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Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day


Postby Ranger » Tue May 08, 2012 11:58 pm

Route description: Ladhar Bheinn from Inverie, Knoydart

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

Date walked: 28/04/2012

Time taken: 14.5 hours

Distance: 33 km

Ascent: 2750m

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Knoydart.
Ever since watching that Wilderness walks episode as a young whipper-snapper in wiltshire - the one where McNeish has David Craig with him waxing lyrical about the clearences - I'd dreamt of venturing into the rough bounds. Ladhar Bheinn is one of those Munros that you really have to want to get up, it doesnt fall into your lap without some dedication to the cause. Now was my time :D

April’s weather had been strange, with most of the country moaning about record rainfall, the West Highlands seemed to be basking in crisp, clear conditions. Once the glow from my last trip to Skye had worn off, after a week or two champing at the bit I finally got the chance to head west again - though a commitment for the sunday would restrict my activities to the one full day.

After an alarm call at 3am, and a long, long drive from Aberdeen, my reward came as I reached the Glen Garry viewpoint, with blue skies, snowy peaks, and an inversion of cloud bubbling up from in the glen - that makes 3 times driving along the Kinlochhourn road, and 3 identical blue sky/inversion conditions - my lucky road! :D With the broom out and the water serene, I was leaping in and out of the car for photos every 50ft or so!

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Sgurr Mor,Sgurr na Ciche across Loch Quoich

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Looking to south Glen Shiel ridge


After the narrow road plunges into Kinlochhourn like a rollercoaster, I set off at 8ish with the scene just perfect: from the seaweed, to the spring leaved trees, the lichen on the shoreline rocks, the blues of the sky and loch, a dazzling array of colour.
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Kinlochhourn bay
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Sgurr na Sgine above Loch Hourn


Tantalising glimpses of Ladhar Bheinn are frequent as the path winds along the rocky shoreline, which is ideal tonic for the two 100m climbs that make the walk a wee test of resolve!
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Ladhar Bheinn from the path


After spotting the teeth of Sgurr nan Gillean in the distance the track swings into Barrisdale bay with a white sandy beach covered with little shells, Ladhar Bheinn in all its glory above.
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Luinne Bheinn from Barrisdale Bay
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I reached the bothy just after 11 and stuck some food into a wee rucksack and dumped the rest of the gear - sleeping bag etc to be picked up later. I’d been weighing up whether to tackle Ladhar Bheinn or soldier on to less glamorous pair of Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe. I opted for the latter and for a while there was a wee sense of anti-climax, the direct, pathless route up the north face of Loony Bin probably not helping my listless mood. The best way to raise the spirits is of course, a summit ridge! Picking out a snowy Ben Cruachan amongst a sea of peaks is always a wee boost for some reason.
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Summit ridge of Luinne Bheinn


After a bite of lunch I began the long stravaig across to Meall Buidhe, overtaking a woman who - like everyone else (including, little did I know, a WH's crew) I'd passed was heading back to Inverie - by this point I was becoming a little jealous at the thought of winding down the day with a pint and pub meal :lol:
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East top of Meall Buidhe, Sgurr na Ciche and Nevis range beyond


The summit ridge of Meall Buidhe had terrific views, especially east past a top to the Nevis range, gleaming white and standing out beautifully.
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Thanks to whoever this was for the pose!
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I descended the snowy north ridge and a cheeky short cut through the slabs on the north face soon had me peering over ominous drops and cursing not sticking to the ridge proper - avoiding a lower river crossing in case of spate conditions, a bit of overkill in these conditions! :lol:

I’d decided more or less that I'd be heading back to the bothy and the prospect of the long walk out that night, it was approaching 5pm after all. I'd descended 100 yards down from the pass before I just thought, sod it! I don't want today to end! :D I turned round, headed back up and started traversing across to Ladhar Bheinn. A steepish grass slope took me onto the ridge, then it was just a case of following the path over the bumps and humps - the odd slab or two to scramble up.
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Looking back along the rim of Coire Dhorcaill


Reaching the summit was incredible - a curtain of snow on the north face, hanging from the narrow summit ridge that lead the eye to the razor sharp outline of the Cuillin ridge - and beyond to Uist et al - stunning! 8) God bless digital cameras is all I can say! I was on my own, no-one to celebrate this moment with, but looking back, what a last Munro it would have been :D
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Beinn Sgritheall - one of my last few!
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Summit ridge of Ladhar Bheinn
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At 8pm I thought I'd begin the descent, leaving some daylight for any snowy bits of ridge just in case. I used 5 points of contact for the first part of the Stob Choire Odhair bit, but after that it was just a fantastic grassy arete, a path making things easy but the exposure a delight all the way.
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The ridge down from the Munro summit

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Looking back to the steep bit off the summit


I couldnt resist a somewhat chilly wait to see the sun disappearing behind Sgurr nan Gillean, then it was a swift charge down the grass slopes into the corrie to pick up the path whilst light remained.
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The sunset was enjoyed from one of these bumps

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The head torch soon came on and despite losing the paltry looking (maybe it was the dark) path on the boggy flats in the bay, I made it back to the bothy for 10.30pm. Pasta sauce and super noodles by candle light to round off the evening in style 8)
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I wanted to be back in Aberdeen by midday so the alarm call was a sickening 3.45am :shock: Despite no sun to warm me I'd wandered back along the loch path to be back at the car at 7am. The drive back was glorious, another fantastic day for the hills but after 14 hours, 3 Munros and 450 odd photos of the most stunning scenery imaginable, I was contented with my lot :D

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Ranger
 
Posts: 256
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby dooterbang » Wed May 09, 2012 12:07 am

Just dosn't get any better, stunning :) 8)

Awesome photos.

