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Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:51 pm
by Helen Bruce
It's been a while since I did a trip report, but I noticed there was no report linked to the Beinn Bhuidhe route yet so thought I'd write this one up in case it helps others with route planning - it's a slight variation on the WH route.

Here's the map of our walk, done retrospectively from memory:

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

First of all, being in Knoydart Beinn Bhuidhe is an amazingly beautiful, complex mountain with stunning views. It could be tricky in mist as most of the time there's no path once you leave Gleann Meadail and it's not always easy to find the route. It's also a really long day, with lots of minor tops to go up and down. When I mapped it out I was really surprised that it was over 1400m in ascent - guess that's why it took us so long!

It was another hot, dry, sunny May the first time I came to Knoydart in 2008, but then and on subsequent trips I'd been focussed on the three Munros. On this trip, the hill targets were the three Corbetts, two of which I hadn't yet done - turned out to be such a good choice! For each walk Malc and I were the only ones on the mountain that day, the views were stupendous and we could take it nice and slowly so as not to overheat without worrying about running out of daylight.

It was already hot when we left the campsite at 9.00. We knew it wasn't going to be a quick day, but one to savour.
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Inspiring signs at the start of the walk

We took the route signed for the old hilltracks to Strathan and Kinloch Hourn, up through some forestry works and past the monument to Lord Brocket before crossing the Inverie River then bearing right along the Allt Gleann Meadail. After an hour's walking we crossed the river and sat down for a while with our boots off and feet in the river, while a group passed us and started to head up to the ridge towards Meall Buidhe. It was such a lovely walk along the glen, on a good track which steadily gained height.
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Malc enjoying the bluebell woodlands as we start up Gleann Meadail

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Taking a rest further up the glen

As we got higher we began to meet walkers coming in the opposite direction, some from Sourlies and others from Camusrory, walking to Inverie, and stopped to have a few chats. We had thought about heading up to reach the ridge at Mam Uchd, as in the WH route, but decided to carry on with the path to the pass as it seemed a more natural route and we had the time to do a longer walk.

Finally we arrived at the top of Mam Meadail at 12.15, and spent half an hour having lunch with our boots off to cool our feet down. The views were opening up of Sgurr na Ciche and Garbh Chioch Mhor, and down to the river Carnach.
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Arriving at Mam Meadail

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Heading up the ridge from Mam Meadail

I'd hoped that there'd be a nice cairn and a path heading to the right showing our route back along the ridge, but if there was we didn't see it. Having said that, there was no real difficulty and we slowly began the return trip, winding through rocky outcrops as the views down to Loch Nevis and back to Sourlies began to open up.
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First top on the ridge

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View back towards Inverie down Gleann Meadail

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End of Loch Nevis, Sourlies bothy just out of sight

It was exceptionally dry underfoot which made it easier for walking but it didn't feel natural for the west coast! We probably took a less easy route around the top of Mam Uchd, bearing too far to the north and having to contour round so as not to lose any height. After that the peak of Sgurr an t- Sagairt looks rather tricky but we managed with care to pick our way around the south side.
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Summit at last - after 6 hours of walking

It was 3.00 when we finally reached the summit, 6 hours after setting off. I hadn't expected to be so slow, but actually it was really nice to stroll along and just enjoy the views on both sides.
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Loch Nevis and Loch Morar

The route becomes much easier to find after the summit, a wide grassy ridge until finally at Sgurr Coire nan Gobhar you're looking down on the two lochs far below and Inverie beyond.
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Almost at the end of the ridge, Eigg and Rum in the haze ahead

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Almost there, looking down on the two lochs and Inverie, Skye beyond

We picked our way down, glad the steep grassy slopes and peat hags were so dry, arriving at the gap between the lochs around 4.30 where we had a good splash in the water - too shallow for a proper swim.

And then the last stretch down towards Kilchoan where we pondered how to get through the area around the houses without disturbing their residents or the deer grazing on the lawn - the most obvious route was just to walk right along the track and past the house to the bridge, but it didn't seem quite right so we took a rather convoluted route to keep out of the way.

Back at the tent for 6.30, glad to stop at last. It was a brilliant day, and a really wonderful mountain.

Re: Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 1:42 pm
by PeteR
This looks superb :clap:

I was in Knoydart myself recently, picking off a couple of Munros + a Corbett. I'd originally had my eye on this one, but decided it would be too much on that particular trip. Definitely a good excuse to return :D

Re: Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 2:04 pm
by Helen Bruce
Thanks Pete - and agreed! Spoiled for choice in Knoydart.

