walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending


Postby rockhopper » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:09 pm

Route description: Ben Aden, by Loch Quoich

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Aden, Buidhe Bheinn, Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe, Sgurr nan Eugallt

Date walked: 29/05/2018

Distance: 65 km

Ascent: 4000m

28 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).

Given the circumstances, I was very unsure whether to write and post this report or to leave out certain parts but eventually decided that it would be fitting to do so. I do hope that anyone reading it understands and feels the same way.

Tuesday 29 May
Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe and part of Ben Aden


Route for Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe and Ben Aden

Kinloch Hourn 29-30may2018 activelog SaCb&BA.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Left Glasgow very early for the drive up to Loch Quoich. Blue skies and sun most of the way until around the turn off from the A87 for the road alongside Loch Garry at which point I was shrouded in mist and fog. Little visibility along the Kinloch Hourn road such that when I got to the parking area at NG994035 I couldn’t see the level of the loch in the distance so couldn’t assess whether I could go the more direct route. Accordingly I drove about 1km further along the road and managed to park near the old, ruined bridge over the Caolie Water.

Got ready and set off – decided against trying the bridge and the water was very low anyway so quite easy to cross. Still very misty with little visibility walking SE close to the shore before turning the corner and reaching part of the old road which made things a little easier for a while. Then back on the path which came and went and was quite boggy at times.

The mist was starting to be burned away by the sun and I was getting more frequent glimpses until it cleared completely. No difficulty at all crossing the Abhainn Chosaidh. I saw some people in a couple of canoes on the loch before getting the first views of the distant hills.

Image

I continued along the path then over the first dam with a view over Lochan na Cruadhach.

Image

I continued on the path skirting round the 254m outcrop then turned to head west on the path towards Mam Unndalain. As I passed the foot of Ben Aden, I had a look for possible routes up for later in the day. Continued on the path until the descent down towards Lochan nam Breac and its sandy beach.

Image

I met two walkers at this point, one male, one female. They had both stayed over in Barrisdale and were heading for Ben Aden before going back to Barrisdale later in the day. I thought it odd when they said that one had stayed in the bothy and one had camped until they explained that they were each married to other (non hillwalking) people and had just met up. Even more of a coincidence that their forenames were the same as my wife’s and mine. We wished each other well noting that we might meet again later and set off on our separate ways.

I continued along the path with the occasional strong whiff in the air of deer carcases – topped up my water supplies en route. The path continued to rise up towards Mam Unndalain.

Image

When I got to the high point in the path, I stowed my camping pack and poles behind a rock and continued up with a light, packable rucksack with essentials. I was probably at about 500m and still had 400m of ascent but it involved finding a way through the cliffs. I had read a few reports beforehand so had an inkling about it and the clear weather made it easier to find a route upwards.

Image

I headed up towards the 816m point then veered off to the right underneath it. After that I was up at about 800m with the relatively straightforward walk to the summit of Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe.

Barrisdale Bay

Image

Looking towards Knoydart

Image

Back to Loch Quoich

Image

Panorama

Image

Selfie

Image

I spent quite a bit of time up there and had some more food. Eventually I set off back down the same way as I had ascended.

A little below the summit I met a walker on his way up and we stopped for a chat. He was staying in Kinloch Hourn and had walked in that day to go up Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe. He explained that he had also walked in and out the previous day to go up Ben Aden. I found this very impressive given that I was taking the easier way out and had a brought a tent with me. He struck me as a nice, quiet guy who enjoyed being out and about in the hills. We chatted a bit more before he wanted to push on – we wished each other well and set off on our separate ways. (Refer note at end of report)

I got back down to Mam Unndalain, picked up my rucksack and set off back SE towards Ben Aden topping up with water again as it was very hot. I met another walker who was from Ireland and was walking the CWT. He had a rather large pack and was looking forward to his next food drop in two days.

As I neared Lochan nam Breac I again met the two people I’d met earlier on – brief chat again about how we’d each got on.

Image

Late afternoon sun on the lochan

Image

I continued to the base of Ben Aden then started up the hillside to the right of the Allt Coire na Cruaiche. Probably not the best idea as I move further west to get up round a small cliff before rejoining the allt further up. I continued up the side of the allt to just past 400m the found a grassy area to set up the tent for the night. Cooked up dinner and got to bed early as I wanted to be up early the following day.

Image


Wednesday 30 May
Rest of Ben Aden and Buidhe Beinn


Nice colours in the sky as I was having breakfast.

Image

Left the tent and set off up the side of the allt heading for the summit of Ben Aden. The sunrise came a little before I got to the top.

Image

Inversion building below.

Image

Image

Warm early colours from the sun as I made my way towards the summit.

Image

Image

It was a little windy at the top but was developing into a nice day.

Image

Loch Nevis

Image

Knoydart

Image

Another selfie

Image

Inversion

Image

Eventually I decided I had to leave and set off back down towards the tent.

