one of them decided to try to bite his rucksack we thought that we should let them pass. After crossing the bridge it was a wet, boggy path all the way to the saddle. We maintained a little optimism that the day would improve but it wasn’t to be and as we reached the summit a particularly wet rain shower passed over. Though this did provide an opportunity for our Finnish friend from the bunkhouse who had caught up with us on the ascent to attempt a mountain swim! We would all have liked to have included the Munro top above Loch Hourn in our route but decided it just wasn’t the day for it and we re-traced our steps back to the bunkhouse.

We had a very entertaining last evening back at base. Having pooled what was left of our food, and supplemented it with locally grown food from the community garden aswell as blackberries hand-picked from the hedgerows Joan and Isabel did us proud with a magnificent feast. There was a lot of laughter and stories about our walks and other mountain days. The next day with some long drives ahead and another day of heavy rain forecast we opted for the late morning ferry back to Mallaig. What a great decision this was as we were treated to a sighting of a Minke whale from the boat, aswell as a pod of dolphins and numerous birds including gannets and kittewakes, a fabulous end to a memorable trip.

More photos by Emma are here on Flickr.

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