Luinne Bheinn

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 … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+02:00May 13th, 2010|2010, 2019 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Sgurr na Ciche

This is the tour Frank and I had been planning to do for a longer time than any other hillwalk in Scotland apart maybe from the Five Sisters of Kintail which had also been on our agenda for quite a while before we made them. But then, after having driven the car about 20 odd miles along the undulating single track road on north shore of Loch Arkaig we finally arrived at Strathan. We packed our rucksacks, laced our boots and off we went for this much coveted Munro adventure.

It was quite cold that morning when we set out on the track to Glendessarry. Progress was easy and in no time Glendessarry House – a really massive lodge – and Upper Glendessary were reached. There we left the Landrover track and continued on the path which runs along the north side of the massive pine plantation in the glen. After about 9 or 10 kilometres we started climbing up a grassy track in order to gain height and to finally reach the deep gully which separates Garbh Cioch Mor and Sgurr na Ciche. We finally reached this narrow and deep gash in the mountains’ south side and steadily climbed the gully over boulders and lingering spring snow fields. Where the gully opens up a bit and levels out below the Feadan na Ciche we paused for a snack. It was there when we met an English hillwalker who should be our on and off companion for the rest of the day. We chatted a bit and went on.

From the Feadan na Ciche col we followed the increasingly steep path through crags and boulders to the summit ridge of Sgurr na Ciche. A very nice scramble in places. Soon the summit was reached and we took a well-deserved break enjoying the clear views of Knoydart with Loch Nevis, Meall Buidhe, Luinne Bheinn and Ladhar Bheinn offering much to be marvelled at and to be remembered – Ladhar Bheinn had been one of the first Munros we had climbed in … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+02:00May 11th, 2010|2010, 2019 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Garbh Chioch Mhor

This is the tour Frank and I had been planning to do for a longer time than any other hillwalk in Scotland apart maybe from the Five Sisters of Kintail which had also been on our agenda for quite a while before we made them. But then, after having driven the car about 20 odd miles along the undulating single track road on north shore of Loch Arkaig we finally arrived at Strathan. We packed our rucksacks, laced our boots and off we went for this much covered Munro adventure.

It was quite cold that morning when we set out on the track to Glendessarry. Progress was easy and in no time Glendessarry House – a really massive lodge – and Upper Glendessary were reached. There we left the Landrover track and continued on the path which runs along the north side of the massive pine plantation in the glen. After about 9 or 10 kilometres we started climbing up a grassy track in order to gain height and to finally reach the deep gully which separates Garbh Cioch Mor and Sgurr na Ciche. We finally reached this narrow and deep gash in the mountains’ south side and steadily climbed the gully over boulders and lingering spring snow fields. Where the gully opens up a bit and levels out below the Feadan na Ciche we paused for a snack. It was there when we met an English hillwalker who should be our on and off companion for the rest of the day. We chatted a bit and went on.

From the Feadan na Ciche col we followed the increasingly steep path through crags and boulders to the summit ridge of Sgurr na Ciche. A very nice scramble in places. Soon the summit was reached and we took a well-deserved break enjoying the clear views of Knoydart with Loch Nevis, Meall Buidhe, Luinne Bheinn and Ladhar Bheinn offering much to be marvelled at and to be remembered – Ladhar Bheinn had been one of the first Munros we had climbed in … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+02:00May 11th, 2010|2010, 2019 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Sgurr nan Coireachan

Frank’s story: Sgurr na Ciche and his neighbours were Munros which we wanted to climbed for years now but there was never the right time. This year it was. We woke up at 6 am enjoyed an extensive breakfast and packed our stuff. Then we drove one of the most torterous single tracks roads in Scotland i have ever driven. The track along Loch Arkaig is a hell of a road. Finally we reached Strahan and prepared ourselves for a really long day.

The walk through Glen Dessarry is a really nice one, although the forestation to the west is not especially eyecandy. We had decided that we won’t follow the recommandations from SMC and McNeish and everyone else. Instead we aimed to climb Sgurr na Ciche first and then his easterly neighbours with the remote Sgurr Mor as the final and 4th Munro. On the way through the Glen we passed Dessarry House – a very remote and a very huge sporting lodge. The paths continued and we left it after aprox 9 km’s and headed up the bealach. The gorge we saw was a surprise, didn’t read anything about that. But there it was and we had to climb that steep and wet rock thing. Soon after that the bealach was reached and we traced our steps towards the summit of this very recognisable Munro. This ascent is in fact much steeper than that through the gorge and we had to descent it after taking a well earned lunch break on Sgurr na Ciche.

