Knoydart Walk - Day One

Just got back from a week in Knoydart. My plan was to wild camp where possible but deteriorating weather conditions influenced a change to the overall plan.

Day One
As the overall plan was to walk across Knoydart, taking the car, just to leave it parked for a week seemed a little extreme so I did my bit for global warming and took the train, saving about fifty quid in fuel costs along he way. Left Windermere on the 8:10 train, then after changes at Oxenholme and Glasgow, arrived Mallaig late afternoon. Finding absolutely nowhere to stay I got back on the train and returned as far as Arisaig where there's a superbly situated campsite, right on the beach at Invercaimbe that I visited many years ago.

Invercaimbe Beach

Back in Mallaig the following morning, I boarded the Western Isles for the trip across to Inverie.

The Western Isles

Resisting the temptations of the Old Forge Pub I set off for Ladhar Bheinn. The first part is on easy land rover tracks but once these end, the climb begins in earnest over featureless saturated bog. All the guide books suggest climbing Ladhar Bheinn from the opposite site and I have to agree, there’s not too much of interest on the west. If I’d known what the weather had in store for that afternoon I would probably have changed my plans and approached this one later. As it was I arrived on top in a buffeting wind, low cloud and rain which just increased as I progressed along the ridge.

Ladhar Bheinn Summit

Abandoning all thoughts of a high camp for the night, all I wanted to do was get off the mountain and out of the appalling weather. I dropped down to Barrisdale and sought refuge in the bothy. Never having stayed in a bothy before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was met at the door and welcomed in by a Swedish guy who was staying there with his wife. They were walking from Fort William to Cape Wrath and staying in bothies were possible and had arrived earlier from Sourlies.

Barrisdale Bothy

Being adjacent to a small croft, the bothy was well maintained with running water and surprise, surprise, electricity courtesy of a small hydro generator that produced power for the croft. Luxury indeed. Later that evening we were joined by three guys who had motored up from London, then walked in from Kinloch Hourn and were drenched.