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WH Knoydart Summer Meet plus a couple more.

WH Knoydart Summer Meet plus a couple more.


Postby MountainMiscreant » Wed Jul 13, 2022 9:44 pm

Munros included on this walk: Gulvain, Ladhar Bheinn, Luinne Bheinn, Meall Buidhe (Knoydart)

Date walked: 09/07/2022

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After a few years off hill walking while pursuing other hobbies, and the intervention of a pandemic, I finally joined my first WH Meet. It was great to meet a few other Walk Highlanders, who had plans on Meall Buidhe and Luinne Bheinn for the Saturday. They began at speed and I feared I wasn't going to be able to keep up, but at the top of the initial ascent through bracken I somehow found myself ahead as the vegetation cleared. I didn't see them again until after we were all down, although I went on slowly at first fully expecting them to catch up.

The weather wasn't too bad, cloudy at Meal Buidhe's summit, the descent and re-ascent to Luinne Bheinn easy enough. Although the cloud around the summits still hadn't really cleared there were still great views to be had up to around 800m. And then came the descent off Luinne Bheinn... Pure hell.. a long steep descent with a lot of stepping down and over rocks, followed by another steep descent off a grassy slope, where I faffed about trying to find a better way off. My legs turned to jelly and didn't want to walk any more, especially not downwards. But there was still a lot more down and a lot more distance left from where the walk off joins the Inverie-Barrisdale track. It took a long time at a slow pace and my legs hated me by the end!


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On Sunday the WH group was off to homes or further hills of their own, leaving me to continue with my plans - the plan being Ladhar Bheinn. But by the 'descent' route, not the normal full circular route - my legs wouldn't have been up to it and I had a bike so I could cycle in to the ruin at Faloch. Up and back via the descent route with a bike in seemed like a good idea, and I wasn't the only one who thought so as I met a couple doing exactly the same on the way up as I was going down. The weather was better than on the Saturday, with some great views down into Arnisdale and Barrisdale, but none back in the direction of Inverie - the clouds were blowing in from the Inverie side and leaving the view to the other side occasionally clear as they rose over the ridge.

On Monday I left Knoydart on the ferry back to Mallaig having completed its three munros, but what a place it is! I will be back, although probably not to do Luinne Bheinn again :) My plan was to catch the train to Locheilside station, cycle up to the Suileag bothy behind Fassfern, do Gulvain in the afternoon and spend the night there before travelling south. I figured I had one more hill left in my legs. Unfortunately Scotrail had other plans and trains from Mallaig were cancelled until the late afternoon, sooo... cycle all the way from Mallaig to the bothy it was. I won't say it wasn't hard. The combination of a heavy bike with a distinctly un-aero set of large panniers at the rear, headwinds and undulations left no time for doing it on Monday and the forecast for Tuesday wasn't good but..


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At 6.30 am in the morning it was raining and I went back to my sleeping bag. At 7.30 there was a glimmer of sunshine through the window and from doubt over whether I even had any legs left came certainty that I was going to do it. It actually turned out to be fairly reasonable day and my legs better than expected - they seemed not only to have recovered from the cycling but benefitted from it. Just as well because they had to do a bit more cycling to do from the bothy to Fort William for the sleeper train afterwards. And so to home.

A great few days in Scotland, great to get back into hill walking and edge my munro tally closer to compleation. Thanks so much for organising it, Jackie, and for keeping in touch about the changes when I wasn't looking at the forum! It reminded me how much I love Scotland! I have to come back soon - I've still got another 34 to do!
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MountainMiscreant
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Joined: Sep 23, 2015

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