Ladhar Bheinn from Sgurr a' Choire-bheithe

Knoydart's Munros from Barisdale

Hillwalking route from Barisdale up the Munros in Knoydart

The finest way to approach Ladhar Bheinn begins with the beautiful long walk along the southern shore of Loch Hourn to reach remote Barisdale, thereafter some stunning scenery can be found while hiking over ridges and crests of Knoydart's Munros.



Route outline


Munros

Ladhar Bheinn, 

Meall Buidhe, 

Luinne Bheinn

Corbetts

Sgurr a' Choire-bheithe

Ascent 2895m (9490ft)
Distance 45km (28m)
Time 16:00hr
Start/finish Kinloch Hourn
Grid Ref : NG954065
Terrain
easy hard
Nav
easy hard
Effort
easy hard
Scenery
ok fab


Knoydart is a beautiful and rugged peninsula on the west coast in which stands several mountains, including three Munros of which Ladhar Bheinn is the highest and most dramatic.

The finest way to experience Knoydart's Munros begins with the beautiful long walk along the southern shore of Loch Hourn to reach remote Barisdale from where a circular route bags the peaks. In the main, fine tracks and paths are followed, but this is a commiting and demanding route to do in one day. Many people therefore decide to back-pack in and camp at Barisdale, which allows the journey to be spread over two or more days and more peaks to be bagged.



Route map

×
Show map


Route description


1. Getting to Kinloch Hourn

Kinloch Hourn car-park

Kinloch Hourn car-park

The A87 travels from Invergarry in the Great Glen westwards through Kintail and onwards to Skye. On this road, around 8km west of Invergarry and above the shores of Loch Garry, there is a junction with an unclassified road which is marked heading to Tomdoun and Kinlochourn (sic).

Follow the unclassified road for around 35km to its end. The road is of single track and progressively narrows the further along it is travelled. Just before arriving at Kinloch Hourn, the road drops steeply and twists as it tries to avoid the river coming out of Loch Coire Shubh.

A car-park has been made from reclaimed land near the end of the road, just before which is the house, b&b and courtyard café of Lochhournhead. You are obliged to pay to park (which at time of writing was £2.50 for a day).


2. Barisdale

On the Loch Hourn path, Ladhar Bheinn comes into view

On the Loch Hourn path, Ladhar Bheinn comes into view

Leave the car park and walk westwards along the road passing a pier and some buildings to its end where there's a tight turning circle.

Through a rather make-shift gate, start hiking along a constructed path hugging water's edge. The path is initially over narrow and bouldery sections above drops into the clear waters of Loch Hourn. As the path comes into more open ground, it travels over easier ground with some sections densely overgrown with rhododendrons. The path turns a corner and Ladhar Bheinn comes into view - a very long way away !

A large hut is reached where the path turns southwards and climbs slightly to a bridge over the Allt Coire Mhicrail. Turning westwards and after crossing some soggy ground above Skiary, the path then climbs 100m before dropping back to sea-level .

The path crosses two burns, then climbs another 100m, to drop once more to sea-level. Crossing another burn by the small house at Runival, with Eilean Mhogh-sgeir to the right, is approximately the half way point between Kinloch Hourn and Barisdale - which is a good landmark for judging distance on the return.

Approaching Barrisdale Bay

Approaching Barrisdale Bay

Continue on path through heather and grass and over more burns to begin the third and last climb. This climb is more gentle than the previous two and is followed by a drop to a ruin and onto a track at the upper end of Barrisdale Bay. Follow this track for 2km passing Barisdale estate building and to the bothy and stables buildings..

Approaching Barrisdale Bay

Approaching Barrisdale Bay


3. Luinne Bheinn

Luinne Bheinn above the track to Mam Barrisdale

Luinne Bheinn above the track to Mam Barrisdale

Pass the buildings and continue along the track to cross the River Barrisdale on a wooden bridge. Just before reaching the White House , the track splits - keep on the rougher track aiming uphill. The track, now more of a path, reaches a junction - keep right, staying on the path that climbs uphill towards Mam Barrisdale.

