Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Guiding in the mountains of Knoydart. Fantastic Conditions.

Beinn na Caillich 785m

Early morning on Sgurr Coire Chionnnichean, Inverie Bay behind.

Sgurr Coire Chionnichean 796m

The long thrutch! 

Dusk on Knoydart at 600m

It is ten years since I worked over in Knoydart and to be back was fantastic. Being in Knoydart is extremely special as the hill walking is just so good and the landscape so dramatic. I was over working with the students from the School of Adventure Studies, West Highland College on their two day expedition, thus finishing off the first part of their mountain module. We were blessed with absolutely  incredible weather and conditions under foot. We arrived mid morning on Monday and walked over to Beinn  na Caillich 785m, a remote Corbett approx eleven kilometers from the ferry drop off. Being in the north of the Knoydart massif it feels very remote indeed. After ascending it's long plateau and descending the long snow covered slopes it was time to navigate in the dark. The night navigation was ideal to concentrate the students minds on all the other training they have had whilst out on the hills this term. Three hours later we reached our campsite for the night in Gleann Meadail. A cold night followed and an early start saw us ascending Sgurr Coire Choinnichean 796m. This hill gives a very steep thrutch to it's sharp ridge to a perfectly placed summit overlooking Skye, Rum and the larger hills surrounding it in Knoydart and up to Torridon. The hills are looking very fine with snow highlighting the ridges and gully lines. Skye looks like ice burgs rising from the ocean and Ben Nevis was pristine white as we drove back to Fort William. These two days have been some of the finest days I have had in the Scottish hills in over 24 years of working in the mountains, the weather is set to stay good for a few days, so if you can get out, do so and enjoy Scotland Outside! Knoydart offers hill walking for all abilities and interesting private bothy and self catering accommodation to base your explorations from, get in touch if you would like to know more about this fabulous environment which offers so much to the outdoor enthusiast be it sea kayaking or hill walking or both!