Image

Packed the tent away and made my way down to the foot of Ben Aden this time sticking to the south of the allt. On the way back towards the loch, I took a shortcut round the shores of lochan na Cruadhach then back to the track round the loch.

Heard a noise and managed to get a quick photo of this plane

Image

Just before reaching the mouth of the Abhainn Chosaidh I met another walker who was heading for Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe but he was going to ascend by the Druim Chòsaidh ridge. I continued on until I got to the old road again but this time with clear weather I headed down towards the water. I got to the point where there’s a ruined bridge; the water at this point was too deep to cross but a little further to the east it got very shallow with some stepping stones. Crossed at that point and followed the old road back up the Loch Quoich road after which I had about 1km to walk back to the car.

Back at the car I got changed into lighter clothes and shorts as it was getting very hot then drove along the road to car park at Kinloch Hourn. Spoke briefly to a couple of guys, with a horse box, who were waiting on two riders. Paid my parking fee and completed the register before setting off back down the road, across the Allt Coire Sgoireadail and then along the track for Buidhe Bheinn.

A few years ago I had been up and over Sgurr a'Bhac Chaolais when it was twinned with Buidhe Bheinn. However, since Sa’BC was “demoted”, I thought I’d better also walk Buidhe Bheinn.

The track seemed quite new and headed up the hillside beside some pylons. Quite steep but a relatively easy way to get to about 250m. At the high point I branched off on to a stalker’s path aiming to walk the loop in a CW direction.

Loch Hourn

Image

Ladhar Bheinn

Image

I continued up the path until it started to disappear then went steeply uphill until I got to flatter area before the ascent to the 879m point.

Kept looking back at Loch Hourn

Image

Got to the 879m point then had the out and back section to the summit. It looked a bit further than I had imagined but it didn’t take that long to walk although there were a few tricky bits to get passed at the start.

Image

Got to the summit of Buidhe Bheinn – view towards Sgurr na Sgine and The Saddle.

Image

Looking back

Image

Retraced my steps to the 879m point then headed off to the south before going round in an easterly direction to rejoin the outward path.

Loch Hourn.....again.....

Image

Further down I heard the sound of the SAR helicopter in the distance and watched it as it made its way up towards Kinloch Hourn. It landed for a short time before taking off again.

Image

I continued down and when I was passing the houses at the bottom said hello to some people at one of the houses. The man asked me if my name was Ian explaining that the coastguard helicopter was looking for a missing walker; I replied that it wasn’t me. (Refer note at end of report)

I walked back to the car then drove back up the road to the parking area just to the south of Coireshubh. There was another car there already which had also been there earlier on – I had a quick look in the window and saw that a note had been left of a walking/camping itinerary with the walker due back the following day so no need to take any action.

My original plan had been to walk up Sgurr nan Eugallt that evening and come down by headtorch if necessary. However, I wasn’t feeling that great at this point and think the heat was starting to get to me. Instead I had an early dinner and got to bed early with the intention of setting off at about 0300hrs with headtorch.


Thursday 31 May
Sgurr nan Eugallt


I was awakened by the sound of heavy rain at about 0215 which continued for a while so decided to hold off a little. Had breakfast and after a while the rain stopped – set off about 0330hrs instead. It was quite misty lower down but there’s a decent stalker’s path to follow for much of the way.

Early light and the way forward

Image

After the stalker’s path stops, there’s an old fence which I followed for much of the rest of the way. The clag was coming and going but in between the sun was starting to rise above the cloud.

Image

Image

Partial inversion developing lower down

Image

When I got to the trig point, it was in clag. I’d noted that this wasn’t the true summit so took a quick photo of the trig then set off NW for the final 2/3km to the summit. Again the clag blew over and I could see further afield. I imagine this would be a good viewpoint on a clear day but it was just a bit too hazy to see much.

Image

Image

Image

After a wee while I returned to the trig point then walked back down to the car. Got changed and started off on the long drive back to Glasgow stopping in Ballachulish for some food. Roadworks in Dumbarton had led to a very long, slow tailback which took about an hour to clear so was a bit delayed getting home early afternoon.

Note
I hadn’t had any phone signal for the whole of my time in Kinloch Hourn and hadn’t had time to look at the news. When my wife got home in the evening, she explained that a walker in the Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe area had been reported missing on the Wednesday from a walk the previous day. That was the same day that I had been on the same hill so checked the BBC website and realised that it was the person I had met just below the summit of Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe. I emailed Lochaber MRT and phoned the police to give a statement just in case they needed it. As I noted above, we had a chat at the time and I was most impressed by what he had achieved. This really made me stop and think and my thoughts and sympathies go out to his family and friends.
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6228
Munros:282   Corbetts:187
Grahams:59   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby gammy leg walker » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:06 pm

It really hits home this TR,

There but for the grace of God go I

Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends RIP
User avatar
gammy leg walker
Walker
 
Posts: 3160
Munros:242   Corbetts:7
Grahams:3   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Islands:7
Joined: Jan 30, 2010
Location: Central Region