The path travels around some woodland then crosses over a bridge and turns southwards. A gentle climb follows, aiming for the pass of Mam Barrisdale . Just before reaching the pass turn left off the path and head over soggy grass-covered ground to start the climb up Luinne Bheinn.

A vague path develops and climbs up the minor spur of Bachd Mhic an Tosaich . Sticking to the crest, the path is for the most part straightforward to follow with only one short section of boulderfield encountered on the way.

View over Barrisdale Bay from Luinne Bheinn

View over Barrisdale Bay from Luinne Bheinn

The path continues to the summit of Luinne Bheinn which has two cairns and cracking views, particularly northwards over Barrisdale and beyond.

View over Barrisdale Bay from Luinne Bheinn

View over Barrisdale Bay from Luinne Bheinn


4. Meall Buidhe

On Meall Coire na Gaothe 'n Ear, Meall Buidhe ahead

On Meall Coire na Gaothe 'n Ear, Meall Buidhe ahead

Continue along Luinne Bheinn's summit crest and over its subsidiary eastern top, then drop down following the path to a more level area at around c850m .

Turn south-west away from the path and decend on wet, grassy and occasionally steep ground to pick up some old iron fence posts at the next col, Bealach a' Choie Odhair .

A path is picked up that continues along the wide undulating ridgeline ahead, bypassing the summits of Meall Coire na Gaoithe'n Ear on its eastern side and Druim Leac a'Shith on its western side. THe path drops to another col, Bealach Ile Coire , around where you'll find some interesting rock strata.

Meall Buidhe's summit from the east

Meall Buidhe's summit from the east

The climb onto Meall Buidhe is ahead, steep in places, but generally straightforward with the path twisting around any difficulties. The cairn on Meall Buidhe's south-east top is reached, from where turn westwards tracing a path across a wide grass-covered plateau towards Meall Buidhe's main summit with its small untidy cairn.

Meall Buidhe's summit from the east

Meall Buidhe's summit from the east


5. Ladhar Bheinn

On route from Meall Buidhe to Mam Barrisdale

On route from Meall Buidhe to Mam Barrisdale

From Meall Buidhe's summit aim due north (there is no path to follow), descending gently over grass-covered and sometimes wet ground with occasional embedded loose boulders.

Around 500m after leaving Meall Buidhe's summit, the ground begins to level out - look for an easy-ish grassy slope off right (north-east). A route can be picked out on grass making a way through rocky clusters to eventually trace the course of a small burn down into a coire.

Further down, the burn merges with others flowing down from Luinne Bheinn and together they form the Abhainn nan Eildean. In most conditions, this more substiantial burn is easily crossed at a suitable point .

Across the Abhainn nan Eildean, terrain remains rather soggy with ever thickening grass while progress is made gently climbing in a northwards direction. The Mam Barrisdale path is crossed somewhere slightly west of its highest point, thereafter continuing directly towards Stob a' Chearcaill, a minor summit on a rocky outlying spur of Ladhar Bheinn.

On the approach to the base of Stob a' Chearcaill, a path begins to appear , above which a short fairly easy scramble up a predominantly grassy line, is made, followed by a turn westwards onto a fainter path that aims for a bealach to the west of Stob a' Chearcaill.

The un-named high point between Stob a' Chearcaill and Aonach Sgoilte, marked with a spot height of 849m , is reached, where a fine, worn path is picked up. This path turns north-west aiming for Ladhar Bheinn, still some 2km away.

Following the wide grass-covered and rippling crest above Coire Dhorrcail, a minor summit is passed, followed by another which involves a short stiff scramble to progress over.

Ladhar Bheinn from the top of Aonach Sgoilte

Ladhar Bheinn from the top of Aonach Sgoilte

The path continues to Ladhar Bheinn's summit ridge which has three tops, the first two marked by cairns, the most westerly marked by the remains of a trig point, having being stuck by lightning many years ago. Curiously the trig point stands on the lower of these summits, the middle summit being the highest point . Amazing views in all directions !

Ladhar Bheinn from the top of Aonach Sgoilte

Ladhar Bheinn from the top of Aonach Sgoilte


6. Return to Barisdale

Trig on Ladhar Bheinn before lightning struck

Trig on Ladhar Bheinn before lightning struck

Returning to the most easterly cairn on Ladhar Bheinn's summit crest, and taking care, follow a path along the narrow crest heading north-east leading towards Stob a' Choire Odhair. It's worth noting that with being north-facing, snow can lie here into late spring.

