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Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran


Postby Mountainlove » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:07 pm

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

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

Date walked: 03/06/2016

Time taken: 10.5 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1855m

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The Knoydart peninsula was supposed to be beautiful, but for years I could not decide if I wanted to do the long walk in from Barrisdale, or take the ferry to Inverie. It all changed when I decided to buy an inflatable kayak :D

I had been envious when I read stories of people paddling to remote areas, but my knowledge about kayaking was pretty non-existent. Ok I had hired a sit on top sea kayak in Thailand and had enjoyed flat bath warm water seas and once I had kayaked on a lake in lake in Patagonia (supervised and sharing the kayak with another lady in the group) but a solo trip on the open sea in Scotland was sure to be different. :think:

Years passed and inflatable kayaks came into fashion. There were stories about super light kayaks, which you can carry on your back, but they also come with a hefty price tack. I did some further research, read a lot of online reviews and ended up finding a pretty unknown brand which had excellent reviews. There was my chance and a few days later I was the proud owner of an inflatable kayak. :thumbup:

To practice I took the kayak to a local reservoir, Loch Quoich and a couple of trips on the open sea. My last trip was the crossing from Largs to the isle of Cumbrae and back. I was still a bit nervous, but knew I had the strength to paddle 4 km across Loch Hourn. :D

The weather was beautiful when I arrived at Corran next to Arnisdale. Blowing up the ‘boat’ took less than 10 min and I had packed most of my gear into dry bags. Once I had carried the boat and gear to the waters edge, I packed the kayak, pushed it into deeper water and climbed on board. The adventure could begin :D

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Loch Hourn

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Once I parked my car I had to carry my gear and boat to the waters edge

I paddled along the shoreline and marveled at the crystal clean water. Sea weed was growing up from the depths below and lots of jelly fish floated in the sea around me. The water was in fact so clear that I could see razor shells laying at the bottom, In the distance the hills of Knoydart were rising steep from the waters edge and were framed perfectly with the turquoise water. Bliss! This certainly took my previous outdoor experiences to a new level. I covered about 2 km along the shore line when it was time to cross to the other site.

Even with my previous practice I still felt nervous, as further away from the shore the waves are a bit higher, the wind stronger and the water that bit blacker. But I made it and the whole journey took me 1.15 hours :D

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The isle of Skye in the distance

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Looking back towards Corran and Arnisdale

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On a wee break on the way

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Sea weed and jelly fish

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On the other side

On the map I had found a perfect spot next to 2 burns and in reality it proved as great as I had hoped for. Carrying my gear and boat to a grassy spot I set up my tent and had lunch. This was perfect! Once I had finished I explored the area and came across the ruin of an old house. Further up the site was a tent hidden in the bracken. Mmm looked like I would have company and I wondered how the person had found the spot, maybe another kayaker? Walking back to my tent I decided to go for another paddle to enjoy the hot weather. I paddled to Barrisdale and by the time I returned I saw a motorboat approaching my camp spot :shock: . I stopped and watched 5 people climbing out of the boat! :wtf: So much for picking a remote spot for camping :lol: . Once I returned I was shocked to see that the tight had come in far more than I had expected. The water had been about 20 m away from my tent and now the water was only 3 m away and covered the grassy area which had been covered in flowers. I climbed out of the kayak when two men approached. They introduced themselves as members of the John Muir Trust working party and told me they were sorry that they disturbed my camp spot. I never had expected a sorry and chatting away they suggested that I move my tent as very high tides were expected during the next couple of days. Thanking them for their advice I moved to a higher area across the burn. I took it easy that evening and very much enjoyed a couple of cans of lager.

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On the way towards Barisdale-check out the clear water

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Land under water on my return

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My new campsite

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During the next morning I got ready and left my campsite by 9am. It was time to climb some mountains. :D Sticking to the fence alongside the shore of Loch Hourn, I found a barely there path and walked to Barisdale. It certainly had been easier to paddle. From Barrisdale I walked up to Mam Barrisdale and followed the path alongside the old fence posts. It was a very hot day and sweating buckets I took my time. Concentration too much on the fence post I realized that I missed the path up and ended up climbing straight up the site of the mountain. But amazing views rewarded me once I stood next to Luinne Bheinns cairn.


