Ben Aden sunrise
by jackfrost » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:24 pm
Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Aden, Sgùrr a' Choire-bheithe, Sgùrr nan Eugallt
Date walked: 08/08/2020
Time taken: 13 hours
Distance: 46 km
Ascent: 2400m6 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).
What a stunning weekend to go to Knoydart. No rain forecast, low rivers, light winds and warm as you like. Rough Bounds?? Soft Edges more like.
Parked the car at Coireshubh and followed the damp stalker's path to 600m and the ridgeline onto Sgurr Nan Eugallt which had a nice wee scramble at the last step. The trig point is marked as the high point of the ridge on the OS 1:50k map I was using, but Walkhighlands told me different. Looking north-west it was clear the top 500m away was higher. So I trotted out and back.
Then headed south-east along the ridge for a while until 938037 when I began a long contouring/descent for 550 of metres down to the Abhainn Chosaidh. The layout of crags on this side formed some excellent shelves and terraces that angled down the way I wanted to head making for easier progress than the map might suggest. The river was wide, but shallow.
On the far side I picked up a bog of a stalker's path that led me to the old Hydro track on the shore of Loch Quoich. Although it has been manufactured, it hasn't been maintained and is now a bit wet in places. At the loch end I crossed the two dams and then back onto rougher ground to head towards Ben Aden (Beinn an Aodainn) which was in silhouette by the late afternoon sun. I filled up the camelbak with 2litres from the Allt Coire na Cruaiche and then began the log awaited climb. I stuck to the crest of the ENE ridge without much difficulty (in these conditions). There was some maginificent rock scenery, the best being a huge horizontal slab of bare schist at around 750m.
Over some final towers and I reached summit by 18:30. Knoydart looked tremendous in all directions, so much exposed rock and steep ground everywhere. Further afield I could see from Torridon to Ben Nevis, Ben Tee to the Rhum Cuillin. About 30m below the summit I spied some more level grassy areas - my campsite.
Midges and biting cowflies spoiled what was a lovely end to the day so retired to the tent.
I was up by 5.30am and headed initially NW down to ~700m and Bac na Cloiche before making the tricky descent NE weaving through crags and gullies to reach the river fork at 902996 where I took the left branch and eventually the banks of the River Carnach. I crossed easily (shin deep) but imagine this could be very different. This place felt almost prehistoric with enormous towering crags in front and behind me, direct sunlight rarely reaches down here. The Land that Time Forgot. I scrambled up the other side clutching grass and heather to climb 100m to emerge on the next stalker's path. Following this west towards the Mam Unndalain I looked back to Ben Aden and the slope I had just descended:
At the head of the pass after some grub, I picked a route through the crags to the north which again were easier than they looked from below. Soon enough I reached the grassy ridgeline at 800m and followed it east to the summit of Sgurr a Choire-Bheithe. I am glad this was never reclassified as a Munro for a few reasons.
When planning this route on the map, I had seen the NW ridge of this hill as a probable descent to Barrisdale. When I saw it with my own eyes I was more than happy:
I followed the ridge easily all the way to Barrisdale eventually rejoining the stalker's path from the Mam Unndalain amongst some old Caledonian Pines below the flanks of Stob a Chearcaill and Ladhar Bheinn:
Passing Barrisdale the bothy was closed, but the toilet open for use by campers at the adjacent grassy area. A few people lounging in the sun. Then it was time to hike the path along Loch Hourn, up and down like a rollercoaster, bushwhacking through shoulder-high bracken, ankle deep mud, hellish heather and oppresive rhodedendrons. But it was still pleasant.
When I eventually reached the hamlet and the tarmac, my day was not yet done. I had to then slog up the switchbacks for 2km back to the car passing two odd blokes manhandling two canoes on wheels in the same direction. Odd.
by Mal Grey » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:19 pm
by razzah » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:14 am
by kevsbald » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:57 am
by jackfrost » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:49 pm
Mal Grey wrote:That looks like a wonderful overnighter into a special place.
Cheers! I only usually get one summit camp a year and thankfully this will be a memorable one! Felt very lucky.
by jackfrost » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:51 pm
razzah wrote:Absolutely wonderful! Great report - some route that. What a great place to be in those conditions though
Thanks! I couldn't not go there when the weather was soo good. Much better when its not damp and dark!
by jackfrost » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:54 pm
kevsbald wrote:I've been eyeing that route! Great report - thanks.
No problem! I made it up when trying to link the red balloons on my map. I was pretty spent when I got back to the car, I suspect it would have been a much different prospect in the more typical Knoydart conditions. Mind you, the vegetation did slow me down a bit.
by weaselmaster » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:05 pm
by jackfrost » Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:42 pm
weaselmaster wrote:Nice outing. Twice I’ve looked at a route through those crags to Sgurr a Choire bheithe and twice I’ve opted for the long way round instead, good to see they’re not as bad as they look.
Thanks. The crags were fine. Grass all the way, just had to weave and zig-zag between the tiers. Someone or something had definitely followed the same route, possibly deer, probably Corbeteer.
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