Footbridge at Knochkan a milestone to Cook's Cairn

Grahams: Cook's Cairn

Date walked: 21/11/2020

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 20km

Ascent: 480m

I had read that the footbridge to Suie across the Kymah burn was closed due to damage and the notice on the info board at Allanreid carpark confirmed this. The plan was to copy previous WH posters and sneak across without being seen. Having managed to head off a flock of sheep on arrival with the car, we proceeded to follow them along the road until we turned onto the track by the Livet just before the first footbridge. This track seemed way too untrodden, but it was the correct path. Through the small forest and then out across a field before coming to the 2nd footbridge to cross to the south side of the Livet. The long track to the Suie ford was very wet in places and awkward at times. On approach to the ford we could see in the distance a 4WD parked on the north side of the closed footbridge. A person was moving around on the south side and proceeded to cross the footbridge to the vehicle. Thinking this might be an estate worker, we abandoned the sneaky plan and forded the river at vehicle crossing point. My feet were dry, my wife's not so. Cursing our luck to have been robbed of a dry crossing, we planned to visit the bothy at Knochkan beside the footbridge on the return leg. Heading up the hill to Suie, the rain started and the wind increased. Through the gate we hurried for the shelter of the ruin to don wet gear and have a hot drink from the flasks. I had read of a milestone being near here and it was my wife who spotted it first. It is actually on the line of the old track between Suie and the northern cottage. The modern track swings to the east of the cottage whereas the old track passed to the west.
Suie milestone looking south.jpg
South to Suie

Suie milestone.jpg
Glenfiddich 6 1/2 miles

North to Cooks Cairn.jpg
North to Cook's Cairn.

The walk to the summit was very straightforward as there are now signposts placed by the Dorenell Windfarm Ranger Service. Standing by one of the wind turbines it was surprising to actually see how large they are. The descent in the afternoon sunshine was pleasant and the view down to Suie very poignant, given that it is all derelict. After exiting the gate south of Suie we headed diagonally across the field to Knochkan to visit the bothy. On entering we were surprised to see the fire lit but no sign of anyone. While standing outside enjoying the sun, the bloke we saw earlier appeared suddenly over the fence from the river. He must have been working out of sight. He explained he was finishing off the replacement bridge that had been installed at the end of September. We bade him farewell and headed for the new bridge. It is certainly robust and much better than fording.
Gabion cages.jpg
Gabion cages on north side

Knochkan bridge.jpg
Sneakless crossing

Suie footbridge at Knochkan.jpg
Replaced footbridge at Knochkan

Once across we started back along the muddy track with thoughts of wine and food.

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Activity: Walker
Pub: Six┬░North
Mountain: Ben Aden
Place: Eriskay
Gear: Trangia
Munro rounds: 1
Corbett rounds: 1

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 222
Grahams: 42
Donalds: 11
Sub 2000: 8
Islands: 47

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Trips: 1
Distance: 20 km
Ascent: 480m
Grahams: 1

Joined: Feb 07, 2020
Last visited: Dec 01, 2020
Total posts: 1 | Search posts