walkhighlands

Munro Round Compleat in Knoydart (plus flying pigs)

Munros: Meall Buidhe (Knoydart)

Date walked: 23/06/2022

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 12.29km

Ascent: 1168m

In the summer of 1985, whilst on holiday with my parents, at the age of seven, I climbed my first Munro. The day started off sunny, but two thirds of the way up, the clouds closed in and we were soaked by the pouring rain, so we made the difficult decision to turn back and not go to the summit. Five minutes later I managed to pipe up. “I’d really like to go to the top”
So after an about turn, we returned to steadily making our way up and after a number of false summits we reached the top of Ben More on Mull.

001 Ben More.jpg

My Dad teaching me how to use a compass on the way up Ben More

In the summer of 2022, at the age of 44 I climbed my last Munro. The day started off sunny(ish) but two thirds of the way up the clouds closed in. This time there was no rain and absolutely no question of turning back.

I had marked Meall Buidh as the Munro I wanted to be my last, when I met a chap on Ladhar Bheinn who had just finished his round. I was planning to do all 3 of the Knoydart Munros from Kinloch Hourn that day, but this gave me the perfect excuse to shorten the day, and the thought of getting the boat in to Inverie for my final one definitely appealed to me.
The journey started with a rainy drive to Mallaig, where we parked in the West Bay car park. We were nice and early for the ferry, so sat in the van looking out to sea to where Skye would be if it wasn’t hidden by the mist. Thankfully the rain stopped for us to walk to the docks where we got on the little ferry for the fantastic trip to Inverie.

002 The Ferry.jpg

The Knoydart Ferry

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Clouds down but still stunning scenery

We spent most of the trip being interrogated by a local chap who was heading home from a trip to Mallaig. He told us that he had a beautiful view down Loch Nevis to the Isle of Rum from his living room window, but he hasn’t seen it all week as the weather had been terrible! When Mary suggested, hopefully, that the clouds might blow through and give us a view, his response was “Aye... pigs might fly”

We walked straight to the Long Beach campsite and set up our tent right by the sea. It’s a great camp site, with very simple facilities and we were one of only 5 tents on the site, so really peaceful too.

010 Campsite.jpg

Relaxing at the campsite

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Tent with a view

After some time relaxing at the campsite, gazing at the view and listening to the waves lap against the shore, we headed to the Old forge for a pint, which turned into a couple of pints, which turned into a night out! What an amazing pub. Great atmosphere, friendly folk to chat to (locals and visitors alike) and a view and a half out of the window.

012 Outside old forge.jpg

The Old Forge

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A drink with a view

020 all gone.jpg

Oops... better have another

The walk back from the pub was a little longer than the walk there (funny how that happens!) and we got our heads down, drifting off to sleep with just the sound of the waves, curlews and oyster catches as our backdrop.

We woke up to moody skies. It turned out the pigs weren't flying! It wasn’t raining though, and there were glimpses of sunlight through the clouds.

030 morning sky.jpg

Looking towards our mountain from the tent

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Setting off up a new Munro for the last time

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The walk in

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A brief glimpse of the sun over Torr a' Bhalbhain

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Cow blocks path

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Friendly fellow

We were grateful for the flat(ish) three and a half mile walk to the base of the mountain to clear our heads from the premature celebration. We passed the Druim Bothy (marked as a ruin on my OS map) crossed the river on a good sturdy bridge and looked up at the steep climb we had ahead.
The hillside was covered in tall bracken but thankfully a small path zigzagged its way up before petering out about two thirds of the way to the ridge. There was about 15 minutes of awkward off path climbing before reaching the ridge and the comfort of following a faint path again.

050 big bracken.jpg

There's a path there somewhere!

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Inverie in the sun

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Relieved to be on the ridge

The tops were all shrouded in clouds but the view back towards Inverie was amazing and the cloud level did seem to be lifting a little as we climbed, and we managed to stay out of the murk until about 700 meters when the clouds closed in. The path came and went a bit in places, but the ridge was easy enough to follow all the way to the summit.
It’s safe to say I had a bit of a lump in my throat as I took the final couple of steps to the summit cairn and touched the top of my final Munro.

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Compleat!!!

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Opening the bubbly

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Cheers

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Cheers again

I cracked open a mini bottle of bubbly to celebrate and we found a sheltered spot to have our lunch at the top, still ensconced in cloud but grinning from ear to ear.

