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.

Knee bother in Knoydart: Luinne Bheinn & Meall Buidhe

Knee bother in Knoydart: Luinne Bheinn & Meall Buidhe


Postby dav2930 » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:21 pm

Route description: Luinne Bheinn and Meall Bhuidhe, Inverie, Knoydart

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

Date walked: 09/06/2015

Time taken: 11 hours

Distance: 27 km

Ascent: 1586m

5 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).

After our trip to Skye in June 2014, Karl and me were soon planning another trip for the following year. Karl had never been to Knoydart, and I had only bagged one Munro there - Ladhar Bheinn from Barrisdale way back in 2002. So we decided on a two-pronged approach to the remaining Knoydart Munros, beginning with a boat trip to Inverie to take in Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe. As I begin the pleasurable task of compiling a WR for that trip, I can't help feeling it is somewhat superfluous in the light of several other excellent WR's on the same Munros - Garioch Tom's from August 2012, for example, or Rockhopper's historically informative account from May 2014, as well as more recent ones e.g. by Mountain thyme and Basscadet. My only excuse for submitting this one is that the whole experience for me was so fascinating, thought provoking and memorable.


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



Arriving in Malaig at just after 4pm on Monday 8th June, Karl and I had plenty of time to mooch about town before boarding the Knoydart Seabridge Ferry for Inverie, which we had booked in advance for 6pm. The first thing we did, however, was to call in at the office to pick up on the gen. We were greeted in the most friendly and informal manner and instantly felt relaxed. :D After being informed about the forecast (very good!) :D we were invited to leave our backpacks in the office while we wandered off to find a tea shop. :D At about 5.30 we came back to the quay and boarded the ferry (a small fishing boat with a maximum capacity of 12 passengers). It was all very exciting! :D

Knoydart June 2015 001.JPG
Calm waters in the harbour at Malaig, from on board the Seabridge ferry.


Knoydart June 2015 007.JPG
We're off!


Knoydart June 2015 062.JPG
In the cabin


The crossing takes about half an hour and a distinctive feature on Rubha Raonuill at the entrance to Loch Nevis is the Statue of the Madonna.

Knoydart June 2015 009.JPG
The Statue of the Madonna


It was a calm crossing and as we approached the pier at Inverie more buildings came into view than we had expected. Alighting from the boat we walked along the pier into the village. We knew there was a pub here - the most remote on the British mainland apparently - but were surprised to find that The Old Forge is also a substantial restaurant (specializing in seafood and venison burgers).

Knoydart June 2015 013.JPG
The Old Forge pub and restaurant at Inverie


Tempting as it was to stop for a pint, our first task was to find the campsite and pitch the tents. All the same, we halted at the window of the post office to read some info about the Knoydart Foundation. In 1999 the KF purchased what had been the Brocket Estate (since the early 1930's), thus ending Knoydart's dark history of social injustice (associated with the clearances). More about this later.

Knoydart June 2015 014.JPG
Looking across Loch Nevis


Plenty of signposts pointed the way to the campsite.

Knoydart June 2015 015.JPG
A chapel converted into a dwelling


A twenty minute walk brought us to the beach campsite, which lies just past the bunkhouse (provided by the Knoydart Foundation). Campers can use the bunkhouse showers for £3.

Knoydart June 2015 018.JPG
Tents pitched at the beach campsite - time for dinner!


Mercifully, there was just enough breeze to keep the midgies away! :D After scoffing our Sainsbury's vegetable curries, we strolled down to The Old Forge for a pint (of 'Remote Ness' - excellent stuff!), :D then strolled back again for a good night's sleep.

Next morning we were away by 7.10. The weather was cloudy but fine with promise of brightening skies.

Knoydart June 2015 020.JPG
Tranquil morning, Meall Buidhe in background


I was surprised by the extensive woodland hereabouts, with many native deciduous species.

Knoydart June 2015 022.JPG
The track up Gleann an Dubh-Lochan passes beneath the 2nd Lord Brocket's monument to himself. 'My help cometh even from the Lord...' reads the plaque. Funny how such despots always seem to think God is on their side.


