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K-darts and a Corbett

K-darts and a Corbett

Postby thand » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:04 pm

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

Corbetts included on this walk: Sgurr an Utha, Sgurr Coire Choinnichean

Date walked: 21/11/2015

Time taken: 21 hours

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Day 1 - Sgurr Coire Choinnichean & Ladhar Bheinn 22km, 1800m, 8 hrs

So this trip was a long time in the making but eventually a plan was formed with Jen, Brad and EJ.

Take a Thursday and Friday off work. Get a ferry to Inverie, experience some rough bounds for two days then find a walk on the way home depending on weather and how we felt.

Thursday morning at 3am EJ and Brad arrive in Echt. We transfer day bags, overnight bags, cool bags of food, overnight rucksacs and a tent into the back of my car. Brad is relegated to the back seats as he'll be asleep before we get to Tomintoul (don't think he made it to Torphins)

Tunes on and off we go. Its a fairly clear drive to the Laggan Road where the sun starts to rise giving some great views as we head to Fort Bill. As we drive past Ben Nevis it's completely clear, but a ferry and bunkhouse are booked so no change to these plans.

We pick up Jen at the Fort William train station and the car is looking even more packed!

Hoping to get a second breakfast in Fort William but apparently nothing opens till 7.30 so we head off to Mallaig with a BP garage sandwich.

We get to Mallaig at 8am but unfortunately its cold and the cloud starts to appear. At 8.30 we're on a very wet ferry as the crossing is quite rough. The views made it well worth it though.

When we get off the ferry we're offered a lift to the Knoydart Foundation Bunkhouse by Rick, a local artist. Saves us a walk with all the stuff and he seems a nice fella.

We drop our stuff and are walking by 9.30. A slight navigational mishap (why is the start of the walk always the hardest to find the right path) has us heading over a fence and then a dry stone dyke but we soon hit the switchback path through the ferns up the steep slope of Sgurr Coire Choinnichean. We quickly gain height and sore calves but the views back over Loch Nevis are superb.

We stop for a snack at the end of the main pull at about 600m and soak in the views. This is followed by some light scrambling before we come to a narrow ridge. Lots of character in this little Corbett.

Just before we reach the summit the top gets some cloud to block our views. Rats!

As we head off the Corbett we can see the Aonoch Sgoilte ridge ahead of us. Wow this is some place. Already you feel so isolated and the remoteness is amazing. The ridge ahead looks brutal with undulations but of course top of Ladhar Bheinn is stuck in cloud.

We keep going as far as the peat hags at Mam Suidheig (back down to 500m) where we stop for more food and a quick breather. The ridge still looks brutal ahead of us. Starting to realise why they call this the rough bounds :)

The ridge continues on. It feels like climb 100m, drop 50m then repeat * ten, and the shoulder before the Bealach Coire Dhorrchail dominates and intimidates. Can't believe its only 849m.

Once we get up on the shoulder the 360 views are superb and the summit looks like its clearing.

Once we're at the bealach it's good to know there are no more descents before the summit. The climb is steep and scrambly and we're finally on the summit. Can't believe it's taken 6 hours to reach the summit. Unfortunately Mr Cloud has returned to the top 100m of the mountain and it's pretty wet. We decide to give the subsidiary top a miss (we'll maybe camp and approach it from Barrisdale beach another time).

The descent NW is easy and quick down to the tarns despite the wet rock and we're back in the sun.

The descent from here is steap and boggy but the view down the glen is beautifull and we pick up the path along Allt Coire Torr an Asgaill. It's a long walk out but we make good progress and after eight hours we make it back to the Forge.

Its such a fine day we sit outside for a couple of drinks watching the bay in the sun before heading back to the bunkhouse.

Day 2 Luinne Bheinn & Meall Bhuidhe - 1600m & 27km 10hrs

The power came back on in Inverie at 7am after going off at 11pm the night before. The effects of the early morning drive and ridge the day before, coupled with the absolute peace (apart from Brad's snoring) resulted in one of the best night's sleep ever.

A good breakfast and we were off. The cloud was high and the path was good so we were soon past the monument and at the bothy. Another steep climb up onto the ridge . Once there the going is easier but some unfortunate low cloud is spoiling the plan. The cloud soon got wet and it was time to put the waterproofs on at the bealach before the summit and were soon enjoying the fine views - all 3m of them.

We dropped down to Bealach Ile Coire for food before continuing the wet walk and scramble over the ridge. This was pretty boggy but there was some nice easy scrambles and the path was clear. We finally made the summit of Luinne Bheinn where we were joined by a friendly frog. Yes it was that wet we bumped into a munro bagging frog!

The first part of the decent was a bit hairy due to the steepness and wet rock, but once we were down to Bachd Mhic an Tosaich we were on to grass and below the cloud.

It was a bog fest all the way down to the path which was muddy and soaked but had some great views down the lochan and toward the fins in the glen. At this point the cloud lifted behind us showing a rainbow and a cloud free top of Sgurr Na Ciche.

It's a long walk out back to the bunkhouse from here but after two long days getting battered by the Knoydart hills it was no bother

Day 3 Sgurr an Utha - 757m 9km 4 hrs

The original tentative plan had been do the Grey Corries and camp off the ridge. After two days of getting beaten up in the rough bounds we decided to do something a little more sedate. Over breakfast in Mallaig we settled on a Corbett on the route back to Fort Bill. We settled on Sgurr an Utha and parked up by the roadworks.

It was clear blue sky (FINALLY!!!) as we started the walk and could definatey feel the calves at this stage. Once we cut off the path and neared the top there were some good boulders so we spent some time scrambling on these before making our way to the summit.

The views and weather were great so we spent about 45 minutes on top taking them in and having a snooze.

Once back to the car we drove on to the station to pick up Jen's car and get a coffee, but typical Fort William, the station café was closed.

Time to head home!
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Re: K-darts and a Corbett

Postby Silverhill » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:12 pm

That is some weekend! 8) :clap: It looks like you had reasonable weather for Knoydart, considering it is the wettest place in the UK. Was this really in November? It still looks so green!
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