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Thread: Knoydart

  1. #1
    Ultra King
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    Hi,
    Recently I have been e mailed a lot by #1 son who has got it into his head that we should 'do' the Knoydart peninsula sometime this Spring.
    Actually it appeals to me, especially the idea of bagging a few Munroes. The problem is I have visions of me "crocking" in the middle of nowhere so I need a few tips.
    The first one is already up there in my head....."GET FIT!" but I would welcome any advice.
    For instance;
    could I get away without anything more serious than a G1 scramble while going for the biggies? Or, has anyone spent any time at the Knoydart foundation or Barrisdale?
    If they have could they give me the lowdown on them?

  2. #2
    Goon Simon  Parkes's Avatar
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    Some information you may find useful on the "Inverie - walk in ?" thread.

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch druidh's Avatar
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    No real scrambling required. Big days, great scenery.


  4. #4
    ‹bermensch
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    I don't know how old an old codger you are but this old codger did a solo backpacking trip through Knoydart when aged 72. I walked in from Glen Finnan, wandered about a bit, climbed some tops and then caught the ferry from Inverie to Mallaig. This can be completed as a relatively easy valley walk with the opportunity of making side trips if you want something more strenuous.

    Go for it; your son can always carry your pack!

  5. #5
    Mini Goon Black Sailor's Avatar
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    As Hugh implies, you can 'do' Knoydart without necessarily doing any Munroes, so it doesn't need to be strenuous.

    The walks in from Glenfinnan or Glendessary are quite long and for most people would probably require an overnight somewhere (e.g. the bothy at Sourlies, at the head of Loch Nevis). The walk from Kinlochourn is shorter and you can get from there to Inverie easily in a day (it's probably about 15 miles). From Inverie there are excellent walks in the glens and round the coast.

    Trouble is, you then get the boat from Inverie to Mallaig to head off home, but your car is in the car park at Kinlochourn! (There used to be a postbus from Invergarry to Kinlochourn but I don't think it runs any more)

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    The Munros from Inverie are a fairly long days, well 2 days. However the advantage is that you can drive or take the train to Mallaig and then the ferry across to Inverie. There are at least 3 bunkhouses at Inverie that I know of the cheapest being the Knoydart Foundation Bunkhouse. The other two are a lot more expensive but a better class of bunkhouse. Depends what you want. There is a pub and restaurant for food but food shopping needs to be done before leaving Mallaig.

    The Barisdale approach makes the Munro Ladhar Bheinn a slightly shorter and more scenic day but the remaining two Munros are still a long day. The disadvantage of Barisdale is that you have a 7 mile walk in along Loch Hourn which is rather undulating and you are carrying all your gear and food for the days you are staying there. You can hire a boat which goes from Arnisdale to Barisdale but it is a small open boat which cannot go if the weather is bad. You also need to drive to Kintail and round to Arnisdale to get ther boat. They will collect you at Kinlochhourn but that becomes even more expensive. Barrisdale Estate lease out a building known as The Stables which has a fire, cooking facilities, bunk beds, bathroom with bath There is rough camping nearby and a bothy for a small nominal fee. They also own the nearby 'White House' which they also lease out but it is for larger groups taking up to 12 people.

    I have been to both locations several times and used most of the facilities. They both have advantages and disadvantages but I would probably say that Inverie is the easiest.

  7. #7
    Initiate gbyeom's Avatar
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    My suggestion would be to start in Inverie if the Munros are the targets - the foundation bunkhouse is basic but OK. The Old Forge Pub does good food and is about a 15/20 min walk from the bunkhouse. The SMC routes up Ladhar Bheinn and the other two are not too difficult. My main advice would be to do both days on days when the visabilty is good. It is not much fun when you can't see much.

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch
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    Another strategy, which fits with ferry timetables, is to catch the ferry to Inverie, walk virtuously past the Old Forge up a good track to Mam Barrisdale and camp (say 2.5/3 hours). That puts you 400metres of ascent and 9km of walking closer to Ladhar Bheinn and Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe which you can then do over two quite easy days. Return triumphantly to the Old Forge and eat langoustines. If you take the afternoon ferry back, note that it takes a lot longer than the outward journey as it takes you on a sight seeing diversion round the west coast. Get Number 1 son to carry most of the weight, and pick up the tab in the bar. There aren't any scrambles to concern you - good paths everywhere.

