Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These Conditions Reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

It's been a long time since I was in Knoydart. Known as Britain's last wilderness, it's a magnificent place of rugged steep mountains, deep glens and deer. Not only is it a tough place to explore but getting there in the first place is hard enough. We went along Loch Arkaig to Strathan which takes half an hour to drive along the windy, bumpy road by the loch before you start walking anywhere.

With very heavy rain forecast for two days we had to plan carefully to avoid any stream crossings. We went up Glen Pean first and camped at the loch which completely fills the bed of the glen. There are not many lochs like this which cause problems getting through a major glen. Yesterday we went up 700m of ascent in two kilometres distance, a steep climb by any standards. The view from Carn Mor along the length of Loch Morar was worth every step.

With more rain on the way we went down to A'Chuil Bothy for a drier night. There are several bothies in Knoydart which are mostly excellent and we owe much to the Mountain Bothies Association for their upkeep. Please use them and look after them.

Today was the last of the three day trip so we went up Glen Dessarry a way before heading back down the glen to the van at Strathan. With no one around but the deer (and there were plenty of them) you get a sense of the huge scale of the place and the rugged nature of the land. Three hundred years ago people lived in these glens in black houses with no goretex, mountaineering boots, gas stoves or smartphones. It's remarkable to consider what life was like for these crofters and just how tough an existence they had to endure. Three days of walking here in November was tough enough. Well done to Chris, Calvin and Ruairidh studying on the Advanced Certificate in Outdoor Leadership course at West Highland College.

No comments:

Post a Comment