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Looking back towards my campsite

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Looking back towards my way up Mam Barrisdale

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Views

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On the great path which connects Barisdale with Inverie


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At Mam Barrisdale looking down towards Inverie

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The climb begins up towards Luinne Bheinn

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Views towards Loch Hourn

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Luinne Bheinn cairn

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Myself

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Views

The top of Luinne Bheinn consists of 3 tops and by the time I reached the third one I had to decent, to walk the 5 km distance towards Meall Buidhe. A path connects the two Munros and is pretty easy to follow. Millions of small Daddy Longlegs were hiding below large rocks and boulders and each time I walked past and disturbed them I had clouds of them flowing around me. I never had come across so many. Easy scrambling took me up to the final summit of the day and sitting down for a rest I chatted with two women who had come up from Inverie.

It was an amazing day and I enjoyed the fact that I did not had to rush to get back. My return journey led me past Lochan an Talamb Dheirg which is a great bypass, as otherwise I would had to climb the first Munro again.


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The last summit of Luinne Bheinn and Loch Quoich in the distance

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Looking back

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Sgurr Mor and Gairich (far left) in the clouds

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During the walk, the view towards Ben Aden

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On the path

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Lochan an Talamb Dheirg and the bypass

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Great rocks

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The top of Meall Buidhe

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Lovely views from the top

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Myself

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Lochan an Talamb Dheirg

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The bypass winding itself up the hill

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On the way back to Barisdale

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Down at Barisdale

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Flooded plains

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On the way back through the bracken

I returned to my tent during the evening. I had been dreaming of a cold bath to wash away the sweat of the day and sat for a good 5 min in the burn enjoying the cold water. The evening was brought to an end with a large bonfire with the members of the John Muir trust and stories about the past.


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Mountainlove
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:23 pm

what an adventure! :thumbup:
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby Borderhugh » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:36 pm

well done Maja. Having done the slog in from Kinloch Hourn to do Ladhar Bheinn, I like the idea of using a kayak for the other 2. Did it get your beer across?
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Borderhugh
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:37 pm

Another of your cunning plans to reach hills by water - but doesn't quite have the quirkiness of the pink lilo! :lol:
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby RussellR » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:11 pm

What a great and inspiring report!
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby PeteR » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:19 pm

Good stuff. That's whetted my appetite for these two for sure. Think I'll stick to a conventional plod from Kinlochhourn though :lol:
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby FromDownSouth » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:19 pm

A cracking idea for something different and excellent photo's as always :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:44 pm

Looks like an amazing adventure. Great report, thank you for sharing.
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:50 pm

Fantastic stuff! This really does look like a brilliant way to get into Knoydart, especially if one is a bit short of time. :clap: :clap:

Having now checked out the cost of these babies, I'm just staggered at what good value they are. I think I'll be getting one and following this route... :D

PS Weren't you tempted up Ladhair Beinn, or have you already done it???
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby Borderhugh » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:23 pm

Maja,

Is that Hydro Force 2 man?

Hugh
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Borderhugh
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby Mountainlove » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:44 pm

Dear All , many thanks for your responses.

@ Hugh it is. I found it half price in Amazon for £200. Its great as it can carry up to 200 kilos. Much better than some of the more expensive versions which can only carry one adult and a small bag of kit. Lol and yes I carried beer for the first time :-)
Hydro-Force Ventura Kayak
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hydro-Force-Ve ... able+kayak

@ Alteknacker I was very tempted to do Ladhar Beinn, but decided there and then that I wanted to keep this as my last one :-)
I can only recommend buying a kayak, so much fun and you can take as much gear as you wish, without having to worry carrying it :-)
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby old danensian » Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:02 pm

Can't help but admire your style - what's next? A hot air balloon?

I think I'll be sticking to the walk in from Kinlochourn when the weather promises a settled spell

OD
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby tomyboy73 » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:05 pm

What a way to live, brilliant :clap:
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:47 pm

Brilliant ... and you even got great photography weather :mrgreen: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Knoydarts Munros by inflable kayak from Arnisdale/Corran

Postby Borderhugh » Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:30 pm

thks Maja for the details. I think i will be ordering a kayak as soon as I move up.

I am thinking of kayaking 5 of the munros south of Quoich plus with Ben Aden as well. :clap:
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