2 Schools on Knoydart (pic heavy)

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bob_the_baker

Full Member
May 22, 2012
489
42
Swansea
My brother and I arranged this trip last summer. He is a fell runner, triathlete, extreme distance runner, etc. I am an overweight IT bloke so I was fully expecting to get hammered by this trip while my brother skipped merrily on his way. As it turned out, it doesn't matter how fit you are, a 3 stone pack on your back is a great leveller.

Tuesday 24th
Final kit sort and select some mutually agreeable tunes for the trip
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Wednesday 25th
4am alarm and off by 4:30
Stopped in Fort William for final supplies of Pies and Malt then off to Loch Arkaig
Arrived at the head of Loch Arkaig at 15:45 to be greeted by a herd of Pointy Headed natives and a light shower
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5.6km to A Chuil Bothy through Dessary Woods - both feeling very uncomfortable with our pack weights arriving at the bothy at 17:10
Very impressed with the accommodation, well maintained and equipped, hatchet, splitting wedge, saws etc. We chose the East room in the Bothy as my brother had previously slept in the West. Got a fire going and settled in.
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Light evening meal of Elk Sausage, focaccia and cheeses and a brew
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Crashed out at 22:00

Thursday 26th
08:10 got up, pretty slow start and after a breakfast of nuts and seeds we headed out at 10:10
Decided to go straight to Sourlies and then grab a hill from there, time permitting.
Fell foul of a number of the ankle bog traps that the natives obviously dig to trap the unwary
Lunch break of steak and haggis pie, nuts and jerky before entering the pass
Very strong wind through the pass and dropping down past Lochan a Mhaim
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wind caught my sunglasses and smashed them against a rock, which was mildly annoying.
Lost the trail and did not get out above the Finiskaig River, instead we went down the gorge, this was not fun, wet rock scrambling with over-heavy packs. Managed to get my leg in a hole and tweak my knee part way down
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but we made it to Sourlies at 14:50. A very welcome sight
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Quick snack of some cheese wraps and soup.
Went for a gentle stroll along the loch. Very little wood to forage from the strand line. Very difficult fire to get lit in Sourlies as the chimney was too short and every gust of wind swirled down the chimney and made everything extremely smoky
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eventually got the smokeless coal to go using the gas stove and things were not quite so evil.
Evening meal of cornbread and cous cous with fried moose sausage. A bothy buddy, Shona, turned up just after and we spent a pleasant evening of bothy blather and whisky.
Awesome stars. Crashed out around 23:00

Friday 27th
08:20 got up Breakfast of muesli and tea. Headed out at 09:50.
Shona set a cracking pace, so we waved goodbye and left her to continue solo.
We followed the path back up to the pass this time
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much easier than scrambling up the river.
We dropped off most of our gear at a likely bushcraft campsite 80m elevation 1.6km from the car park in a stand of larch about 20 metres from a stream and some spruce. Back to the car and swapped out mountain gear, inflatable mats and excess clothes at the car and picked up axes, saws, foam mats and tarps then back to the campsite by 15:50
Plenty of dead standing wood in an area of larch so we set to making cots
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then whipped some spruce boughs off from the nearby trees and in under an hour had 2 very serviceable and surprisingly comfy beds
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Tarps up, long log fire laid, time for Spruce tea, Moose Sausage and Ravioli and a well deserved beer or 3. Lights out at 22:00

Saturday 28th
After nearly 11 hours uninterrupted sleep we had a brew and some muesli, got our wet weather gear on, stocked up with traditional mountain climbing food of scotch pies and kendal mint cake and set off for the South slope of Sgurr nan Coireachan.
As we ascended the snow got heavier, but we cracked on. Approx 100m from the summit, in 1inch of snow the weather temporarily cleared
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and we got some mobile signal, so a few selfies
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and texts to the loved ones, munch a few nuts and onward. The weather closed in straight away, the wind started to pick up and the visibility dropped, so by the time we reached the peak there was no need to discuss anything, just get the hell off. A bit of stylish **** sledding and scrambling off the Eastern lee slope, between Sgurr nan Coireachan and An Eag, saw us lose a couple of hundred metres in no time at all, it also saw my lose my filtration water bottle, which I had obviously not clipped in properly. We continued down the valley, staying well above Allt Coire nan Uth until we were happy that it was level enough to travel along, finally connecting back to the main track, just before dark. Back to the car at 19:00 by torchlight for a change into dry gear and pick up the celebratory haggis. Then back to camp where I gathered a few more spruce boughs for our beds and my brother got a belter of a long log fire going
[video]https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Qc7p_M9396jiOBaYhcTan qc8h7QRZxwULg[/video] .

Sunday 29th
Got up around 8. Quick brew and broke camp. Drove out to the strains of War Of The Worlds, an inspired choice, even if I do say so myself.

Kit Review
The Good
Silk motorcycling gloves liners - brilliant wind resistance, should have taken 2 pairs, as they do take a bashing
Swedish M90 Mitts
British Army Arctic sleeping bag - I was toasty below zero in nothing but my undercrackers
Altberg Defender Boots - held up very well during the regular walking and bog plunging. After 5 hours in the snow they were damp on the inside, but not uncomfortably so and were almost dry after a couple of hours near the fire
My brother’s OMM Trio map pouch. Handy bit of kit of which I was jealous

The Bad
Wiisport yeti gaiters - 3rd time I have ever put them on on popper broke and the zip broke on the second one

The Ugly
Rivers West Pro Smock - although it is a great waterproof and gives some good thermal protection, it’s just too damned heavy to lug around for 2 days only to be used on the 3rd day
Aluminium cup - I only took it as it fitted on the plastic bottle I stashed my whiskey in. Should have taken the kuksa
Took a Swiss Army wool jumper AND a down jacket. Should have only taken the down jacket on days 1 and 2 and swapped out for jumper in the bushcraft camp
Did not need my sealskin beanie, the one US Army Wool Jeep cap was sufficient long with buffs and headover
Took some skiing gloves to back up the mitts. Could easily have dropped these
 

Imagedude

Full Member
Feb 24, 2011
1,983
20
Gwynedd
I'm planning on doing something similar this year but ending up at the campsite on the beach at Knoydart. Is there still a gate at the head of Loch Arkaig?
 
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Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

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You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES The price is £27 posted to the UK. Pay via the paypal button below.