Re: Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 2:27 pm
by Sunset tripper
Great pictures and looked like a cracking day. It's 9 years I think since I've been to Knoydart but planning a trip this year weather permitting possibly going in from Kinlochourn :roll:
Did you visit the bar and if so what was it like? I've heard some mixed reports. :?

Re: Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 9:03 pm
by Helen Bruce
Thanks Sunset Tripper - hope you have a great trip!

The Old Forge is there - which is a positive, there aren't many other options to spend money in Knoydart - and it's a great place to sit outside in the sunshine with a post-walk pint. The staff are friendly enough, but it's rather pricy, and there isn't the option for a basic fish & chips at the bar type meal. [Veggie option was delicious but cost £17.95].

Otherwise there's a new restaurant down the road which we didn't try, and a lovely cafe opposite.

Re: Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 2:07 am
by Sunset tripper
Cheers Helen good info. Thinking of a route from Kinlochourn to Inverie including Ladhar Bheinn if I can get my kit light enough. :roll:
After that, boat to Mallaig and home on public transport. The campsite you mentioned looks a good option too.
Now all I need is 2 or 3 days of good weather, and find someone daft enough to give me a lift and drop me off at Kinlochourn. :D

Re: Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 3:09 pm
by past my sell by date
Great walk and report. when I came down the path from the Mam Meadail about 16 years ago after traversing the two munros it was in very poor condition. Good if it's improved. The memorial to the traitior Brocket is a real gut wrencher - he should be replaced by Chris Brasher who was highly instrumental in the buyout. And there has been stuff in the news about the Old Forge - it was great when Ian was in Charge - fabulous seafood, good beer and not expensive - but the Belgian does not appear to be well-liked :(

Re: Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 8:45 am
by gaffr
No reports.... A few years back I sent a report on here. Around 2011.
Inverie at last for some tops.

Re: Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 6:02 pm
by Helen Bruce
Thanks for the comments,

past my sell by date wrote: when I came down the path from the Mam Meadail about 16 years ago after traversing the two munros it was in very poor condition. :(

I fully admit that the weather had been so dry that the track was probably a lot better than it might otherwise have been - it certainly deteriorated somewhat towards Mam Meadail as it got steeper. Also people coming up from the Sourlies direction commented on how awful that section of the track had been.

gaffr wrote:No reports.... A few years back I sent a report on here. Around 2011.
Inverie at last for some tops.

You're right, and I read it before heading to Knoydart - but it's not linked to this route as that appeared more recently. It appears as a trip report linked to the Corbett listings.

Re: Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 7:39 am
by gaffr
Hello...thanks for that FB.
Do I understand correctly that the 'Hills list and information for the Corbetts'...and of course other hill categories has reports by walkers doing the walk by their own route whereas 'The Walks list' are perhaps as done by the recommended routes by WH?
I'm not a regular user of these parts of the Forum....if needing any information on an area not visited I tend to 'dig into' my daughter's SMC books for some information....especially so with the well scattered and well hidden Grahams :)

Re: Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 9:55 am
by Helen Bruce
No, not quite. The route I posted was actually a variation on the WH route - theirs cuts up on to the ridge about a mile before Mam Meadail and misses out quite a large section of the ridge. While lots of people do follow the WH route, of course lots of others don't but can still link their reports to the WH route page - probably as easy to find as looking directly at the mountain lists.

As I understand it, you posted your trip report before WH had got a route description up for Beinn Bhidhe, so yours is linked to the Corbett list ( but not the route in the "walks" section.

It may be possible to edit your trip report to link to both, not sure. As you say, there are other sources of information but it's always worth looking at the mountain listing on WH even if there's no route. I'm quite happy making my own way in the mountains but it's always good to know (if possible) which routes up and down are do-able (or otherwise)!

Re: Knoydart knock-out, Beinn Bhuidhe

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 2:21 pm
by gaffr
Think that I have got it now....takes a while to sink in.
The walks with Corbetts on the regional walks list have been included fairly recently....more recently that 2011...I guess.
Had always wondered why there were two ways of presenting the information. It would seem to make sence to have it as such with a regional arrangement for folks going to spend time in one area say for a holiday and to have a range of hill groups to suit the day or fitness level and to have the other lists with information for the collectors of one group say Corbetts or even others. :D