Beinn Bhuidhe,Knoydart.

24th May 2012

Bit of a photo heavy post this time but as I`ll probably never be up this hill again in weather like this I absolve myself πŸ™‚

As usual we were ready at a days notice to take advantage of any settled spell of good weather which hit the west coast hills with Knoydart high on the list.The Bruce Watt ferry from Mallaig to Inverie adheres to it`s own timetable which is not so good for hillwalking forays but there are now a few private water taxi services available with more amenable timetables including weekend sailings.We went over with this guy here….

Knoydart ferry

Β£10 each way and the bikes went over with us for free which is just as well as it was to prove the warmest spell of weather this year and we were glad to be biking rather than walking to the campsite at Long Beach.Nah,not the Californian one although it felt like it today in the heat πŸ™‚

A slight breeze kept the dreaded midge to reasonable levels as we loitered around the tents that evening.There were only a few tents around and we got talking to the couple nearest us who turned out to be a couple of Marilyn baggers from Moffat,well,at least Alan was.I`m not so sure about Beryl πŸ™‚ Alan had over 1200 under his belt and was on the last leg of his Corbett round.Down for a couple of pints and then back to bed for an early rise in the morning.

We hung around more than usual in the morning,a nice change to have breakfast in the sun for once.Up along the shady track,through the plantation and onwards for a mile and a bit to the monument where Bob decided it would be more pleasurable to dawdle around low down on what was promising to be a scorching day.We parted company here and he headed up the small hill for a look at the monument.

Brocket monument

Brocket monument

Alone now I could set my own pace and passed the Druim bothy and on up a brilliant path heading towards the Mam Meadail.

Gleann Meadail

Gleann Meadail

My ambition to get there without stopping was thwarted by the need to escape the sun for a bit so I had a couple of breaks whenever I could find a bit of shade.Finished a litre of water just before the col and filled up at the stream as I reckoned the ridge would be waterless.Never thought I`d say that in Scotland πŸ™‚
Alan was about 20 minutes behind me as I hit the col so I thought I`d head up to the 610 top and wait for him there as the view would be better.

Mam Meadail

Mam Meadail

Found a nice wee lochan with a view to Sgurr na Ciche and waited for him there.After 30 minutes or so with no sign of him I decided to head off up on to Meall Bhasiter.

View back to Sgurr na Ciche on the way up.

Sgurr na Ciche

Sgurr na Ciche

View back from Meall Bhasiter.

Meall Bhasiter

Meall Bhasiter

Lounged around the summit for half an hour here as there was a hint of a breeze πŸ™‚
Looking west along the ridge….

Beinn Bhuidhe from Meall Bhasiter

Beinn Bhuidhe from Meall Bhasiter

And again…

Meall Bhasiter summit

Meall Bhasiter summit

Looking down to the head of Loch Nevis you can make out the house at Camusrory and Sourlies bothy further along.

Upper Loch Nevis

Upper Loch Nevis

Still no sign of Alan.It turned out that he had diverted at the Mam Meadail to go up onto the Meall Buidhe ridge and out to bag Sgurr Sgeithe which apparently is a CTM,a CTM being a Corbett Top of a Munro as I`m sure you will all know πŸ™‚ And Bob thinks I`m bad.!

Off along the typical Knoydart ridge of ups and downs.Here`s three photos looking back east along the way.

Sgurr na Criche from the ridge

Sgurr na Criche from the ridge

Meall Buidhe on the left,the Mam Meadail in the centre with Ben Aden lurking behind.

Mam Meadail and Ben Aden

Mam Meadail and Ben Aden

Further along…

Beinn Bhuidhe ridge

Beinn Bhuidhe ridge

Enjoyed another half hour seeking a bit of shade behind the trig point at the summit along with the last of my water.From the trig point I had still a few tops to go over to Sgurr Coire nan Gobhar.

Sgurr Coire nan Gobhar

Sgurr Coire nan Gobhar

God only knows what came over me here but instead of making a beeline down to Loch Bhraomisaig via the stream in Coire nan Gobhar I decided to head down the opposite side of the hill towards Loch Nevis and away from the tent to visit the old Knoydart mica mine.I`d fancied a visit for years and reckoned it was now or never as I`m getting on a bit πŸ™‚ From Sgurr Coire nan Gobhar down the ridge to the col below Tom an Neoil and traversed from there along to the spoil heaps.I just hadn`t the energy left to go to the top of the hill to see the remaining machinery so contented my self by raking around the scrapings for some mica samples.

The mine has an interesting history.The mica was used in airplane construction and supplies dried up in the Second World War so they reopened the Knoydart mine,this being the only one in Britain.Had a chat later with an old boy in the bar who actually worked up here in days gone by.If you scroll down near the bottom of this link below there is some info and pictures….

