Last weekend 6 members headed up to the remote and beautiful Knoydart – a very hilly and inaccessible part of Scotland. The plan was to drive to Mallaig on the Friday to catch the boat to Inverie; then walk two of the munros, Meall Buidhe and Luinne Bheinn on the Saturday; and Ladhar Bheinn on the Sunday. We would then get the boat back on the Monday morning.
As usual plans are there to be changed…
What should have been a nice, relaxed drive up to Mallaig turned into a 90 mile tyre-screeching, high speed (well almost) dash up to the ferry. Seems Friday was a great day for road-works and caravans. We made it (just) but the planned stop at Fort William for supplies didn’t quite happen.
Saturday, we had a fairly leisurely 8am start, walking up the track to the bottom of the ridge leading up to the first munro, Meall Buidhe.
We had left the Barn in overcast conditions, and by the time we got to ridge, it was spitting and blowing hard. As we got higher, the mist got lower, and the views disappeared. And that was pretty much the theme for the day.
On we trudged, bagged the first hill. The clouds briefly cleared for a nano-second, and the views of the hills and country around were incredible. Then the mist and the drizzle surrounded us again. Luinne Bheinn, munro number two came and went without a peep at the ground about us.
The walk out was long and tiring, particularly as we were all soaking. 25km and 1600m of ascent – a big day!
There was a race to get back to the accommodation for the best of the hot water (we’d been warned that hot water was limited for showers).
Sunday dawned with much stiffness of knees and sore feet and a distinct lack of enthusiasm. Guto and Jim though were determined to bag Ladhar Bheinn despite the forecast low cloud and drizzle. The rest of us were not so keen.
Karen and Alison went for a run, and Ade nursed an injury and I decided to get some miles under my boots and went up towards the Corbett Beinn Bhuidhe that rises from behind the Kilchoan estate.
I had no real intention of climbing it, but as the sun was shining on me, I got a second wind and ending up on the long ridge, followed my feet to the summit. I was so glad I did. The views were so good – 60 miles out west and south-west over Barra, Eigg, Rum and Skye; south to Ardnamurchan, Coll and Tiree. And north-west to a mist covered three Knoydart munros! I think I got the better of the day than Guto and Jim!
Sunday night was spent in the Old Forge Inn where we had a fun evening of food and beer (eventually!)
Still, all in all a fantastic weekend. There is so much more to Knoydart than three remote munros – good mountain-biking, low level coastal walks, big mountain days and a fine wee pub. The accommodation is excellent too.
We stayed in the lovely barn on the Kilchoan estate, about 30 mins walk from Inverie.