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Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby andrewdoggett » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:38 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ladhar Bheinn

Date walked: 27/07/2013

Time taken: 12.25 hours

Distance: 36 km

Ascent: 2411m

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Friday July 26th and I confess to being irritated... It had been a long week at work; a long few months even; but let's just say this week didn't finish on a high... I'd planned to walk the Aonach Eagach on the Saturday, but after the irritation and a check of the weather, I thought to hell with it. It was midnight; the forecast was good for Ladhar Bheinn; until 16:00 anyway when the storms were due to arrive. The mountains of Scotland have become my home over the last three years... I needed to escape... And really escape... There's no finer place to escape to in Scotland than Knoydart... And I had 1 Munro left unclimbed... Perhaps the finest of them all... Ladhar Bheinn...

After a quick research of the ferries from Mallaig to Inverie none of those looked to work time wise; so I settled on the long walk in along the banks of Loch Hourn... I'd been here two weeks previous, and the clag was in so I'd left Ladhar Bheinn for another day. I wanted it to be special... I wanted to see Scotland at it's very best on my Compleation... And I love spontaneity, you can't plan your whole life out... So I was decided... I set my alarm for 01:30 and drifted off for a short but deep sleep...

Ladhar Bheinn 001.jpg
The Target... Looking along Loch Hourn...

I started the walk a whisper before 05:00. A fiery sunrise greeted the sky behind me... And I was excited... I'm not sure where or when I first decided to walk the Munros but now this adventure, this chapter in my life would shortly conclude... The air was still, Scotland was peaceful and I just had a sneaky feeling I was in for something very very special...

It didn't take long for those feelings to intensify, some deer ahead on the path who took to the slopes as they realised I was coming their way. They were alert but didn't seem too threatened. We observed each other for a short while from a distance of around 20 metres, before I walked on... This was their world, I was just an intruder....

Loch Hourn was still and peaceful as the sun rose, with reflections of the clouds being reflected...

Ladhar Bheinn 002.jpg
Reflections in Loch Hourn...

It's a decent hike to Barrisdale... I knew that from my previous visit, but I didn't care... As the sun rose it lit the landscape lit up with intense morning colours... Sauntering along, I just immersed myself and absorbed...

Ladhar Bheinn 003.jpg
Stunning Scenery along Loch Hourn...

Ladhar Bheinn 004.jpg
Loch Hourn...

I was pleased I'd chosen to walk in along Loch Hourn... Not that I knew the route from Inverie, but everywhere I'd read said that by far the best approach was along Loch Hourn to Barrisdale, and then summiting via Druim a' Choire Odhair... And those views would be confirmed during the day...

Ladhar Bheinn 005.jpg
Nearing Barrisdale...

Ladhar Bheinn 006.jpg
Loch Hourn...

As you near Barrisdale the full mass of Ladhar Bheinn comes into view... And it's quite a sight... I felt vindicated in my decision to leave this beauty till last...

Ladhar Bheinn 007.jpg
Ladhar Bheinn...

Ladhar Bheinn 008.jpg
Ladhar Bheinn from Barrisdale Bay...

Barrisdale Bay is stunning... You feel like you're away from the human world... The views are to die for... With Luinne Bheinn and Ladhar Bheinn dominating the skyline and Loch Hourn the view to the sea... Must be quite something to sail in here for a weekend I'm thinking... Maybe one for the future...

Ladhar Bheinn 009.jpg
Ladhar Bheinn from Barrisdale Bay...

Ladhar Bheinn 010.jpg
Barrisdale Bay...

I don't think Ladhar Bheinn is climbed very often, and certainly not from Barrisdale... The path, if you can call it a path ascends through Bracken that is nearly head high... It's a bit of a battle, but thankfully a short one... You're going to climb all of Ladhar Bheinn whichever direction you tackle it from with all routes starting at sea level...

The path then enters Coire Dhorrcail... And what a place this is... I linger, taking it all in... Pure beauty...

Ladhar Bheinn 0011.jpg
Coire Dhorrcail...

I'm careful with my steps... There are orchids everywhere... And not just one or two; it's like a carpet... I feel like I'm in heaven's meadow... And I want it left as I found it... Best of all, I have it all to myself...

Ladhar Bheinn 012.jpg
Meadows in Coire Dhorrcail...

