Kinloch Hourn – Luinne Bheinn – Bealach a’ Choire Odhair
18.1 km/1731 m/08:45 hrs
Munro (2nd round): Luinne Bheinn (No. 50)
Munro Top: Luinne Bheinn East Top (No. 69)
On previous occasions I had climbed these Munros separately but I had always wanted to walk along the connecting ridge between the two. I knew I wouldn’t manage the walk in from Kinloch Hourn, the ascent of the two hills and the walk out all in one day, so I planned a route with a camp on the bealach in between.
I started from the long stay car park in Kinloch Hourn at 10:30 and walked along the familiar path on the S side of Loch Hourn.
Shortly before Skiary I met a couple out on a day walk who were taking a break by the path. I stopped for a chat and during our conversation I mentioned (and recommended) the tea room at Skiary, but when I passed the spot where the tea room sign used to stand, it had gone 😦
Interesting rock formation.
I had my lunch in Barisdale Bothy.
There was only one tent pitched outside the bothy – quite a difference to my last visit in April!
Heading up Gleann Unndalain I got a nice view back to Barrisdale Bay.
I had planned to continue to the top of Màm Unndalain and join Luinne Bheinn’s E ridge from there, but where the path traverses below this water slide I decided to take a shortcut and ascend the ridge to the right of the rock slabs.
Gleann Unndalain, with Beinn Sgritheall in the distance.
Approaching the ridge.
Once on the ridge I had to wind my way around crags and buttresses but on a day like today the route finding was straightforward.
Ben Aden and Sgùrr na Cìche.
Sgùrr na Cìche above the River Carnach.
Lochan nam Breac and Loch Quoich.
Approaching the summit ridge.
The Isle of Rùm.
Ascent to the E Top.
I remembered the last time I climbed Luinne Bheinn – on the first day of my first TGO Challenge in 2011 – in the pouring rain and with just a few metres visibility. I had been slipping and sliding down this ridge to a very wet camp at Lochan nam Breac, and at the end of this awful day I had even thought about giving up…
One of the scrambling sections that I had not exactly enjoyed back then, but today with the rock being dry it was no problem at all:
From the flat area below the E Top I could see my planned camp site on Bealach a’ Choire Odhair.
Lochan nam Breac and Loch Quoich.
The first of three cairns along the ridge marks Luinne Bheinn’s East Top.
The middle one is the actual summit.
Looking down to Barrisdale Bay from Luinne Bheinn’s summit.
The third Cairn at the NW end of the summit ridge.
There were now a few more tents at Barisdale.
Lochan an Talamh Dheirg below Meall Buidhe looks like a beautiful spot for a wild camp but unfortunately it was not on my planned route.
Loch an Dubh-Lochain and Inverie Bay.
I had intended to retrace my steps along the ridge and descend to the bealach via Coire Odhar, but now this seemed like an unnecessary detour.
When I had climbed Luinne Bheinn for the first time a few years ago as a day walk from Inverie, I had kept following the line of fence posts around the foot of the hill until I realised that this path would not lead me to the summit. I had then climbed up an easy slope, arriving at the W end of the summit ridge from where it was only a short walk to the summit.
I decided to use this slope as a quick descent route, and after continuing along the ridge for a short distance I came across this cairn, apparently marking the start of the descent.
Close to the bealach I forded the Allt a’ Choire Odhair to which I would return later to collect water.
At 20:30 I arrived on Bealach a’ Choire Odhair and put up my tent.
Last sunlight on Ben Aden and Sgùrr na Cìche.
Bealach a’ Choire Odhair – Meall Buidhe – Kinloch Hourn
23.2 km/1475 m/11:00 hrs
Munro (2nd round): Meall Buidhe (No. 51)
Munro Top: Meall Buidhe SE Top (No. 70)
In the morning I packed my tent up and left my rucksack behind some rocks on the bealach, then I made my way towards Meall Buidhe with only a small day pack.
One of three tiny lochans on the way to Meall Coire na Gaoithe’n Ear, with Ladhar Bheinn in the background.
The wide grassy ridge leading to Druim Leac a’ Shith.
Meall Buidhe’s SE Top obscured by a small cloud.
Ladhar Bheinn with a much larger cloud cap.
After Druim Leac a’ Shith the terrain becomes rockier but a small path winds its way through the crags.
Lochan An Talamh Dheirg.
Meall Buidhe’s E ridge.
Looking towards the summit.
There are some scrambling sections to negotiate but none of them is particularly steep or exposed.
Meall Buidhe’s SE Top.
Hazy view towards Sourlies.
Easy walking towards the summit.
Meall Buidhe summit cairn.
View W to Inverie Bay.
Inverie Bay (zoomed).
It was quite breezy on the summit ridge, so I didn’t hang around for long.
Meall Buidhe SE Top.
This obstacle can be bypassed on the left (N).
Unnamed lochan in Ile Coire.
Ladhar Bheinn, now cloud-free.
Although it doesn’t look that far on the map, it had taken me two hours to Meall Buidhe and two hours back to Bealach a’ Choire Odhair. I collected my rucksack and climbed up the grassy ramp to the left of the photo – the higher one on the right had been yesterday’s descent route from Luinne Bhein.
Meall Buidhe and Lochan an Talamh Dheirg.
I followed the line of fence posts around the W flank of Luinne Bheinn.
Gleann an Dubh-Lochain.
I joined the main path a little E of Màm Barrisdale.
Approaching Barrisdale Bay.
Sgùrr a’ Choire-bheithe.
Back at the bothy, I carried a chair outside and had a long break sitting in the sun and enjoying a cup of coffee and some food. Then I continued around Barrisdale Bay, with a last look at Ladhar Bheinn.
Today it really felt like being on a tropical beach – it was certainly hot enough for sunbathing!
The path along Loch Hourn.
Disused gate near Skiary.
I really enjoyed this route combining the two hills but I’m glad I did it at a leisurely pace with a camp in between. However, if based at Inverie or Barisdale, walkers with better stamina than me would certainly be able do this as a day walk.