Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Knoydart (a retro blog).

A few years ago I was invited to join a couple of friends on a walking trip into Knoydart (one of the remotest parts of Scotland). We walked in from Kinlochhourn to Barrisdale where we camped (but used the facilities of the estate bothy). Our original plan was for me to bag Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe on day two and meet my friends at Inverie the "capital" of Knoydart (they would take an easier low level walk from Barrisdale). Once there we would camp a second night and enjoy a meal and an evening in the legendary Old Forge pub before walking back out to Barrisdale together on day three, spend another night there then walk back to Kinlochhourn on the final day. In the event due to illness in the party we had to stay at Barrisdale which (while disappointing in one way)  opened up the possibility for me to climb Ladhar Bheinn instead. Ladhar Bheinn is one of the finest mountains in Scotland and made for a great day in the hills.
Loch Hourn just after we departed on day 1.
The view west.
Day 2 and I set off up Ladhar Bheinn. This is looking back at Barrisdale where we were camped.
Barrisdale Bay (which dries out at low tide).
The view back east up Loch Hourn (the way we'd walked in the day before).
West towards Arnisdale.
Ladhar Bheinn with Sadie (my companion for the day) in the foreground.
It was hot work!
As we got higher the views opened up more and more.
The path became quite airy higher up. 
Looking back the way we came (the path goes over the ridge).
Finally we made the summit (and shared lunch).
Looking back at Ladhar Bheinn from our descent route. The ridge we climbed is on the right. 
And from a bit further down.
Eventually we reached the bealach that would have been our route to Inverie had we been able to make it.
It was an easy walk down a good track back towards Barrisdale.
That evening we were treated to a lovely sunset. 
Home sweet home!
The next day I should have scaled Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe but I was feeling a bit tired after my exertions and didn't fancy another day on my own on the hills so I walked up Glen Barrisdale instead.
The view from the head of Glen Barrisdale towards Barrisdale Bay
and the other way up Glen Barrisdale.
The view back down the glen.
On the last day I walked back out to Kinlochhourn while my friends took a lift in a water taxi to save them the walk. 
I still feel I have unfinished business in Knoydart. I want to visit Inverie and I'd like to bag Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe. Maybe a visit by canoe will be the way to achieve these aims.


  1. Nice one Chris i was wondering if you had the a PLB to acompany you.The feeling of isolation on the mountians would be less, maybe that is the point of aventure sports to risk all and come out unharmed would the security of easy rescue make us complacent and take bigger risks.

  2. Hi Graham, no I didn't have a PLB although I'm sure it would be a good idea for solo hillwalking (or any hillwalking for that matter). I used to go hillwalking alone all the time back in the day (even in full winter conditions) as I couldn't often find walking partners midweek back then. A PLB is number two on my shopping list after a new drysuit.

  3. I want to go back! Looks like Knoydart worked its magic on you, Keep the dream alive!