Next up is the ascent to Druim a' Choire Odhair... It's not too steep and involves around 400 metres or so of climbing... I take my time...

Ladhar Bheinn 013.jpg
Nearing the ridge of Druim a' Choire Odhair...

If I though I was in Heaven's Meadow in Coire Dhorrcail then those feelings simply intensify on Druim a' Choire Odhair... This is a place like no other... The views are simply to die for...

Ladhar Bheinn 014.jpg
Views from Druim a' Choire Odhair...

Looking across Loch Hourn, Beinn Sgritheall dominates the skyline... A fine munro in it's own right... And a steep one too - you'll know if you've climbed it... :D

Ladhar Bheinn 0015.jpg
Beinn Sgritheall...

Ladhar Bheinn 016.jpg
Views from Druim a' Choire Odhair...

It's a very slow ascent... Simply because I can't prevent myself from stopping to turn and look at the view behind me... The clouds are constantly changing bringing different marvels my way...

Ladhar Bheinn 017.jpg
Views from Druim a' Choire Odhair...

And then to top it off... I spot a Golden Eagle circling and gaining height lower down the ridge... My heart quickens a beat... Sightings are so rare, and special, this being my fourth in a lifetime... They're instantly recognisable, simply by sheer size... They must be 3-4 times the size of a common buzzard... I watch... Camera ready... Waiting...

Ladhar Bheinn 018.jpg
Looking back along Loch Hourn...

Sadly he/she gets harried by some ravens and makes an escape toward Luinne Bheinn... I don't care too much; this isn't my environment, and I already feel spoilt...

Ladhar Bheinn 019.jpg
Views from Druim a' Choire Odhair...

As if today hasn't been special enough, with the deer at the start along Loch Hourn seeming like a long time ago, the Golden Eagle more recent... Nature then chooses to offer me a Broken Spectre... I can't really describe how I'm feeling... I've never felt like this before... Three years of the mountains of Scotland, all coming together to offer me memories that will last my whole life...

Ladhar Bheinn 020.jpg
Broken Spectre...

I'm getting pretty emotional come the summit of Stob a' Choire Odhair... Just a short ridge and one wee climb and it will all be over... It's a gorgeous ridge though... And the summit of Ladhar Bheinn keeps appearing and disappearing in the cloud, as if it's teasing me, taunting me... Inviting me... :D

Ladhar Bheinn 021.jpg
Ladhar Bheinn from Stob a' Choire Odhair...

And so it came to pass that on Saturday July 27 at 10:40am I would stand atop the summit of my final Munro... In the heart of The Last Great Wilderness of Britain... Knoydart... And Ladhar Bheinn... There's simply no finer place in Scotland; the world even...

Ladhar Bheinn 022.jpg
Me on Ladhar Bheinn... My last Munro...

I spend over an hour and a half at the summit... Various thoughts come to mind that have formed a part of this, the greatest adventure of my life... And I'm feeling even more emotional... In no particular order... Apart from the first... :wink:

Victoria. There's no reception at all on the walk in from Loch Hourn... Until the summit of Ladhar Bheinn... And she was the first person I wanted to tell I was here... Getting engaged on the Inaccessible Pinnacle... Not just that, but the whole story of Victoria and I... And that day, the Cuillin, The Seven Course of Skye dinner at the Three Chimneys, and the fireworks to finish... Victoria wants me to apologise to my 'wife to be' in this report... She had wanted to be there on my last, as had a few of my friends... Aside from the memories we make together, the one thing I adore about Victoria is she knows me, the real me... And when she texted me to say 'I had a feeling you'd do it on your own, it's your adventure... x' I knew she meant it... So, sorry Victoria... But, in truth, you were with me all the way...

Whiskey... I loved that woofer... She walked 47 separate Munros with me... Mostly alone... I loved taking her into the hills, where she was free to roam... And two weeks ago that's where I left her... In the mountains...

The Monsters (Megan and Sam)... From their first Munro of the Buch... Through Aonach Eagach, The Forcan Ridge, and The Horns... They love the scrambly ones; fearless kids; I love them like crazy... :D

Scraggles... He's joined me on more walks than anyone in Scotland... We've done nearly 100 Munros together, and I knew he'd be disappointed not to be sharing the final moment... You can bond in the hills... He said it all on my Facebook Page when he wrote... 'Congratulations Sir D on compleating your epic Munro journey. We've shared some unbelievable moments in the hills; some scary times, severe weather but most of all some incredible laughs. Absolutely gutted that I wasn't with you at the end but the red wine awaits you... Slanj as always Scraggles'... We'd share a drink and some Louis Roderer Cristal Champagne later that evening...

