Druim Fada at Kinloch Hourn. April 2008.

Date: 19th April 2008
Distance: 17km
Ascent: 1400m

The forecast had suggested the NW highlands would see some sun so we pointed ourselves NW. Love April – can get some of the best weather in the absence of parasitic beasties. We were out doing Buidhe Bheinn last month and were reminded how phenomenal this area is, thought we’d go back to climb either the Corbett Sgurr nan Eugallt or the Graham Druim Fada, swithered but the Graham won out on the day.

The drive from Invergarry was as beautiful as ever. Nice sunbeams lighting Ben Tee:

Drove down to Kinloch Hourn this time, the last bit of road is a bit crazy. Parked in the day car park (honesty jar, 50p fee).

Druim Fada looms large down the loch from Kinloch Hourn.

Go back up the road about 150m to cross the river at the bridge and then go out to the big house, the right of way through the grounds is signposted. The grounds are planted with a beautiful stand of pine, rhododendrons and Eucalyptus. Some of the Eucalypts are very large and must be at least a century old.

The track runs through the stand and then follows the power lines up to about 270m (the pylons run from the Great Glen to Glenelg and across to Skye). Ladhar Bheinn peaks into view round the headland:

Then is in full view at the 270m mark:

The track drops about 50m to a bridge at NG 933 086 with stalkers path running from here to the lochan up the slope. The track splits, the L fork runs straight up the ridge. Nice views to the S side of The Saddle and Sgurr na Sgine (a great stalkers path runs up Sgurr na Sgine from this side)

The track runs to the higher Lochan at 450m. This is a bit of an infinity pool hanging over Loch Hourn:

The view back to Kinloch Hourn:

From here the ridge gets quite undulating. The slope up from the lochan should be bypassed – the W edge is sheer and pretty much undescendable, I’d suggest staying at lochan height round the N side on the out leg. The next 20m rise should also be bypassed as it drops off less steeply.

Views develop to the Cuillin:

From there it’s just a bumpy ridge on grass between rocks to the 713m summit. Great views from here out to The Cuillin and across to Ladhar Bheinn.

Loch Hourn, Sleat and the Cuillin:

Ladhar Bheinn from summit:

The ridge could be completed and then the Arnisdale – Kinloch Hourn track used for return but the ridge is seriously knobbly and this would be quite an effort. We just turned and reversed the route, maintaining the views.

At the cliffy bump we bypassed on the S side along some narrow grassy strips. Not too difficult. The lochan really is a nice spot.

Infinity pool shot:

Snake rock:

Another lochan shot:

Spring was breaking out. I know many love the snow but we love spring even more – our first tadpoles of the year:

The smell of coconut in the air:

From there no particular issues getting back to the car.

The height gained was about 1400m according to altimeter, more than the map would suggest but the 1:50000 underplays the ridge undulation.

Great hill in a grandstand spot.

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