Date: Weekend 23-24 Sept 2006
Weather: Saturday lovely, sunday clouding
Distance: 21km + 13km
Ascent: 1800m + 600m
Kicked off from Fort William for the drive out to Kinloch Hourn, mixed skies but decent forecast. For any who haven’t been this way the last couple of miles down to Kinloch Hourn are hairy with a very steep, bendy passing place road carved into the hills.
There are 2 parking areas at Kinloch Hourn it was £1 in the honesty bucket for day trippers andthe overnight car park was £2 from memory. No-one visible when we arrived (0700) so we left a note on the dash.
The path out from Kinloch Hourn is fairly rough in places and despite being on the sea loch, due to the rough coast goes up and down over at least 3 moderate sized hillocks. The walk to Barrisdale is about 10km and has 400-500m of ascent/descent. Added to this the Arnisdale ferry was moving people out to Barrisdale as we walked which rankled a tad.
Views are enclosed but there’s a fair view of the Forcan Ridge and further along the Cuillin is visible up Loch Hourn.
We carried on with our packs past Barrisdale and the campsite and headed across the bridge on the track to the Coire Dhorrcail. From Barrisdale on the Deer Ked numbers really hiked up. I’d thought up to this point that they crawled but didn’t nip but it turns out they’re just slow – get enough of them and they’ll start to nip.
Dumped the big packs at the mouth of the Coire Dhorrcail with a view in to the cliffs and out to Beinn Sgritheall.
Walked up the track towards the shielings then cut over the Allt, and then simply up the ridge with fabulous improving views of Knoydart and out towards Skye and then Rum and Eigg.
Gorgeous ascent culminating in a great summit view. Only nark was that the summit was quite busy, it seemed after all the effort that it would just be us and perhaps the odd hardy soul but the groups from the Arnisdale ferry and Inverie made it a busy top.
I know the circuit of the Coire Dhorrcail is possible but the descent of Stob a Chearcaill looked very steep so we reversed route back to the tent arriving at sunset. The lowering sun gave added character to the surrounds.
Enjoyed our supper with a mug of shiraz, picked the deer keds out of the hair and got to sleep.
Return was unremarkable although the track with a pack is a bit of a slog. Rain was kicking in as we got back.
Fabulous hill, slogged in slogged out, next time the ferry!