Monty... It feels like a lot longer ago than two years when I first met Monty at the Walk Highlands Meet in Kintail... One walk off later along the Borthers and Sisters of Kintail and we've not looked back... He's a troubled soul Monty, been through a thing or two in his time... But he's my kind of person...

Tim... Which equals two things really... Firstly our first proper hill walk together which was the Ring of Steall on a belting blue sky day in May... What a walk... I'll be back...

Graham & Annie... Graham and Annie took us over the Munros of Skye... We had such fun, and so many special memories from our time in the Cuillin (and Carbost!!)... I'm still saddened by the loss of Graham this winter... But he died in the hills he loved... And I'd share a text with Annie, remembering him.

The mighty Mullardoch Round in a day... Well that was something else... And the second thing that involves Tim... And Monty and Scraggles... In 30 degrees heat, I'm still not sure how we walked that 60km and 5,000 metres of ascent in a day, but that was the toughest challenge of my life... And one I'll never forget... It was brilliant...

The fire on Liathach... Well that made the news... :wink: :lol:

A day where I had An Teallach all to myself...

And so so many others...

Ladhar Bheinn 023.jpg
Looking along Stob a' Choire Odhair and Loch Hourn...

I decide to descend via a different route taking in more of Knoydart and so head over to Stob a' Chearcaill...

Ladhar Bheinn 024.jpg
Looking back along Loch Hourn...

More stunning scenery surrounds me as I immerse myself in the hills... It's been an amazing adventure this Munro journey... And Scotland, in my eyes, will always be the most beautiful country in the world... I've always believed that life should be about making memories... And in these mountains... I've had my fondest...

Ladhair Bheinn, my journeys' end...

Ladhar Bheinn 025.jpg
Ladhar Bheinn; my final Munro...
Last edited by andrewdoggett on Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby bootsandpaddles » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:02 pm

Well done! Looks like you had a great day for it too.
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby jmarkb » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:03 pm

Congratulations! A fine day on a fine hill, too.
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby SusieThePensioner » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:43 pm

Congratulations Andrew, glad you've managed to find the time to compleat :clap:
What a beautiful day for a wonderful walk. Your photos are stunning :thumbup:
I felt almost sad listening to you on your videos; that this is the end of a journey for you :roll:
Good Luck for the future :D
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby Stretch » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:56 pm

Stunning images of an amazing wilderness area. Solitude at its finest! Congrats on your final munro!
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby RicKamila » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:11 pm

Congratulations on making the 282 :thumbup:

We're only just starting out (280 to go..) and find it wonderful to hear that even after climbing so many Munro's, people still have the same feeling as we had when we climbed our first. Absolutely loved the photos and have always loved your reports. Congratulations once again :clap:
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby Meatball » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:19 pm

Fantastic report of a fantastic day in a fantastic round!
Well done again!
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby scoob999 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:33 pm

Congratulations, looks like you had the perfect day for it :D
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby Graeme D » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:53 pm

Congratulations! What a way to come home! I suspect Whiskey was there with you though. :D :clap:
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby soapy27 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:54 pm

Amazing set of photos there Andrew and what a way to finish your round well done :clap: :clap:
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby kev_russ » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:05 pm

Congrats Andrew. Amazing report and pics :)
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:14 pm

well done :clap: what an achievement ..great report and photos ..looks stunning :D
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby Bod » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:21 pm

Well done Andrew, amazing report and images, going to go read through it again...CONGRATUALATIONS!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:21 pm

Glé mhath a bhalaich agus meal do naidheachd :clap: :clap:
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Re: Compleating an Epic Adventure - Ladhar Bheinn - Knoydart

Postby skuk007 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:47 pm

Congratulations Andrew :clap: :clap:

I've a long way to go yet but I think I can tell from your report the emotions and thoughts that must have been going through your head as you made those last steps to compleating. You did indeed pick a stunning mountain for the final one.

I remember reading a lot of the reports mentioned in your memories there, they were all pretty special.

Pressure is off now, you can pick out the best ones and do them all again at a more leisurely pace this time :)
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