As we passed by Brocket's monument, we were reminded of the story of 'the Seven Men of Knoydart', who in 1948 dared to defy the 2nd Lord Brocket, a despotic Nazi sympathizer, by staking a claim to their ancestral homeland. The men were descendents of among 400 tenants of Knoydart who, in 1852, had been evicted and transported to America as part of the heinous clearances. They sought legal support and were assured they had a good chance of winning, but were badly let down by their solicitor and lost their case. :( However, such was the strength of public opinion about the case that the status quo began to change, and the rights of many dispossessed Highlanders to their ancestral lands were finally recognized. :D

Knoydart June 2015 023.JPG
Getting closer to Druim Righeanaich, Meall Buidhe behind.


Knoydart June 2015 024.JPG
Some of the locals - hopefully not destined for the burger griddle at The Old Forge.


It's a long walk along the landrover track to Dubh-Lochain, without gaining any height!

Knoydart June 2015 027.JPG
Dubh-Lochain with Luinne Bheinn shrouded in cloud.


Knoydart June 2015 028.JPG
At the shore of Dubh-Lochain looking back towards Inverie Bay.


Past the end of Dubh-Lochain the path begins to gain some height (at last) as the ascent is made towards Mam Barrisdale.

Knoydart June 2015 032.JPG
Cloud clearing from Meall Buidhe


Knoydart June 2015 033.JPG
Looking back to Dubh-Lochain


On the way up to Mam Barrisdale we encountered a party of walkers coming over from Barrisdale. We exchanged brief greetings but they seemed determined to press on.

Knoydart June 2015 035.JPG
Luinne Bheinn almost shrugs off the clouds for a brief period.


At Mam Barrisdale we noticed a clear path heading in a straight line across the western flank of Luinne Bheinn. It was also the only path on Luinne Bheinn marked on our map (the BMC Knoydart map). So we followed this, despite my feeling that we ought to be making for the north-west ridge. The path followed a line of iron fence posts, rising steadily and eventually bringing us around onto the southern flank to a point where it began to descend. This was quite disorientating as the col between Luinne Bheinn and the ridge continuing to Meall Buidhe was within a stone's throw. :? It felt as if we had somehow bypassed the summit. A quick look at the map revealed that we needed to go straight up to the west end of the summit ridge, which we did. There was no path to follow and the ground was steep, but it was straightforward enough and we were soon on the ridge, where a path reappeared. A short distance up this and we arrived at the cairn at 938m. The summit, at 939m, was just a few hundred yards further along the nearly level ridge. We stopped there for a food break. We couldn't see much as the mist was down. I took a bearing, but the path ahead was very clear. :)

Knoydart June 2015 037.JPG
The summit of Luinne Bheinn - time for a food break.


We continued on our way, passing over the 937m eastern top before descending in a curve to the col, the path being clear to follow the whole way.

As we began the ascent towards Druim Leac a' Shith, we noticed a solitary walker coming down towards us. As we got nearer we recognized each other - we were fellow passengers on the ferry the previous day. The lone chap was doing the same round as us only in the opposite direction. He hoped to do Ladhar Bheinn the next day. We asked him what the path to Meall Buidhe was like. 'Very clear all the way', he said. And he wasn't wrong! Navigation was a doddle despite the mist and the complex terrain.

Knoydart June 2015 040.JPG
The lochans in Choire Odhair


Knoydart June 2015 041.JPG
Approaching Meall Bhuidhe


The ridge steepened and at the top of a rocky little scramble a cairn marked what appeared to be the summit. Yippee! :D Er...wait a minute. :? This was the east top at 942m. The actual summit was about half a kilometer further on and 4m higher. There was a better constructed cairn here. Yippee! :D

Knoydart June 2015 045.JPG
Karl at the (actual) summit of Meall Buidhe


It was an easy descent from the summit on smooth, short turf - quite a contrast to the rough going hitherto. Before long we were out of the clouds. We circumvented the little 826m top and descended the broad ridge of An t-Uirlollach with aerial views down to Dubh-Lochain and a splendid prospect out to Loch Nevis with Eigg and Rhum in the distance. The continuing ridge was fast going; in fact I went a bit too fast, for after a while I was getting pains in my right knee. This has been a recurring problem in the last few years. Age I suppose. I can usually avoid too much pain if I don't try to go too fast, especially on descents. I'd really aggravated it this time though. :shock:

Knoydart June 2015 048.JPG
Looking down to Dubh-Lochain from An t-Uirlollach


Knoydart June 2015 049.JPG
Descending Druim Righeanaich towards Inverie Bay


From the Druim Righeanaich we could see the marshes at the confluence of the Allt Glean Meadail and the Inverie River, which the path crosses. They looked very wet. So we decided to see if we could cut down the steep slopes into Glean Meadail at the point where a footbridge crosses the burn. We managed to find a way between the crags, keeping on grass. Though this was very steep it was quite straightforward and led us directly to the footbridge, across which was the main path back to Inverie. So we kept our feet dry. But my knee was hurting like hell. In fact both of them were. All the way back to Inverie I was convinced I would be unable to do the second prong of our Knoydart trip (from Loch Arkaig). I was even beginning to think my hill walking days were over. :(

Knoydart June 2015 052.JPG
Looking up Inverie River


But this had been a fantastic experience and I would have been content to hang up my boots. :D Knoydart is a very special place, scenically, historically and culturally. Next morning we would pack up and, after breakfast in the superb little tea shop at Inverie, catch the 10am ferry back to Mallaig. We would then drive to Roy Bridge and camp there. At least that would give my knees a bit of a rest! :wink:
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1285
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:10   Donalds:37
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:161
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Knee bother in Knoydart: Luinne Bheinn & Meall Buidhe

Postby Fife Flyer » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:06 pm

Nice informative report, hope to venture out that way in the near(ish) future :wink:

Hope the knees hold up, I can sympathise totally as my right knee is causing me all kinds of grief and I hate being stuck indoors :(
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2314
Munros:154   Corbetts:46
Grahams:35   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:101   Hewitts:2
Islands:5
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

Re: Knee bother in Knoydart: Luinne Bheinn & Meall Buidhe

Postby dav2930 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:37 pm

Fife Flyer wrote:Nice informative report, hope to venture out that way in the near(ish) future :wink:

Hope the knees hold up, I can sympathise totally as my right knee is causing me all kinds of grief and I hate being stuck indoors :(


Thanks FF! Hope your knee soon makes a full recovery from your Cairngorm Marathon - that was terrific report of yours. I think my knees would have gone completely if I'd attempted anything that big! The human knee is badly designed I reckon. :roll:
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1285
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:10   Donalds:37
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:161
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Knee bother in Knoydart: Luinne Bheinn & Meall Buidhe

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:14 pm

Loved this report, and I've read every Knoydart report posted on WH! It just looks like such a wonderful place, I never tire reading about and looking at pics of it.

I think I've come round to the view that just doing the Munros in a day would be a wasted opportunity; so the plan is to camp at least one night there next year.
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2678
Munros:167   Corbetts:29
Hewitts:195
Wainwrights:71   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: Knee bother in Knoydart: Luinne Bheinn & Meall Buidhe

Postby jac the lassie » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:16 pm

Cracking photos! Looks like a lovely part of the world :clap: :D
User avatar
jac the lassie
Wanderer
 
Posts: 193
Munros:73   Corbetts:2
Grahams:4   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:24   
Joined: Jun 25, 2014
Location: outskirts of edinburgh

Re: Knee bother in Knoydart: Luinne Bheinn & Meall Buidhe

Postby dav2930 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:10 pm

Alteknacker wrote:Loved this report, and I've read every Knoydart report posted on WH! It just looks like such a wonderful place, I never tire reading about and looking at pics of it.

I think I've come round to the view that just doing the Munros in a day would be a wasted opportunity; so the plan is to camp at least one night there next year.


Well thanks Alt, glad you liked it. It is indeed a wonderful place. It would be a shame not to spend a night or two there - well worth taking the time out. The food at The Old Forge is excellent, but expensive (£35 for a seafood platter!).
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1285
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:10   Donalds:37
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:161
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Knee bother in Knoydart: Luinne Bheinn & Meall Buidhe

Postby dav2930 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:17 pm

jac the lassie wrote:Cracking photos! Looks like a lovely part of the world :clap: :D


Thanks jac. It was a shame the mist didn't clear off the tops a bit more - there were a lot of views we didn't get to see. Good excuse for going back sometime perhaps! Cheers. :D
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1285
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:10   Donalds:37
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:161
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

5 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 now 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: swallace and 32 guests