Almost at the same height the next summit Garbh Cioch Mhor waited for us after a steep and very direct pull. In no time we were there. What was going to follow was a not so funny up and down of tops and Munros which Cord ended on the 3rd Munro of the day – Sgurr nan Coireachan – he returned then the normal way down to Glen Dessarry. I felt good enough to gave the 6 km remote Sgurr Mor a try. Another solo. Always … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+02:00May 11th, 2010|2010, 2019 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Sgurr a’Mhaoraich

This Munro was one of the hills which figured in my mental list as a more or less unknown entity. I had climbed the South Glen Shiel ridge, I had climbed Gleouraich but I had no memory of any views of Sgurr a’Mhaoraich. This could of course be due to bad weather on the hills mentioned but who knows why my mind had never registered this hill. Nonetheless I had always been looking forward to finally bagging Sgurr a’Mhaoraich because the hill has big shoulders and spacious ridges offering good access and possibly great views of Knoydart and its other neighbours. Now that we wanted to climb it on a semi rest day (Hey, what’s a four hour hike for a real Munrobagger!) the weather was again so-so.

We parked our car in the little layby right after the bridge over the northern finger of Loch Quoich. We vigorously climbed the very nice stalker’s path (on par with the path up Gleouraich) leading onto the Bac nan Caraichean Ridge. At an altitude of about 650 metres the ridge has a level section from where the view ahead towards Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach first opens up. Strong wind greeted us there and made it clear that todays Munro would not be bagged strolling along the ridge in bright sunshine worrying about sunburn developing on our arms and necks. Soon the highest point (891m) of Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach was reached and it became apparent that the continuation along the ridge leading to Sgurr a’Mhaoraich would be consisting of ups and downs and bends and corners to be turned. In other words: nothing difficult but quite contorted. Ok. On we went and made progress towards Sgurr a’Mhaoraich. In the clouds and mist which had closed in on us we negotiated the outcops below the summit. Scambling over grassy rakes and some snow left over from the winter we finally reached the uppermost part of the south ridge and marched to the 1027m summit of Sgurr a’Mhaoraich. We had our obligatory summit sandwich … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:19+02:00May 10th, 2010|2010, 2019 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Maol Chinn-dearg

Doing things differently than the rest is the privilege of the unexperienced. Or it may simply be the result of independent thinking based on the desire of maximising one’s advantages. Since we were staying in Invergarry we considered ways of climbing the South Glen Shiel hills from the Loch Quoich side. This would save us quite some time driving over to Loch Cluanie and further to Glen Shiel AND we would not have to walk along the trunk road on our way back from the hills. Thus the plan was born to climb Aonach air Chrith, Maol Chinn-dearg, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain and Creag nan Damh from Alltbeithe.

Well, we parked our car at the road side just behind the bridge crossing the narrow northern arm of Loch Quoich. The land rover track on the west side of this nothern part of Loch Quoich made for easy and quick access to Alltbeithe which is located very nicely near the confluence of the Wester and Easter Loch Quoich Burns. Past Alltbeithe we turned due east and walked the track/path for about two kilometres. Then, after some slight problems locating the stalkers path that climbs up the steep hillside to the north, we finally found the very well-engineered zigzag-path which steadily weaves its way up about 550 to 600 metres to the South Glen Shiel Ridge. We made good progress and soon the ridge was gained. I chose to take nap there and let Frank bag Aonach air Chrith alone since I had already had the privilege of visiting this hill with Mike years ago. While Frank was on his jogging exercise to this fine Munro, I really dozed off until I was re-awakened by some Scotsmen who also took a break at the beallach. We chatted a bit and ate some cookies.

Soon Frank came back and together we headed on to Munro No. 2, Maol Chinn-dearg. Again this one was in my bag already from years ago. Nonetheless it’s always nice to touch a summit cairn. Then … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:19+02:00May 9th, 2010|2002, 2010, 2019 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Aonach air Chrith

2010 Doing things differently than the rest is the privilege of the unexperienced. Or it may simply be the result of independent thinking based on the desire of maximising one’s advantages. Since we were staying in Invergarry we considered ways of climbing the South Glen Shiel hills from the Loch Quoich side. This would save us quite some time driving over to Loch Cluanie and further to Glen Shiel AND we would not have to walk along the trunk road on our way back from the hills. Thus the plan was born to climb Aonach air Chrith, Maol Chinn-dearg, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain and Creag nan Damh from Alltbeithe.

Well, we parked our car at the road side just behind the bridge crossing the narrow northern arm of Loch Quoich. The land rover track on the west side of this nothern part of Loch Quoich made for easy and quick access to Alltbeithe which is located very nicely near the confluence of the Wester and Easter Loch Quoich Burns. Past Alltbeithe we turned due east and walked the track/path for about two kilometres. Then, after some slight problems locating the stalkers path that climbs up the steep hillside to the north, we finally found the very well-engineered zigzag-path which steadily weaves its way up about 550 to 600 metres to the South Glen Shiel Ridge. We made good progress and soon the ridge was gained. I chose to take nap there and let Frank bag Aonach air Chrith alone since I had already had the privilege of visiting this hill with Mike years ago. While Frank was on his jogging exercise to this fine Munro, I really dozed off until I was re-awakened by some Scotsmen who also took a break at the beallach. We chatted a bit and ate some cookies. Soon Frank came back and together we headed on to Munro No. 2, Maol Chinn-dearg. Again this one was in my bag already from years ago. Nonetheless it’s always nice to touch a summit cairn. … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:19+02:00May 9th, 2010|2002, 2010, 2019 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Sgurr an Doire Leathain

Doing things differently than the rest is the privilege of the unexperienced. Or it may simply be the result of independent thinking based on the desire of maximising one’s advantages. Since we were staying in Invergarry we considered ways of climbing the South Glen Shiel hills from the Loch Quoich side. This would save us quite some time driving over to Loch Cluanie and further to Glen Shiel AND we would not have to walk along the trunk road on our way back from the hills. Thus the plan was born to climb Aonach air Chrith, Maol Chinn-dearg, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain and Creag nan Damh from Alltbeithe.

