Posts Tagged ‘wilderness’

Knoydart – where men are men and mice are hungry

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

After some major organisation work by Tom, eleven of us headed up to Knoydart for Easter. The peninsula calls itself 'britains last wilderness' and it is certainly wild, remote and beautiful.

Knoydart is cut off from the rest of scotland by sea on three sides and mountains on the other. There are seven miles of unmetalled road on knoydart, but these are totally disconnected from the rest of the british road system. So there are only two ways to get there – a 16 hour trek over the hills, or by boat. We took the boat, and from there it was an hour's walk in to the Druim Bothy – just as well Tom had arranged for the food and drink to be shipped in most of the way by land rover. The bothy itself was warm but basic. We couldn't get the hurricane lights going so reverted to candlelight, and with no hot running water it was a skinny dip in the icy stream for us. But the landscape and hills made up for it. The scale of the hills rising up from near sea level made the Lake District hills look puny, and the hills rose up in every direction with barely a sign of human life. On Saturday me, Pete, Karen and Annie did a traverse of Luinne Bheinn and
Meall Buidhe.

We were lashed by hail on the summit of Meall Buidhe (boo) then almost stumbled over ptarmigans on Luinne Bheinn (cheers). Then the weather changed overnight, we awoke to a glorious spring day and me Annie Pete (Evans The Fall) Debra and Simon headed up Ladhar Bheinn, a really enjoyable 12km walk starting up a ridge then working our way up a series of rugged ups and downs with some interesting scrambly bits on theĀ final ascent.

The weather by this time was like a summer day, with views stretching from the Ben over in the east to Skye, Rhum, Eigg and Muck to the west. We looked over to the snowy slopes of the Ben and wondered how the CIC hut contingent were doing

We finished off with a couple of pints by the sea in Inverie, then back to the bothy and a quick shudder in the Icy Stream. The by now totally knackered Ladhar Bheinn party then wussed out of the ceilidh due to sore feet so we left Gordon, Fliss, Cathy and Tom to represent us there, they did us proud, managing to walk almost twice the distance back as on the way out due to the amount of drunken zig zagging all over the path. A fantastic weekend, and another three Munros bagged for me – not that I'm ticking!

Oh, can't finish without a shout out to the mice, who scuttled round the sleeping platform and nicked every piece of food that wasnt safely hanging from the ceiling in placcy bags. 10/10 for mousy energy, however I was disappointed they failed to stich up the rip in the arse of my trousers. Warning everyone – the helpful sewing mice in Sleeping Beauty are a fib!

rest of my picsĀ here