walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart


Postby malky_c » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:12 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe, Sgurr nan Eugallt

Grahams included on this walk: Meall nan Eun, Slat Bheinn

Date walked: 06/06/2010

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 31 km

Ascent: 2500m

4 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Corbetts: Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe, Sgurr nan Eugallt
Grahams: Meall nan Eun, Slat Bheinn
Date walked: 05/06/2010
Distance: 31km
Ascent: 2500m
Time: 10 hours
Weather: Warm, sunny and a little hazy

Most of my walks so far this year have been short to medium, so I thought it was time to push the boat a bit for a change. One of my longer plans was in Knoydart, and having read a whole pile of Knoydart reports from the bank holiday weekend, I was inspired to get back out there. Indeed, although I'd been looking at this route for a few months now, at least 75% of it was covered in Curlywurly and Magicdin's recent reports, so there is very little new ground here. For me, Knoydart is only 'just down the road,' but with so many other closer places to go, I don't usually feel like I can justify the drive unless I am going for a multi-day trip. I made an exception this time though, as the weather looked as close as possible to perfect.

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Parked up just beyond the point where the road leaves Loch Quoich, and started walking towards Kinloch Hourn along the road. I was sorely tempted by the long ridge running southeast from the summit of Sgurr nan Eugallt, but I knew I would have plenty of similar ridge walking later in the day, so gave it a miss this time. Picked up the good stalker's path from Coireshubh onto the NE ridge. This started up a broad gully, before winding around on the open hillside and landing on the ridge at a col. Again, the off-path route looked good (following the ridge directly) but I was happy enough giving my feet a break on the path. The final part of the ridge to the summit was lovely - steep and narrowish with the (very)occasional scrambly section, ending directly at the pencil-thin trig point.

The Sgurr nan Eugallt ridge from Loch Quoich and the Loch Hourn road:
Image

Looking across to Sgurr an Mhaoraich:
Image

Last big pull up to Sgurr nan Eugallt:
Image

A peep down Glen Barrisdale. Ladhar Bheinn ahead:
Image

Trig point (actual summit is to right):
Image

Ladhar Bheinn again:
Image

This hill has a reputation for stunning views down Loch Hourn, but to experience these properly, you really have to head along to Sgurr Sgiath Airigh, ten minutes to the NW. The best viewpoint is obvious, as someone has built a fairly substantial cairn on it. The views were stunning, although slightly marred by the haze and drifting cloud. However, low cloud around the base of the Cuillin made the whole range appear as if it was floating in the air. Gives a new meaning to Sky(e) hills...

Across to Druim Fada and Beinn Sgritheall:
Image

Skye zoomed:
Image

Like Curlywurly before me, I was debating whether to climb Meall nan Eun or not. Unlike Curlywurly, I had almost unlimited time. It looked like a great hill too. In fact the most interesting part was the subsidary summit of An Caisteal. This appeared to boast one of the most substantial cliffs in the area.

An Caisteal and Meall nan Eun, with Ladhar Bheinn lurking behind:
Image

On the ridge to Meall nan Eun:
Image

Looking to the Saddle and Sgurr na Sgine:
Image

The descent towards Meall nan Eun was straightforward, and the traverse of the various lumps and bumps was rather fun, with occasional glimpses down into Loch Hourn. The west-most summit was probably an even better viewpoint than Sgurr nan Eugallt. I contoured most of the humps on the way back. It was a shame to be facing away from that view, but I knew I would be facing west again soon.

Loch Hourn and Skye:
Image

An Caisteal close up, with Luinne Bheinn behind:
Image

Loch Hourn again:
Image

Looking down Glen Barrisdale. An Caisteal on the right:
Image

Meall nan Eun hadn't looked like a massive diversion, but it took me a good hour from the col to the summit and back. Well worth it though. From the col, the descent into Glen Barrisdale was on steep grass, certainly easier than my original plan to descend straight from the summit of Sgurr nan Eugallt. However the floor of the glen was at a measly 150m above sea level! Filled up with water at the almost dry Barrisdale River the whole area was impressively dry - almost all of the smaller streams had stopped flowing, and even the larger rivers were very low. Quite a different to my past Knoydart experiences, which usually involve raging torrents and uncrossable streams...

An Caisteal from the floor of Glen Barrisdale:
Image

Ladhar Bheinn from the ascent of Slat Bheinn:
Image

Rock strata on Slat Bheinn ascent:
Image

Across An Caisteal and Meall nan Eun to Beinn Sgritheall:
Image

From here was my first of two 500m+ re-ascents, this one a rather soul sapping climb to Slat Bheinn. From this side the hill was rather shapeless and never ending, although there was some interesting rock strata along the way. The summit was a welcome spot for lunch, and had great views down onto Barrisdale, Loch Hourn and Ladhar Bheinn, as well as the next summit of the day. The descent was over much more interesting terrain, with massive expanses of slabs and outcrops descending all the way to the col. I made my usual stupid route choices in aiming directly for the toe of the ridge on the next hill. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by vertical drops, and escaped by descending a gully with a stream in it. Turned out easy enough, but I always worry when I do this sort of thing that I'm going to round a corner and find an unpassable chockstone!