Well, we parked our car at the road side just behind the bridge crossing the narrow northern arm of Loch Quoich. The land rover track on the west side of this nothern part of Loch Quoich made for easy and quick access to Alltbeithe which is located very nicely near the confluence of the Wester and Easter Loch Quoich Burns. Past Alltbeithe we turned due east and walked the track/path for about two kilometres. Then, after some slight problems locating the stalkers path that climbs up the steep hillside to the north, we finally found the very well-engineered zigzag-path which steadily weaves its way up about 550 to 600 metres to the South Glen Shiel Ridge. We made good progress and soon the ridge was gained. I chose to take nap there and let Frank bag Aonach air Chrith alone since I had already had the privilege of visiting this hill with Mike years ago. While Frank was on his jogging exercise to this fine Munro, I really dozed off until I was re-awakened by some Scotsmen who also took a break at the beallach. We chatted a bit and ate some cookies. Soon Frank came back and together we headed on to Munro No. 2, Maol Chinn-dearg. Again this one was in my bag already from years ago. Nonetheless it’s always nice to touch a summit cairn. Then … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:19+02:00May 9th, 2010|2010, 2019 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Sgurr an Lochain

Doing things differently than the rest is the privilege of the unexperienced. Or it may simply be the result of independent thinking based on the desire of maximising one’s advantages. Since we were staying in Invergarry we considered ways of climbing the South Glen Shiel hills from the Loch Quoich side. This would save us quite some time driving over to Loch Cluanie and further to Glen Shiel AND we would not have to walk along the trunk road on our way back from the hills. Thus the plan was born to climb Aonach air Chrith, Maol Chinn-dearg, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain and Creag nan Damh from Alltbeithe.

Well, we parked our car at the road side just behind the bridge crossing the narrow northern arm of Loch Quoich. The land rover track on the west side of this nothern part of Loch Quoich made for easy and quick access to Alltbeithe which is located very nicely near the confluence of the Wester and Easter Loch Quoich Burns. Past Alltbeithe we turned due east and walked the track/path for about two kilometres. Then, after some slight problems locating the stalkers path that climbs up the steep hillside to the north, we finally found the very well-engineered zigzag-path which steadily weaves its way up about 550 to 600 metres to the South Glen Shiel Ridge. We made good progress and soon the ridge was gained.

I chose to take nap there and let Frank bag Aonach air Chrith alone since I had already had the privilege of visiting this hill with Mike years ago. While Frank was on his jogging exercise to this fine Munro, I really dozed off until I was re-awakened by some Scotsmen who also took a break at the beallach. We chatted a bit and ate some cookies. Soon Frank came back and together we headed on to Munro No. 2, Maol Chinn-dearg. Again this one was in my bag already from years ago. Nonetheless it’s always nice to touch a summit cairn.

Then … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:19+02:00May 9th, 2010|2010, 2019 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Creag nan Damh

Doing things differently than the rest is the privilege of the unexperienced. Or it may simply be the result of independent thinking based on the desire of maximising one’s advantages. Since we were staying in Invergarry we considered ways of climbing the South Glen Shiel hills from the Loch Quoich side. This would save us quite some time driving over to Loch Cluanie and further to Glen Shiel AND we would not have to walk along the trunk road on our way back from the hills. Thus the plan was born to climb Aonach air Chrith, Maol Chinn-dearg, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain and Creag nan Damh from Alltbeithe.

Well, we parked our car at the road side just behind the bridge crossing the narrow northern arm of Loch Quoich. The land rover track on the west side of this nothern part of Loch Quoich made for easy and quick access to Alltbeithe which is located very nicely near the confluence of the Wester and Easter Loch Quoich Burns. Past Alltbeithe we turned due east and walked the track/path for about two kilometres. Then, after some slight problems locating the stalkers path that climbs up the steep hillside to the north, we finally found the very well-engineered zigzag-path which steadily weaves its way up about 550 to 600 metres to the South Glen Shiel Ridge. We made good progress and soon the ridge was gained. I chose to take nap there and let Frank bag Aonach air Chrith alone since I had already had the privilege of visiting this hill with Mike years ago. While Frank was on his jogging exercise to this fine Munro, I really dozed off until I was re-awakened by some Scotsmen who also took a break at the beallach. We chatted a bit and ate some cookies. Soon Frank came back and together we headed on to Munro No. 2, Maol Chinn-dearg. Again this one was in my bag already from years ago. Nonetheless it’s always nice to touch a summit cairn. Then … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:16:19+02:00May 9th, 2010|2010, 2019 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|