939 m. |
Translation: Hill of anger, or hill of mirth or melody
Pronuncation: loonya vyn
Knoydart. Kinloch Hourn. Barrisdale. Coastal Path. Remoteness. Challenge. Yeehaa! Stop. Return to order.
No other area of Scotland apart from Torridon had left an impression on Frank and me as lasting as Knoydart, which we had visited in the early 1990s when we had climbed Ladhar Bheinn. A mountain certainly to be ranked among the Top Ten of Scottish hills. For about fifteen years we had fantasized about coming back and doing the other two Munros. May 2010 saw us finally realizing that dream when we had rented a cottage in Invergarry to climb all the Munros in the Knoydart, Shiel, Quoich and Arkaig area of the Highlands.
Early in the morning we left our car in Kinloch Hourn and embarked upon the great path along the southern shore of Loch Hourn. Everyone who ever walked this path knows that it is quite scenic but also definitely *no stroll* since the ups and downs on the stretch between Kinloch Hourn and Barrisdale are definitely significant! We definitely enjoyed the path and were looking forward to walking Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe. Enthusiasm drove us forward and we reached Barrisdale in about two hours. From this beautiful spot between the water the mountains we climbed the extremely pleasant and well-engineered path to the Mam Barrisdale. Alas, the weather kept deteriorating all along the way so that we reached the col in driving rain and strong winds. From the Mam Barrisdale we followed a path on the west side of Luinne Bheinn which steadily climbed up the hill’s contour lines. After some 40 or 50 minutes of walking we had reached a spot close to where the Allt a’Choire Odhar and the lochans close by where visible from above. There we turned due north and climbed the steep hillside. Soon we gained less steep ground and found the path/track leading to the summit of Luinne Bheinn. There visibility was restricted to about 50 to 100m. The wind was strong and rain was beating down on us. So, after some painful minutes of making up our minds in the lee of the cairn cowering on a grassy ledge, we decided to not climb Meall Buidhe on this day but to return to Barrisdale immediately. The conditions were simply too bad to negotiate the difficult terrain between these two Knoydart Munros.
On our way back we followed the path down the northwest ridge of Luinne Bheinn which brought us back to the Mam Barrisdale soon enough. Glad to be back on well-trodden ground we hiked back to Barrisdale in the rain. We took a short break from walking, ate our (wet) sandwiches and mustered the rest of our strength for the long hike back to Kinloch Hourn. This proved to be a test of endurance especially on the two pronounced ups and downs of the path close to the end of the hike. We got back to the car feeling quite knackered. The soles of our feet where burning. All in all this was a testing day which left us with a feeling of achievement (Hey, it’s Knoydart) and also disappointment (only Luinne Bheinn visited!). So let’s view things from a positive angle and let’s say that we will be back for at least one more visit in order to bag Meall Buidhe. Maybe we can do this from Inverie (no walk-in but a boat to take us there) and spare a further day for a return to Ladhar Bheinn!!?
Max elevation: 937 m
Min elevation: -20 m
Total climbing: 2327 m
Total descent: -2337 m
Total time: 10:16:18
Description These two mountains are situated near the eastern end of the Knoydart peninsula in one of the wildest parts of the western highlands - an area which well justifies being named The Rough Bounds of Knoydart. Meall Buidhe, which is the southerly of the two, is at the head of Gleann Meadail and overlooks the head of Loch Nevis, from which it is accessible by the path which goes from the head of the loch through the hills to Inverie. Luinne Bheinn, 3 kilometres to the north-east, rises above Barrisdale Bay on the south side of Loch Hourn. The path from Barrisdale to Inverie goes over a high pass at the foot of the north-west ridge of Luinne Bheinn. Between the two mountains is Coire Odhair, a fine example of an ice-scoured corrie enclosed by vast expanses of glaciated slabs. Of the three points from which these two mountains can be climbed - the head of Loch Nevis, Barrisdale and Inverie - the first two are not accessible by public transport, and a long walk in may be needed to reach them. Inverie is accessible by regular boat services from Mallaig and accommodation is available in the village. From there walk along the road past Inverie House and up the Inverie River, and continue along the path beyond Loch an Dubh-Lochain to the Mam Barrisdale. Climb Luinne Bheinn by its north-west ridge and continue along the very rough undulating ridge round the head of Coire Odhair to Meall Buidhe. It will probably take much longer than you expect. Descend along the west ridge to the foot of Gleann Meadail and follow the path and track back to Inverie.