Thursday, July 08, 2010

Knoydart and Loch Quoich: Ladhar Bheinn (111)

Walk date: 25/5/10 (Tuesday)
My Munro #'s: 192

Pronunciations - translations - heights:
Laarven - hoof or claw hill - 1020m

Duration - 09:30 - 18:30
Distance - 23.6km
Total ascent - didn't record
Weather - some cold spells with spots of snow but largely fine, and glorious in second half of day.
Team - Paul P and Bridget
Other hikers: 5

Paul P, Bridget and George 'Knoydart and around' hiking 2010

Yes, I was sure I used to have a blog!! Well, with little Xavier arriving on the scene in April I was lucky to get any hiking in at all; the write-up was never part of the deal. The hiking was at the end of May, and I guess a 3 month delay in the write-up is (kinda) acceptable...

So this year the destination was the remote peninsula of Knoydart, staying in a bunkhouse just outside the (only) village of Inverie, accessible only by ferry from Mallaig, unless that is you want to hike in over a day or so from the mainland! There are 7 hills on the peninsula depending where you mark its boundary, we did 3 from Inverie and the rest from the westernmost access point.

The 3 hills on the western end were done in two hikes, the first up being a long, but interesting circular take on Ladhar Beinn. A good track climbs from the Inverie village roads up along side forest and out above the wide basin of the Inverie River. Although there was a choice to ascend immediately onto the southern ridge via Sgurr Coire Choinnichean, we decided to let our porridge digest for a little bit and kept low until we found more reasonable grass slopes just before Loch an Dubh-Lochain. These were still difficult however just for the effort, and it was with glad hearts we finally broke out onto the crest at Coire Dubh.

Once on the ridge progress was good although the incline didn't diminish too much. A nice turn at Aonach Sgoilte's split brought us in line with the summit ridge. A quick lunch gave way to some light scrambling sections, a fine summit and even finer views; over the mainland, Skye, the Western Isles, and the inner hebrides. Marvellous!

After all the work, the descent flew by, as steep grassy slopes proved much easier to go down on! Although the trails through the lower forest seemed to go on an age, the imminent real ale pint at The Forge kept our attention well, and sitting at the bay at the end of the day was a truly great moment.

The ferry ride out just after spotting dolphins!

The superb The Forge pub, now for sale! Anyone?

View from the beer garden.

The trail out, before the climb.

Starting up those grassy slopes!

Fine walking on the ridge.

The only way is up!

Grand scenery!

The summit ascent begins:

Steep drops to the west:

Looking back on the ascent:

Loch Hourn far below:

Satisfied hikers:

This is where it's at!

Looking out to Skye:

The sun beats down in Gleann na Guiserein:

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