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby Petr Dakota » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:40 pm

Great report with great pics from the great area :thumbup: But really sad story, especially if you met someone just short time before...Nobody knows when see someone for a last time...nobody knows which hill is his/ her last one... :(
My thoughts are with his family and friends...with the respect to the mountains
User avatar
Petr Dakota
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1123
Munros:239   Corbetts:27
Grahams:7   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:16
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Sep 3, 2014
Location: North Lanarkshire

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:20 pm

I understand why you had second thoughts about posting I would too, but I think it is good, and as you say, fitting that you did.
All the best.
User avatar
Sunset tripper
 
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 3, 2013
Location: Inverness

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby past my sell by date » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:32 pm

Another great set of walks RH. I followed your route down Loch Quoich to do Sgur na Ciche around 40 years ago :lol: :lol: and had planned at some time to follow it again to do Ben Aden and Sgur a Choire Beithe bivouaking on one or the other, but I'm not sure I'll ever make it :(
Do you know if the man you met had an accident or died of natural causes? Great way to go - the latter - but a big shock for relatives
past my sell by date
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 598
Munros:282   Corbetts:84
Grahams:27   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:146
Wainwrights:159   
Joined: Apr 24, 2013

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby spiderwebb » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:28 pm

Lovely photos. I recall this too as I was in the area, although I believe the sad news had already hit. I haven't seen any further details of what occurred, but thoughts also with friends and family :(
User avatar
spiderwebb
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1484
Munros:95   Corbetts:15
Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:68   
Joined: May 18, 2011
Location: Miltonduff, Elgin

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby ere1 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:07 pm

Some really beautiful pics, but very sad news. My condolences to his family and friends.
User avatar
ere1
Walker
 
Posts: 197
Munros:50   Corbetts:1
Islands:7
Joined: Mar 23, 2013
Location: Rijswijk, The Netherlands

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:28 pm

If the gentleman died of natural causes, it's a great way to go (though always tough for the family and friends).

If I were he, I would definitely want you to publish your report. On that basis I feel you were fine to do so.

It's a glorious report, and reminds us all why we - and he - do what we do.
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2620
Munros:167   Corbetts:29
Hewitts:195
Wainwrights:71   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby litljortindan » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:36 pm

A few contenders for photo of the month there but a very sobering and sad end to your trip.
User avatar
litljortindan
Walker
 
Posts: 1687
Munros:111   Corbetts:55
Grahams:26   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:47 pm

Well done in posting this lovely report with sensitivity. I'm sure you are right to publish it, as it clearly proves Ian was enjoying what turned out, sadly, to be his final days. Hopefully it will help, a little, for his friends and family if they know he was happy near the end.

You had a wonderful few days by the look of it, some of the photos are sublime, and remind me I must get back to the area.
User avatar
Mal Grey
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2812
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:43 am

Wow what a report with your usual fantastic photos.
I fully understand your dilemma and like all the other contributors I agree with your decision.
Was surprised how many folk you met in such a remote and stunning area.
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2296
Munros:151   Corbetts:46
Grahams:35   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:88   Hewitts:2
Islands:5
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby Jaxter » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:47 am

Absolutely wonderful trip, I can’t wait to have time to get to this area 8) :clap:

Sad ending, but agree with everyone else. It’s a nice tribute to him and what he loved doing to post.

And also a reminder to the rest of us that you never know what’s round the corner :shock:
User avatar
Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1125
Munros:199   Corbetts:112
Grahams:44   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:42   Hewitts:41
Wainwrights:53   Islands:13
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:05 pm

The final part of your report definitely puts life into perspective. Nothing wrong with publishing it in my opinion.

We were in the area of Loch Arkaig last week and on Friday the 8th we climbed Sgurr Mor. While resting on the summit, we discussed possible options to reach Ben Aden & friends. Something to look forward to in the future. We will return to your report when we eventually get around to doing these hills.
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3118
Munros:258   Corbetts:162
Grahams:110   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby Sgurr » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:35 pm

Very sad ending. But, as others have said, a reminder that he probably died doing what we all love.

Wonderful photos RH

Black Panther, I believe there is now a plutocrats way of doing Ben Aden. You go to Doune and there is a boat at your disposal which you can hire. Might need to get together a huge party to make it viable (?cheap). LB (Lindsay Boyd) who used to be a guide wrote a report, which you can find if you google it.
User avatar
Sgurr
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3470
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:568   Hewitts:133
Wainwrights:145   
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: Glorious Kinloch Hourn but with a very sad ending

Postby rockhopper » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:28 pm

Many thanks for all your comments and reflections and for agreeing with posting the report. It certainly put things into perspective for me and is one trip I'll never forget - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6228
Munros:282   Corbetts:187
Grahams:59   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

28 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).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ashrafa19, gordon59, Highlander282, M1ck5, perr, pp49, prog99, rockhopper, Stephenwoods and 71 guests