Knoydart mica mine

A bit more here…

More info here

Knoydart mica mine

Knoydart mica mine

Some mica samples were added to my rucksack πŸ™‚

Mica

Mica

From here I went down to the lochan and was much relieved to find some decent looking running water at the western outlet.Drank my fill and filled the water bottles and then traversed the southern ridge of Sgurr a`Mhadaidh-ruaidh at the 550 metre contour and so down to the southern edge of Loch Bhraomisaig.

Pic of Sgurr an Eilein Ghiubhais with Rum in the background taken on the way.

Sgurr an Eilein Ghiubhais

Sgurr an Eilein Ghiubhais

Loch Bhraomisaig.

Loch Bhraomisaig

Loch Bhraomisaig

Oh well I thought,having come this far I might as well finish off the ridge at it`s natural conclusion on A`Chruach πŸ™‚

View west over Inverie Bay from A`Chruach.

A Chruach

A Chruach

From the top I followed the first obvious stream to the eastΒ  all the way down to the bridge at Kilchoan taking a few more photos on the way.

Inverie Bay

Inverie Bay

Inverie

Inverie

On arrival back at the campsite I was pleased to recognise Gibson and Lynne.They were doing the same hills as myself but had a days advantage on me.Think they were down to single figures or thereabouts.That was that,cooked dinner and went to the pub.
A pub with a sunset to admire rather than a crappy tv blaring out πŸ™‚

Sunset at Inverie

Sunset at Inverie

Route map

Route map

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12 Responses to Beinn Bhuidhe,Knoydart.

  1. Looks absolutely gorgeous! Those hot, summer days seem a bit away at the moment πŸ™‚

  2. afootinthehills says:

    Great post Alex. What a brilliant few days those were, and it was good to meet you and share some ‘collie talk’. Your detour to the mica mine looks well worth the effort – effort being the operative word given the temperatures! Thanks for the mention. Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

  3. McEff says:

    That sort of weather feels like it happened a century ago, Alex, and won’t come around again for another century.
    I’ve always wanted to visit the mica mine. Heard about it back in the 80s, and despite spending three days on Knoydart, on the Barrisdale side a couple of years ago I’ve not had chance to visit it. Sometime soon perhaps.
    Great sunset picture – and all the better for been taken from a pub!
    Cheers, Alen

  4. I’ve got quite a few slices of mica muscovite on my doorstep – hope no-one pinches it! It’s beautiful stuff isn’t it. That’s really interesting about the mica mine – never heard of one before – definitely worth a look.

    Your photos are superb on this post and a beautiful sunset photo at the end. I like some of those still lochans even better though.

    As for CTM bagging! I can’t believe anyone’s bagging those! I know a few folks who are bagging decommissioned tops and have been known to accompany them to some of them but I can’t see me ever going for even Corbett Tops by a Corbett – let alone CTMs. I am top-bagging though – you never know when that might come in useful anyway as they keep re-arranging which are Munros and which are tops.
    Carol.

    • I lost most of my mineral samples years ago and only have a few left alas 😦 Are they on your doorstep maybe ?
      Richard Webb has been away with us a few times recently and I think he`s been bagging anything with a 30 metre height rise.There be thousands of them.!

      • There must be thousands of them! Brave man!

        By the way, I forgot to tell you what you need to do to keep cool on hot days… you just need to soak your buff! πŸ˜‰ (I just love saying that to people). What I mean is that you need some item of light headgear (like a buff) and soak it in the beck/burn and stick it straight back on your head – cools you off in no time.
        Carol.

  5. wild2012 says:

    Great photos and fabulous weather (I’m sure we didn’t have a day like this down my way this summer or else I would have remembered it !). I can’t imagine anything better than a day like this in Knoydart, followed by a cool pint watching the sun going down.

    My first attempt at Ladhar Bheinn was rained off (just bucketing down and every stream in spate…). I then kayaked in this year from Corran (across Loch Hourn) but climbed it in cloud – unlike you, I wasn’t able to take off at a day’s notice unfortunately.

    • Well,I can`t think of a better approach to Ladhar Bheinn than yours.! Coire Dhorrcail is a magnificent sight from that approach.
      There have been very few settled spells of good weather this year I must admit.Mainly a day here and a day there.If anything the three days in Knoydart I would have enjoyed more if it was 10 degrees cooler πŸ™‚
      Oh aye,and make that ” a cool expensive pint” πŸ™‚

      Only ever kayaked on inshore lochs myself as I never learned to swim.Having said that I bought myself an outboard at a car boot sale and an inflatable off Ebay.Had plans to go into Ben Aden for a weekend with it this year but the weather was never good enough.
      Maybe next year πŸ™‚

      PS: Met a guy the next night on a packraft who was packrafting the west coast of Scotland.Will see if I have some pics of it for the next post.

      PPS: Can`t seeem to leave a comment on your blog and it won`t let me sign up for email updates as it says my email address is not valid.

  6. bradscorner1 says:

    Heck of a day, good effort.

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