Im glad you continued as i think you get the rewards big time.

Are you originally from Wiltshire?
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby Ranger » Wed May 09, 2012 12:18 am

dooterbang wrote:Just dosn't get any better, stunning :) 8)

Awesome photos.

Im glad you continued as i think you get the rewards big time.

Are you originally from Wiltshire?

Cheers :)

Yeah, grew up down there - the Cherhill White horse was my Everest in those days :lol: Came up here to University and wouldnt dream of leaving now. Practically my whole family has emigrated north over the years so its all good. :D
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby Bod » Wed May 09, 2012 12:31 am

Absolutely stunning, great effort and fantastic pictures. I haven't been up there since about 1985; now it's time to go back! :) :) :)
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby Ranger » Wed May 09, 2012 1:39 pm

Bod wrote:Absolutely stunning, great effort and fantastic pictures. I haven't been up there since about 1985; now it's time to go back! :) :) :)

Cheers, Bod :)

1985 - wow - thats some time. The rate you've been firing off the Munros the last few months I presume you had a wee break in between?! :lol:

I'm already day-dreaming of a return visit, either with a visit to the pub in Inverie or maybe a canoe up Loch Hourn :D
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby Bod » Wed May 09, 2012 2:07 pm

Hi Ranger, certainly been climbing munros a lot more again, but spent many years revisiting familiar areas leading groups scouts, D of E , etc......great to be targeting new mountains though. Always happy to revisit as well, one day is never the same as another. Might have the Munros complete by 50 all going to plan, and a good few corbetts too :D :D :lol:

Knoydart and the Cairngorms were my two main locations I was fortunate enough to explore as a teenager :thumbup:
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby morag1 » Wed May 09, 2012 2:14 pm

outstanding report and photos :clap:
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby soulminer » Wed May 09, 2012 3:24 pm

A wondeful place to wander :) Well worth the deciding to head back up,and catch the last of the sun 8)- as your pictures proove, fantastic ridge to walk down as well :) The whole round of Coire Dhorcail is a stunner.
Cheers.
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby danielsutherland » Wed May 09, 2012 3:53 pm

Brilliant photos, after visiting these munros years ago in terrible weather (think 3 days of being soaked and not seeing any views worth talking about) you have inspired me to go back to knoydart sooner rather than later :D :D
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby kev_russ » Wed May 09, 2012 7:24 pm

Superb :)
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby Lenore » Wed May 09, 2012 8:00 pm

What a trip and what a report!!! A pleasure to read and amazing pictures! My first ever hiking was done in Knoydart, but little did I know back then what it looked like from above. Awe-inspiring. One day, I'll go up as well and find out for myself :D
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby rockhopper » Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm

a cracker of a trip - walking days don't come much better than this ! very enjoyable and a great set of photos - cheers :D
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby Johnny Corbett » Thu May 10, 2012 7:46 am

You couldn't have wished for a better weekend to walk Knoydart, it must be the best area in Scotland. I was in the group you passed coming off Luinne Bheinn as we were heading up. The ridge coming off Ladhar Bheinn was superb although a bit tricky with the snow. Good to see differant photos with you coming in from Barrisdale. :D
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby Ranger » Thu May 10, 2012 9:48 am

Thanks guys, glad to share the pictures :) It was a bit gutting having to cut them down to 24! :(

soulminer wrote:A wondeful place to wander :) Well worth the deciding to head back up,and catch the last of the sun 8)- as your pictures proove, fantastic ridge to walk down as well :) The whole round of Coire Dhorcail is a stunner.
Cheers.

I know, there's often very sensible reasons for not staying high to enjoy a sunset :roll: but you never regret it if you do!

Johnny Corbett wrote:You couldn't have wished for a better weekend to walk Knoydart, it must be the best area in Scotland. I was in the group you passed coming off Luinne Bheinn as we were heading up. The ridge coming off Ladhar Bheinn was superb although a bit tricky with the snow. Good to see differant photos with you coming in from Barrisdale. :D

It was crossing my mind how good it would be to see the evening off with a beer and that view out from Inverie - one day I'll go there.... :D
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Re: Ladhar Bheinn and Friends on a stunning Spring day

Postby Ranger » Thu May 10, 2012 10:47 pm

Lenore wrote:What a trip and what a report!!! A pleasure to read and amazing pictures! My first ever hiking was done in Knoydart, but little did I know back then what it looked like from above. Awe-inspiring. One day, I'll go up as well and find out for myself :D

Wow - some place for your first ever hike! My first 'hike' was along 5 miles of canal tow path on the Kennett and Avon when I was 7 or 8 years old. Think it was the longest walk I managed until I did my first Munro (stob coire odhair) at 13! :lol:
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