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.

A lof of pain for some views - Knoydart

A lof of pain for some views - Knoydart


Postby Mountainlove » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:10 pm

Route description: Sgurr na Ciche: 3 Munros from Loch Arkaig

Munros included on this walk: Garbh Chioch Mhor, Sgurr na Ciche, Sgurr nan Coireachan (Glen Dessary)

Date walked: 07/08/2015

Time taken: 11 hours

Distance: 26 km

Ascent: 1523m

9 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).

The forecast for the day was a few showers at lunchtime, followed by a dry and sunny afternoon, but the God of Bog and Rain had other ideas in store. :roll:

To make my experience more visible empty a 50000l swimming pool in your grassy garden. Let a group a cows roam in it for 2 days. Wait until in rains (non stop for 7 hours). Empty a pint of water in each of your hiking shoes. Walk around in your garden for 11h. Each time you want to eat something wait until it rains more than the previous 2 hours. Wear shorts! ... This sums up my Knoydart experience.

The drive to the starting point was something else. I certainly had not realize in the past that roads like that existed. The birth place of blind summits with more up and downs than I could count, but even with the challenging driving conditions the views were amazing!

Image
Loch Arkaig

Image
Close to the car park

Once arrived, I set off with a combination of sunshine and a few scattered clouds. I had read some trips reports who talked about the bog. Trying to be clever I decided to start the walk with Scurr na Ciche, hoping that this would bypass the bog. (No chance)

Image
The closest house to the postbox is across the loch in the distance

Image
The start of the walk with stunning views

Image
The old ruins of the barracks

Image

Following the track through the forest, the first 1.5 hours were indeed as easy as I could have wished for. A bit mind numbing as nothing distracting popped up, but I made good time. Passing the wee cairn which indicated the path down to A'Chuil (the bothy), the path left the forest and I got my first views.

Image
The first views of the mountains to climb

Image
The track through the forest

Continuing I entered the forest again and the path started to get a bit boggier.
It all changed when I got to the end of the path and stepped out of the forest. As far as my eye could see it was bog ‘wonderland’ and to make the experience even better it started to rain. :( :crazy: I quickly put on my jacket, thinking the wee shower would stop soon. Unknowingly that it would not stop for the next 7 hours!! Thick clouds draped themselves around the mountains and with my hood pulled deep across my face I moved on.
It is a gentle rise towards Druim nan Uadhag, but in the rain it seemed endless. Once or twice I lost the path and had to wade through knee deep soaking wet grass until I found the path again. My non waterproof shoes (bad idea to wear them) had filled up with water. Walking in the rain with cold soaking feet left me miserable and fed up. When the water content in my shoes got to the stage that I thought I emptied a bucket of water in them, I stopped to wring out my socks and insoles. Completely pointless, as within minutes my feed were wet again.

It is hard to describe, but the rain, no visibility, wet and cold feet and boredom, made the whole experience as miserable as possible. :( :( :( At times I was close to call it a day and return and only the thought of having to return to the path of hell made me stay put.
By the time I reached the highest point of the path (before the climb of Scurr na Ciche started) I had a 5 min break during which the rain stopped and I was able to enjoy views towards Loch Nevis.

Image
First views

Image
Towards the west- its wild out there

Moving on the rain started again and I carried on up the stone gully. Even in the rain the gully looked spectacular, with lots of waterfalls running down the sites. Walking through and alongside the burn on my way up my mood lifted a bit, but what I did not admired was the thick cloud which hid the top of Scurr na Ciche.

Image
Looking down the gully

Image
The way to the top, but no views of the summit

On the final climb up Scurr na Ciche met the first group of hill walkers. Exchanging some chit chat they told me that they had no view, but guessed that the clouds should have lifted by the time I was up. They were right! By the time I reached the cairn I was able to see the views and yet again there was a 5 min break in the rain. I stayed for some time enjoying the views and happiness returned. I was finally up a mountain again.

Image
The top and the cairn coming into view

Image
Views from the top

Image
Down Loch Nevis

Image
Low clouds

Image
Finally happy again

The climb down back to the bealach was quicker than I thought and so was the climb up to Garbh Chioch Mhor. It still rained, but yet again the top cleared just before I reached it. My mood had also improved and I had resigned to wet and cold feet.

Image
The clouds return on my way down

Image
Bizarrely Loch Quoich is still in sunshine

Image
The path far below

Image
Between Scurr na Ciche and Garbh Chioch Mhor

Image
Rain

Image
Looking back to Scurr na Ciche

Image
Garbh Chioch Mhor summit cairn and the way ahead

Image

Image
Wet rocks

The walk between Garbh Chioch Mhor and Sgurr nan Coireachan was an endless up and down, made harder by the relentless rain and slippy ground. it seemed never ending. By the time I reached the bealach between Garbh Chioch and Sgurr nan Coireachan it was time for a change as the rain and perspiration had soaked though everything. Oh the joys to put some dry clothes on and eat something. I felt like a new person when I left and climbed up the final Munro. The climb was steep and when I reached the summit 7h of near constant rain came to an end. Towards the east blue sky could be seen and Loch Nevis glowed in the sunlight still hidden under a thick layer of grey clouds. I stayed for a while simply enjoying the sun and being able to take my waterproofs off.