The path is obvious as it makes its way twisting down and along the narrow spur to level out on a grass-covered col before the brief climb up Stob a' Choire Odhair . A fine viewpoint with views north and east !

Continue onwards following the path. The path becomes less obvious as it drops down to a wide grass-covered area at around c700m with a slight incline ahead. Changing direction, turn south-east away the path and drop down on wet, fairly steep, grass-covered slopes.

When the Allt Coire Dhorrcail is reached and crossed , a very obvious and rather soggy path is picked up and followed north-east tracing the course of the burn downstream. Further down this path improves, passing old Scots Pine trees, with fine views over Loch Hourn to Beinn Sgritheall.

The path turns south-east , climbs for a bit, then drops into thick ferns where it zig-zags downhill to reach a field close to Barrisdale Bay .

Depending on the tide and the height of the River Barrisdale, it is possible to walk directly across Barrisdale bay, otherwise, the path can be followed as it makes its way back to join the track at the bridge .

Below Stob a' Choire Odhair

Below Stob a' Choire Odhair

Return to Kinlochourn on the same route in - the three 100m ascents on the way out seem much harder than on the walk in !

Below Stob a' Choire Odhair

Below Stob a' Choire Odhair


7. Sgurr a' Choire-bheithe and Slat Bheinn

Western shoulder of Sgurr a' Choire-bheithe above 'The White House'

Western shoulder of Sgurr a' Choire-bheithe above 'The White House'

From The White House just south of Barisdale Bay, a hike up the north-western shoulder of the Corbett peak of Sgurr a' Choire-bheithe leads to a fine rugged circuit also taking in the Graham Slat Bheinn . The distance of this is 13km with 1200m of ascent.

The last time I was up Sgurr a' Choire-bheithe, I began from the ruin by Loch Coire-Shubh and aimed up Sgurr nan Eugallt before dropping down steep grassy hillsides to reach a bealach at c210m with a path crossing it. Over Slat Bheinn to a lochan then directly uphill to the summit of Sgurr a' Choire-bheithe . After enjoying the views, it was west, dropping 100m to a rise to follow a faint path down to the Mam Unndalain from where I continued over the Munros in Knoydart and back to Barisdale.





Route profile »




Maps and GPX downloads »


Information on maps and GPX files is on this page.

The map images above link to items on Amazon. A small commission is earned on any map purchased which helps fund the operating costs of this website.





Weather forecasts »




Alternative and nearby routes »


Ladhar Bheinn and neighbours from Inverie

A straightforward route beginning on an estate track up Gleann na Guiserein, then following a grass-covered shoulder leads to Ladhar Bheinn's summit. Detours extend the route to the Corbett peaks of Beinn na Caillich or Sgurr Coire Choinnichean.

Peaks : 1 Munro, 2 Corbetts

Ascent : 1775m (5820ft)
Distance : 22km (14m)
Time : 8:25hr

Luinne Beinn and Meall Buidhe from Inverie

From Inverie, fine estate tracks lead to a circular route on the crests and ridges of Meall Buidhe and Luinne Bheinn in a remote corner of Knoydart. The nearby Corbett of Beinn Bhuidhe can be tagged in as a detour.

Peaks : 2 Munros, option of 1 Corbett

Ascent : 1540m (5050ft)
Distance : 27km (17m)
Time : 9:20hr

Buidhe Bheinn from Loch Hourn

A very enjoyable short hike from Kinloch Hourn, following stalkers paths for the most part, leads up Buidhe Bheinn's rugged southern shoulder and onto a short narrow ridge to its summit.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 950m (3120ft)
Distance : 10km (6m)
Time : 4:10hr

Sgurr nan Eugallt from Coireshubh

A straighforward hike up a soggy stalker's path leads onto Sgurr nan Eugallt's north-east ridge, from where a line of old iron fence-posts is followed onto the mountain's summit.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 800m (2620ft)
Distance : 8km (5m)
Time : 3:20hr









Contact

Contact me

Follow