Ladhar Bheinn from the summit of Slat Bheinn:
Image

Crag and lochan on Slat Bheinn, Druim Chosaidh behind:
Image

The next up - Sgurr a Choire-beithe:
Image

Down to Ladhar Bheinn again (must've taken a photo of this approximately every 10 minutes!):
Image

Ascending Sgurr a Choire-beithe was much better, as while steep, the summit was nearly always in view. Lower down, the walking was across large slabs, and higher up, I picked a route between outcrops. What a great summit! Here, you are truly in the middle of all the Knoydart giants, with Luinne Bheinn, Meall Buidhe, Ladhar Bheinn, Ben Aden and Sgurr na Ciche all within spitting distance. Also, a gap in the hills allows a view through to Rum, and the end of Loch Nevis is visible. I'm quite glad this hill wasn't promoted to Munro status, as it is much better for being almost pathless.

Back to Slat Bheinn:
Image

Image

Ladhar Bheinn and Loch Quoich:
Image

It was the only part of the walk where I met anyone else, a group of three who had got the boat in from Arnisdale and walked up the E/NE ridge from Barrisdale. While I like the solitude of the less popular hills, one of the highlights is always bumping into the occasional other person and chatting about where they have come from/where they might be going. Meeting someone else is always something of an event on the more obscure hills.

Across Luinne Bheinn and Sgurr nan Choinneachian to Rum:
Image

I had another nice stop on the summit having done most of my ascent, but I knew my day was far from over. My planned route of return was along the extensive Druim Chosaidh, followed by the allegedly tedious shores of Loch Quoich. I had finished the last of my water on the summit, but wasn't too preturbed, as I knew I'd be able to get more at the Abhainn Chosaidh. I didn't quite appreciate how long it would take to get there though!

The way home - Druim Chosaidh:
Image

Back to the summit:
Image

The first part of the Druim Chosaidh was a connoisseur's dream, a practically unmarked series of towers and bumps - never difficult but always entertaining. The sort of ridge that would be an overly busy classic if it were in the middle of the Arrochar Alps or similar. Even after it widened out, it was still a lovely promenade with excellent views of Sgurr na Ciche and Ben Aden. However, after 40 minutes or so, the constant re-ascents began to get a bit wearing. This probably had a lot to do with the ground I had already covered rather than the terrain itself.

Looking back to the first pinnacle:
Image

Second pinnacle:
Image

Luinne Bheinn:
Image

Looking back on the craggiest bit of the ridge:
Image

Beinn Sgritheall:
Image

West:
Image

Sgurr na Ciche:
Image

Looking back from even further along (this thing goes on for ever!):
Image

The ridge doesn't really drop height very fast, and you can never see its entire length until you get to Meall an Spardain. By this point I had had enough, and clipped off the last tiny section to descend directly to the Abhainn Chosaidh. From the summit, this took me about 2 hours - about twice as long as I was expecting.

Change of scene - across Loch Quoich to Sgurr Mor:
Image

Ben Aden:
Image

East down Loch Quoich:
Image

The water couldn't come soon enough, and I must've gulped down another litre of river before carrying on. This river is allegedly difficult to cross (something the other party on the summit had alerted me to, as I had not really bothered to read the guidebook), but fortunately today was easy. All that remained now was 3 miles of tedious boggy path along the lochside.

Sgurr na Ciche from Loch Quoich. I want RCFC and Cuillin's canoe!
Image

Image

Image

Magicdin's report had mentioned how this was comparable to the Loch Mullardoch path, so I didn't have high hopes for it. With the loch being so low though, I could see my other option quite clearly. I made my way down to the stony scar along the lochside and followed this for a good couple of miles. Much better! At the corner, where a finger of the loch led back to the car, I got a bit confused and managed to miss the short section of old road shown on the more recent Landranger maps. After a bit of slopping around in the mud, I managed to pick it up further along, and followed in Magicdin's footsteps along the dry bed of the loch. The old road was probably slightly longer than the shore, but the walking was much easier, and soon I was back at the car, via a herd of Highland cattle.

Wot no bridge?
Image

This one has survived:
Image

Image

Properly knackered and rather sunburnt at this point, I somehow managed the drive home without dozing off.
Last edited by malky_c on Thu May 05, 2011 5:50 am, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5938
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:267   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:104   Islands:34
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby Cuillin » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:40 pm

What a phenomenal round that was and no you can never get too many reports from Knoydart! :D

You deserved to be completely kanckered but two Corbetts and two Grahams will ease the pain. :wink:

Thanks for that great report.
Cuillin
 
Posts: 84
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:31
Sub 2000:62   
Joined: May 26, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby maddjock » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:30 am

yep... and another fine report from Knoydart... fantastic again... :thumbup:
User avatar
maddjock
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 7, 2008
Location: Inverness-ish

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby SCOTRAIL DRIVER » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:07 am

Great report will have to climb up there soon i hope...
just love this pic....
Knoydart 030.jpg (79.28 KiB)
User avatar
SCOTRAIL DRIVER
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 166
Munros:102   Corbetts:2
Grahams:2   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Feb 9, 2009
Location: Clydebank, Dunbartonshire

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby mountain coward » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:50 am

Yeah, a really great report and pics there... is that ridge you went up the 'easiest' way up Sgurr a' Choire Beithe? I ask in horror as I had my eye on that but it looks like a horrifically steep ridge for cowards :o An Caisteal looks very spectacular - was it a very narrow ridge leading to it or was it okay?
mountain coward
 

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby malky_c » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:20 pm

Cheers for the comments. The pain is mentally eased but the muscles in the backs of my legs are still sore! Should probably do some kind of stretching or something... :?