Image
The sun and view down the bealach between Garbh Chioch Mhor and Sgurr nan Coireachan

Image
Towards the north on the final climb

Image
The previous 2 Munros

Image

Image
The battle of the sun, trying to break through the clouds

Image
The last lump to climb on the way back down

Image
Looking down

Image
The summit


Leaving the summit the nightmarish downhill climb started. I was back in soaking boggy land. Only the thought of a hot shower kept me going and hoping for a path close to the forest I was disappointed when I realized that the boggy path continued all the way Upper Glen Dassary. Back at the car I was certain that I would NEVER return to Knoydart, but then one should never say never :-)

Image
Blue skies at last

Image
On the walk down towards the forest

Image
Boggy path

Image
A'Chuil (the bothy)

Image
A rather fat looking stag

Image
Close to the car park

Image

Image
Loch Arkaig during sunset
User avatar
Mountainlove
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1254
Munros:62   Corbetts:25
Grahams:7   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:3   
Islands:9
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: A lof of pain for some views - Knoydart

Postby jamesb63 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:04 pm

Shame about the weather ,But your pics are Fantastic :clap: :clap:
Love the shot of the post box wonder how often they collect it in the winter :lol:
this summer has been a write off :(
User avatar
jamesb63
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 397
Munros:218   Corbetts:2
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Apr 14, 2015
Location: Alexandria

Re: A lof of pain for some views - Knoydart

Postby spiderwebb » Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:28 pm

Well done in such conditions Maja. I had to look back to see when I did these and it was September, as I didn't recall much bog but then it didn't rain for 7 hours either :lol:

That road is something else, the trip in convinced me to add on Sgurr Mor to save having to come back down that road !!! But that was a hill too far I was scuppered at the end :(

Didn't find a Garmin Etrex 10 in the car park by chance ?? :D
User avatar
spiderwebb
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1506
Munros:97   Corbetts:15
Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:68   
Joined: May 18, 2011
Location: Miltonduff, Elgin

Re: A lof of pain for some views - Knoydart

Postby dav2930 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:08 pm

Totally sympathize with your misery walking up in the mist and rain (and with wet feet! :( ). At least you got some great views on the tops though - and some fantastic shots of them too! :clap: Worth the purgatory maybe? Me and Karl had a similar experience on these three in June - not quite as wet perhaps, but the clag just never lifted so we got no views at all. :( This picture sums up the day we had up there :lol:

Knoydart June 2015 086.JPG
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1445
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:14   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:164
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: A lof of pain for some views - Knoydart

Postby ancancha » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:08 am

Its definitely a summer for leather boots, waxing and gaiters :lol:
User avatar
ancancha
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 989
Munros:84   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Joined: Jun 30, 2014
Location: Killadysert

Re: A lof of pain for some views - Knoydart

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:06 am

This is a strange report: you make it sound terrible, but the pics are brilliant (as usual) :clap: :clap: :clap:

There must be quite a bit of consolation for the bog/rain purgatory in the brilliant views you had???

Notwithstanding your doleful report, this is still near the top of my "must do" list!!!
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 3029
Munros:173   Corbetts:31
Hewitts:237
Wainwrights:100   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: A lof of pain for some views - Knoydart

Postby tall-story » Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:55 pm

Braw photies :) That brought back some great memories from when I was there 4 or 5 years ago. The bog you speak of was bone dry when I was there but we did make comment that it could be a bit messy after a bit of rain. And I think I would take a bike if I ever go back as the walk on the road back to the car is a bit of a bummer :roll:
tall-story
Walker
 
Posts: 294
Munros:112   Corbetts:195
Grahams:20   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:22
Wainwrights:21   
Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Location: Doune

Re: A lof of pain for some views - Knoydart

Postby jules999 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:24 pm

Hi, I have just read your report on your trip,, and I have had to laugh, because I have just got back from doing the same round of hills plus I did Sgurr Mor and Sgurr Fhuaran the day before making a 2 day (x4) trip down that god aweful road,,and also,, I understand the pain thing,, omg,, it was a slog,, and the bog didn't make for a good outing,, but,, and its a good but,, it was forecast rain for the 2 days,, and lo and behold it didn't rain at all,, just little spitters here and there,, so,, like you,, we got the views,, and what views they were,,, what a delight,, so the pain of 2 blisters,, soaking wet feet,, aching bones,, car sickness on a crap road,, were totally worthwhile haha :lol: x
jules999
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 41
Munros:205   Corbetts:55
Grahams:17   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:30   
Joined: Feb 11, 2015

9 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: highet, thomasmclaughlin and 65 guests