946 m. |
Translation: Yellow hill
Pronuncation: myowl booee
The Knoydart peninsula proper has three Munros: Ladhar Bheinn, Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe. Frank and I had climbed the first two of them in 1993 (Ladhar B.) and 2010 (Luinne B.). On both occasions we had walked into Knoydart from Barrisdale and had walked out again the same day. Both hikes were memorable leaving us with lasting memories and burning soles.
For the third Munro on the peninsula we opted for the approach from Inverie. The evening before the hike we took the boat from Mallaig to Inverie, enjoyed the marvellous panorama this maritime approach holds in store, checked into our accommodation (Knoydart Lodge, very nice!) and spent the evening in the Old Forge in the company of a Scots/American group of friendly hikers who also stayed at the Lodge.
The next morning saw us peeling out of bed bleary-eyed, eating a hearty breakfast in the communal kitchen of the lodge and then setting off towards Meall Buidhe. The Landrover track from Inverie and the ensuing good path made for an easy first hour of hiking at the end of which we reached the Druim bothy. From there it was another ten minutes to the footbridge over the Allt Gleann Meadail at the entrance to the eponymous glen.
From the entrance to Gleann Meadail we hit the steep slope to the left overgrown with bracken which – after about 250m of very arduous climbing – deposited us on the grassy back of the Druim Righeanaich ridge. From there it was a straightforward if steepish and longish climb to the pre-summit of An t-Uiriollach (826m) and down to the 770m-or-so bealach at the foot of the final climb to Meall Buidhe’s summit and cairn at 946m.
There we rested for a while and tried to take some photographs when there were short breaks in the clouds that shrowded the summit on and off. There was no use in continuing towards the east summit of Meall Buidhe since there were no views. But we had seen all of Knoydart including the Matterhorn (ha-ha!) shape of Sgurr na Ciche on our way to the summit.
After another 15 minutes or so we commenced the “Get me back to Inverie and a cold Coca-Cola”-leg of the hike. This was as uneventful as the outward leg in so far as the weather was good, the path was obvious and the hill belonged to us alone. Perfect. Soon we were back to Druim Righeanaich and descended the very steep slope of bracken. That was somewhat easier than the ascent since the ferns offered good handholds keeping you nicely upright! Under the condition, however, that you did not tread on one of the well-hidden, moss-covered boulders which had the potential of instantly sending an inattentive hiker tumbling down the steep incline of this semi-vertical sea of bracken at any given moment! 🙂
At the entrance to the glen we rested in the grass for a little while before we strolled back towards Inverie where the above-mentioned Coca-Cola waited for us. As did a nice burger dinner purchased from friendly Snack Van right on the premises of Knoydart Lodge. Great!
So? Inverie is a very (!!) beautiful place boasting not only many kinds of outdoor activities and the remotest pub on the British mainland but also the highest ratio of Landrovers/All Vehicles we ever saw. And of course the village makes for an easier and much more laid-back approach to all three Knoydart Munros than the beautiful but curse-provoking coastal path from Kinlochhourn to Barrisdale (and back. Don’t forget!).
Given time and leisure we will certainly come back to Inverie (by boat!)…
Max elevation: 945 m
Min elevation: 3 m
Total climbing: 1533 m
Total descent: -1544 m
Total time: 07:45:10
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.