Ridge up Meall a Choire-bheithe was quite steep, but I didn't mind it. I think the NW/W ridge up from Barrisdale is a much easier route by the looks of things though. Certainly appears to be the most popular route. An Caisteal didn't look narrow. I think it would be quite easy to get up it. In fact it is probably one of those hills that is more interesting to look at from other hills rather than climb. I don't think you would really get much of a sense of the cliff from its summit, as it is sort of convex rather than the crag ending abruptly at the summit.
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5938
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:267   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:104   Islands:34
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby monty » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:24 pm

Hi malky,
Geez thats some trek. Looks like it all either up or down :lol: Excellent pictures of the terrain. Top effort :D
monty
 

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby mountain coward » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:40 pm

malky_c wrote:Cheers for the comments. The pain is mentally eased but the muscles in the backs of my legs are still sore! Should probably do some kind of stretching or something... :?

Ridge up Meall a Choire-bheithe was quite steep, but I didn't mind it. I think the NW/W ridge up from Barrisdale is a much easier route by the looks of things though. Certainly appears to be the most popular route. An Caisteal didn't look narrow. I think it would be quite easy to get up it. In fact it is probably one of those hills that is more interesting to look at from other hills rather than climb. I don't think you would really get much of a sense of the cliff from its summit, as it is sort of convex rather than the crag ending abruptly at the summit.


I think it may have been the NW/W ridge I'd been looking at which looked easy - I can't zoom in on your map very much to see the details (and my old, knackered eyes aren't able to read the details! :( )
mountain coward
 

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby Cuillin » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:50 pm

malky_c wrote:Ridge up Meall a Choire-bheithe was quite steep, but I didn't mind it. I think the NW/W ridge up from Barrisdale is a much easier route by the looks of things though. Certainly appears to be the most popular route.

I can confirm that there is nothing difficult at all about the walk up Sgurr a' Coire Bheithe's W ridge from Barisdale. A few of us took Billy MacKenzie's boat over from Arnisdale last August and did this route intending to take in the Graham Slat Bheinn as well. Sadly, it was really misty at the top and the complex terrain down to Slat Bheinn forced a change of plan - had lunch in the Barisdale bothy instead and then walked on the beach at low tide!!
Cuillin
 
Posts: 84
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:31
Sub 2000:62   
Joined: May 26, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby CurlyWurly » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:48 pm

Awesome report backed up with some great photos as well. Fair play for doing this trip in one go, no easy feat i guess.

Obvioulsy, the Munros are the big draw in Knoydart but the lower fells are absolutely fabulous and they have the added bonus of being pretty much devoid of anyone else. I loved Slat Bheinn and wish I had also taken in Meall nan Eun like yourself but I will not have any issues revisiting this place again so it is not a huge deal :)

Barrisdale River looks really dry from your photos, there was a reasonable amount of water there a couple of weeks back but it looks like it has totally disappeared.

Great Stuff :)
User avatar
CurlyWurly
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 137
Munros:282   Corbetts:42
Grahams:17   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:13   Hewitts:51
Wainwrights:50   
Joined: Aug 5, 2009
Location: Dalgety Bay, Fife

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby Graeme D » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:41 pm

That report is enough to make a grown man salivate! :lol: I'm turning my attention now to some serious route planning for the summer holidays and the recent spate of Knoydart reports has got the spotlight on that area. 8)
User avatar
Graeme D
 
Posts: 3576
Munros:223   Corbetts:105
Grahams:65   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby john923 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:32 pm

Top report malky. We were looking at some of this terrain from Luinne Bheinn last week and it looked a fascinating jumble of peaks. Looking at your pics makes me want to consider the long drive north again. You are so lucky to be able to do this on a day trip.
john923
 
Posts: 196
Munros:16   Corbetts:9
Grahams:6   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:219
Wainwrights:168   
Joined: Apr 20, 2009
Location: Worcestershire

Re: The copycat: Yet more tales from Knoydart

Postby foggieclimber » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:25 pm

Great report. Enjoyed a similar walk last weekend taking in Sgurr nan Eugallt, Meall nan Eun, An Caisteal and Sgurr a'Choire Bheithe but excluding Slat Bheinn. Think you saw my report on SHills. You would appear to have had much better weather than I on Meall nan Eun.
foggieclimber
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Aug 9, 2009

4 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AliMas1, gld73, KerrD and 121 guests