A Traverse of the Knoydart Peninsular

October 2nd, 2008 by guido

Descending from the 'Looney Bin' on SaturdayThis was the trip I advertised on your site last week a bit last minute I know anyhow this is what we ended up doing.

Descending from the 'Looney Bin' on Saturday


A complex day with 10 people arriving from all over the UK meeting in a remote bunkhouse in Barrisdale, basically in the middle of nowhere. The group I was with consisted of 7 people & we met up at Achintee where a pre arranged taxi took us into the remote Kinlochhourne, the start of the walk in. The walk in was supposed to take about 4 hours & of course we had gear for 4 days minus the food that had been freighted in a few days prior to our arrival. The route alongside a superb sea loch took us 2.5 hrs which was good because if it had taken the full 4 hrs (guide book time) we would have finished in the dark.  On arrival 3 of the team were already in situ with fires lit, the generator fired up & a very welcome brew on. Not knowing what to expect when we made the booking we found the White House very comfortable indeed & ideal for our purpose & can be very well recommended as the best place to stay in Barrisdale.

View of the western isles Eigg, Muck etc.

Today’s objective was climbing 2 remote Munros & the walk started up the main footpath back to civilisation up to a col at 1500 metres, a route we were going to get to know well over the next few days. As we climbed it started to rain heavily & 2 of our members dropped out & returned to the hut, at this time I did not think any of us would be completing the 2 hills. When we got to the col we met some people who had approached from the other side, they had a recent weather forecast that said it was going to clear later so this encouraged us & we continued. The first munro Luinne Bheinn (Looney Bin) 3083 ft in real money was still in cloud when we got there, by the time we reached the second summit Meall Bhuide 3107 ft was clear, the down side of this walk was that we had to walk back over the first summit to get back. The good thing was that as we descended looney bin the second time we were treated to superb views over the western isles, We could clearly see Eigg, Muck, Rum & Skye. A superb long day taking us 9.5 hrs & taking in almost 6000 ft of ascent.

Descent from Lardhar Bheinne on Sunday

Today we were going to have a look at the highest peak on the Peninsular, Ladhar Bheine at 3343 ft. Once again we approached it via the steep climb up to the col & once again it rained on us. Once at the col the rain eased off & we set of across pathless country to climb to a second col & ridge called Aonach Sgoilte.  After that we peeled of right to the main ridge that took us up to the main summit. The descent was via a superb ridge giving amazing views of the sea lochs below, unfortunately we could not see the Western Isles today & this is supposed to be one of the best viewpoints. Ladhar Beinn is rightly regarded as one of the finest hills in Scotland & provided us with a memorable days walking. Slightly shorter than Saturday it took us about 7.5 hours with approx 4500 ft of ascent.

Knoydart funghi shot

Our final day & the one everyone was dreading, the group was splitting up & we had to catch a ferry at 11.00 hrs & we had a 6 hr walk to get there, Do the maths, yes we planned to start walking at 05.00. Once again we had to take the big climb up to the col but today it was different, it still rained but we had big packs & of course it was dark.

While 2 of the team walked back to Kinlochhourne, it took 8 of us just over an hour to get to the col, a superb effort, from then on it was all downhill to Inverie on the other side of the peninsular. Here is something that resembles civilisation; well it’s got a café & a pub as well as a short stretch of tarmac.

The Western Isles Ferry we used to escape on

This is a fantastic trip with superb scenery, it is also very tactical & I found it very interesting planning it & felt lot of satisfaction when the plans worked.

On an obscure note the group developed a lot of new skills including using an old Lister diesel generator & an understanding of basic household plumbing, not forgetting a certain person honing their negotiating (Chat up) techniques on the Estate managers wife.

4 Responses to “A Traverse of the Knoydart Peninsular”

  1. lithos says:

    not jealous at all oh no !

  2. Simon C says:

    I really must get round to organising a trip up there, looks superb!

  3. lithos says:

    club is looking at an easter trip – not yet fianalised …

  4. guido says:

    Accomodation is limited & popular, suggest booking sooner than later.

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