  9. #9
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    Thank you all for your advice, I'm much reassured.

  10. #10
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    The time draws nigh and woe of woes, my right ankle is playing me up. Still, it seems to be getting better but I haven't been able to get hill fit because of it. The last time I was out on the hill was on 30th March when I legged it from Tal Y Bont to Storey Arms in just over 5 hours in dank mizzle from about 200 metres up. Since a little while after, this bloody weakness and pain has prevented me going out on the hill.
    The long range weather forecast, courtesy of accuweather.com, looks pretty discouraging so someone please lighten my load and tell me that the food at The Old Forge in Inverie is superb and that they sell a good selection of single malts.
    Because of the crappy train service from Cardiff to my chosen destination I have found it necessary to fly from Cardiff to Glasgow much to my son's disgust (and mine) but we wouldn't be able to coordinate our timely arrival any other way and anyway there is an upside, it's costing me about half the rail fare. My son is managing to travel by train from Peterborough to Glasgow in about 6 hours. It would have taken me about 23 and I would still have missed the desired connection to Mallaig.
    In spite of everything, I am really looking forward to this trip.

  11. #11
    Initiate ecco's Avatar
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    Hi Fredrico,

    My suggestion would be a little more expensive but infitely more comfortable and easier.

    I'd drive to arnisdale on the west coast, leave the car and get a private boat across the water to barisdale. You could carry loads of nice food and drink with you. I'd book the stables at barisdale (www.barisdale.com), which are a room with bunks,fire,kitchen & bathroom on an exclusive basis for about £20 per night. You can then do day walks from barisadle to do the munros or walk to the pub at inverie on a wet day.

  12. #12
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    I have used both the Stables and the White House at Barrisdale. The Stables are good for a small group with a fire that also gives central heating once it has heated the water. There is also a bathroom with a bath. The White House can cater for up to 12.

    I have also rough camped outside the bothy.

    If you take ecco's suggestion of the boat and are staying at the White House your gear may be taken from the pier at Barrisdale to your accommodation by the stalker or his partner so you can carry some extra bits and pieces.

  13. #13
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    I had lunch at the old Forge and it was good! Didn't sample the malts though
    I'm sure you'll have fun whatever you get up, it's a lovely place.

  14. #14
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    Federico .. if the worst came to the worst and you were forced to spend your whole holiday in the Old Forge, sitting at the waters edge in the sun, or by the fire sipping one of many single malts, perhaps aided and abetted by a glass of real ale, eating langoustines, or a shellfish platter .. well, it would be worth breaking your ankle for, just to make sure! It is a really good place. And there's a little restaurant + b+ b a 100metres away. The paths out of Inverie are all good if your ankle is up to it; perhaps a safe strategy might be to have a base camp somewhere like the end of Loch an Dubh Lochain, Mam Barrisdale, or Folach, and then do your hills as day-walks with less load on your back. Or bin the camping and stay in the bunkhouse. Don't worry about the weather.

  15. #15
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    Had a massively good time but had to turn back from Ladhar Bheinn when first, I twisted my knee and then over reached the same on the climb from Mam Suidheig up to Aonach Sgoilte and it gave way. After a rest I felt that I could have made it to the top of Ladhar Bheinn but my son insisted on turning back for safety's sake. I could tell he was disappointed but he didn't complain and of course he was right as the descent was quite painful and very slow but I was able to fairly motor when on the way back to base along the Gleann an Dubh Lochain path towards Inverie. However, he was proved right once more when my knee gave without warning and I ended up flat on my face at the feet of a rather startled lady travelling in the opposite direction.
    Still we have an excuse to go back later this year. We might walk in next time and Rob says that the approach to Ladhar Bheinn from Barrisdale will be far more visually impressive anyway.
    Thanks for everyone's input, can't fault the accuracy and usefulness of all the info.
    Mal.

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