We headed back the same way and even though the clouds stayed on the mountains, the distant views improved, and we got a glimpse of the view down Loch Nevis towards Rum as we got back to the camp site. So it turns out pigs can fly a little bit :D

071 Rum appears.jpg

Rum Appears for the first time

We climbed on the four o’clock ferry and said goodbye to Knoydart. It really is a magical place, even with the clouds down, staying at the Long Beach camp site was blissful and the Old Forge is now my favorite pub in the country. It was a great place to Compleat my Munros and I’ll definitely be going back!

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Farewell to Knoydart


I've had an amazing time working my way through the Munros. I guess the list below are my real highlights, but I can't think of a single day I haven't enjoyed, and there are many that could easily make that list on another day!

Top Ten
1. Cuillin Ridge Traverse (2 days with bivy on the ridge)
2. Fisherfield 6 (2 days with wild camp on summit of A’Mhaighdean)
3. Liathach
4. Mullardoch Round
5. Cairngorm 4000’s (including The Devils Point and Carn a’ Mhaim)
6. Glendesserry Munros (Sgurr na Ciche, Garbh Chioch Mhor, Sgurr nan Coireachan, Sgurr Mor)
7. Black Mount Traverse (blue skies and snow)
8. Ring of Steall
9. Glen Coe Skyline (race)
10. Aonach Eagach

It's taken me to some incredible places that I maybe wouldn't have been if I wasn't bagging. There have been many days where I have set off thinking "this'll be a boring one" and I've gone on to have a fantastic day. I have of course had my fair share of insect bites, drenchings, heather bashing and boggy sloggs, but they've all been part of the experience and have never made me feel that I was ever just "ticking a box"

Its also partly responsible for where I live and work. It was a holiday in the Highlands bagging Munros that encouraged me to move to Scotland. I spent the whole holiday thinking "yeah! I need to live closer to this!" so I moved up, and now I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!

Some Stats From My Round

282 Munros (you know that, but is seems like the right place to start!)
122 hill days
1,446 miles walked
170 miles cycled
500,914 feet climbed (152,678 meters)
20 Munros climbed in winter conditions
75% of summits cloud free
2 wild camps and 1 bivy
Toughest Day – Mullardoch Round. 17hrs 52, 36 miles, 15,000 feet
Easiest Day – The 3 Cairnwell Munros. 1hr 45, 8 miles 1900 feet

On to the Corbetts 😊

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Comments: 15



Waking up above the clouds in West Monar

Attachment(s) Munros: Bidein a' Choire Sheasgaich, Lurg Mhòr, Maoile Lunndaidh, Sgùrr a' Chaorachain, Sgùrr Chòinnich
Corbetts: Beinn Tharsuinn
Date walked: 01/05/2022
Distance: 40km
Ascent: 2895m
Comments: 3
Views: 1997


First Time Exploring the Cairngorms - 4000s (plus 2)

Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Macdui, Braeriach, Cairn Gorm, Cairn Toul, Càrn a' Mhàim, Sgòr an Lochain Uaine, The Devil's Point
Date walked: 06/09/2020
Distance: 41km
Ascent: 2554m
Comments: 2
Views: 2130


Knoydart in a Day

Attachment(s) Munros: Ladhar Bheinn, Luinne Bheinn
Date walked: 29/08/2020
Distance: 45km
Ascent: 2489m
Views: 1540


7 Munros South of Loch Laggan

Attachment(s) Munros: Aonach Beag (Alder), Beinn a' Chlachair, Beinn Èibhinn, Càrn Dearg (Loch Pattack), Creag Pitridh, Geal chàrn (Laggan), Geal-chàrn (Alder)
Date walked: 15/08/2020
Distance: 44km
Ascent: 2183m
Comments: 1
Views: 1681


Mullardoch Round

Attachment(s) Munros: An Riabhachan, An Socach (Affric), An Socach (Mullardoch), Beinn Fhionnlaidh (Càrn Eige), Càrn Eige, Càrn nan Gobhar (Loch Mullardoch), Màm Sodhail, Mullach na Dheiragain, Sgùrr na Lapaich, Sgùrr nan Ceathreamhnan, Toll Creagach, Tom a' Chòinich
Date walked: 11/07/2020
Distance: 56km
Ascent: 5000m
Comments: 8
Views: 2905

The Rec



Munros: 282
Tops: 108
Corbetts: 57
Fionas: 10
Donalds: 14+0
Wainwrights: 99
Hewitts: 140
Sub 2000: 3



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Statistics

2022

Trips: 2
Distance: 52.29 km
Ascent: 4063m
Munros: 6
Corbetts: 1

2020

Trips: 4
Distance: 186 km
Ascent: 12226m
Munros: 28


Joined: Feb 10, 2018
Last visited: Feb 21, 2024
Total posts: 34 | Search posts