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Knoydart fun, Sourlies and Barrisdale overnighter

Knoydart fun, Sourlies and Barrisdale overnighter

Postby Dommie » Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:54 am

Munros included on this walk: Gairich, Garbh Chioch Mhòr, Luinne Bheinn, Meall Buidhe (Knoydart), Sgùrr a' Mhaoraich, Sgùrr Mòr (Loch Quoich), Sgùrr na Cìche, Sgùrr nan Coireachan (Glen Dessary)

Corbetts included on this walk: Sgùrr an Fhuarain

Date walked: 15/10/2015

Time taken: 35.5 hours

Distance: 68.9 km

Ascent: 6190m

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This is a 3 days long trip.

Day zero:
Drove to the dam, located on the East side of Loch Quoich, there is a car park suitable for quite a few cars. I spent the night in the car. This is where my walk started. The number of deer on the road is actually scary at this time of year!

Day one:
Started the walk at 7 am by crossing the dam. After that there is a path to follow but made shortcuts here and there. Terrain is generally very wet, boggy until ~400 m elevation but solid/rocky thereafter. I was at the top of Gairich a bit after 10am. I approached Sgurr an Fhuarain (the corbett) by aiming the saddle between that and Meall a'Choire Bhuidhe, where nothing to follow but your compass and then turned to the South. The ridge from Sgurr an Fhuarain to Sgurr Mor is a refreshingly easy walk in comparison to the climb and the latter was reached by a few minutes before 2pm. Just follow the ridge, there are two smaller peaks to climb on the way to Sgurr nan Coireachan, which was done by 16:30. From here the ridge is more rocky, exposed and less quick but in turn more beautiful. There are some minor scrambling as well. A quick down and up and I found myself on the top of Garbh Chioch Mhor at 18:20. The descent here towards Sgurr na Ciche is very rocky and included some scrambling. Sgurr na Ciche is very close from the saddle, I was there by 19:20 but again there was some scrambling.
Head torch on, and started to descend towards Sourlies bothy. Apart from the fact that there is no path to follow, no particular difficulties arose down to ~300 elevation. After that the terrain turned to be extremely difficult: cliffs, deep grass so can't see what you step on, numberless turn backs, falls, bruises, swearing, etc., Descend down either to the Finiskaig river and a path to follow, or on the NE side of the ridge toward Carnach River might have been a much better idea...lesson learnt. I reached Sourlies bothy by 23:30 completely exhausted. Went to sleep quickly.
Up to this point: Distance: 30.8 km, ascent: 2928 m, total time: 16.5 hours, stopped time: 5h.
The bothy is in a very good condition, there was a guitar left there!

Day two:
I was, thankfully waken up by a group of people, I didn't even know they were tenting out there, otherwise I would have slept through the whole morning. Anyway, quick breakfast, packing and started the walk around 8am. The path towards Eileam Tioram and Carnoch footbridge was actually heavily under water sometimes but some turns here, turn backs there and the bridge is ok to reach with minor swearing :). The bridge is ok to cross, no matter how unstable it looks. After the bridge the path is great, very well made. It goes up to the saddle (~540 m) and down Inverie afterwards so just went off road on the right and started climbing up. I was at the top of Meall Buidhe by 11:50. The ridge to the 2nd Munro of the day (Luinne Bheinn) is beautiful and relatively easy, the top was reached by 14:20, just at the same time when a couple did so we didn't have to bother to take selfies! The descent took me about an hour to the road, which goes down to Barrisdale. Although the original plan was to do Ladhar Bheinn as well, I started as planned but realized that my legs have been replaced by prosthetic ones made of lead :(. I am sure I might have reached the top by about 6ish, which would have meant to descent in the dark, which I was trying to avoid this time :). So just went down to the bothy, was there by 5pm. I was the only visitor, which was much appreciated by the local dog. Barrisdale Bothy is fantastic, cost £3 but in turn you will enjoy luxurious things such as common room, dining table, running water, electricity, toilet and of course a shelter over your head. I had a quick dinner and was sleeping by 6pm.
This day: distance: 17.5 km, ascent: 1564 m, total time: 9h, stopped time: 2h 50 min.

Day three:
I woke up at 3:00, left the warm sleeping bag by 3:20 :), breakfast, packing and started heading to Kinloch Hourn at 4:30. I expected a nice walk. Instead I got super wet path and wet leaves touching me everywhere at all times. The walk to Kinloch Hourn Is about 11.2 km, ascent is 600 m, took me 3h 50min. The walk becomes flat and the path is well made from Skiary. From Kinloch Hourn I went off road where the Lochourn River was easy to cross and started the ascent towards Sgurr a' Mhaoraich. After this moment, to be honest, the ascent is a nightmare up to the place you can cross Allt Ban near Tom nan Ramh. Its very steep, very wet, grassy, in general not something I prefer walking on and there are two fences to jump over. THe only pleasant thing was the feeling of the first sun lights on my skin. The crossing of Allt Ban turned out to be an excellent refreshing point, refilled my water filter and had some three days old food.., Although the ascent is continuously steep, nowhere near as hard as before, the grass has gone, rock appeared and there are actually places to have rest! From this point on, the only thing remained is to walk up :). I was at the top by 12:35. On the descent I followed the 'official' path that took me down to the main road by 14:15. I walked and hitchhiked for about 10 minutes and thankfully was picked up by two very nice people and a dog at the back, saving me an additional 10 km walk. Thanks for this again!
This day: distance: 20.5 km, ascent: 1695 m, total time: 10h, stopped time 3h 14min.

I hope this helps to plan your next journey.

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Posts: 26
Munros:282   Corbetts:28
Fionas:3   Donalds:6
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Location: Glasgow

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