Knoydart Adventures: Part 4

On our last full day in Knoydart we had another Munro-bagging in our sights – Ladhar Bheinn (Larven) meaning “hoof or claw mountain” standing at 1020m. Having bagged Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe on our first day we wanted to complete the hat-trick of all three Munros on the peninsula!

As we met for breakfast with our fellow guests, enjoying homemade lemon curd on toast, we discovered we’d be going solo (just the two of us) for the day as they were heading out on the boat to Tarbet, while we would be jumping in the bus with Jane who would take us down the road to start our walk in Inverie. It was another spectacular day weather-wise, so just before 9am Nige and I wandered up the grassy path from Doune to the road and headed down towards Inverie.

Our walk began with a short but lovely stroll through a shady forest towards Folach, from where we could see our whole route stretched out and up in front of us. We crossed a bridge over a small river and followed a pony track which brought us to a ruined house, before continuing along the path of the burn.

After the long stretch of relatively flat track we started the ascent, following a rocky path which wound its way slowly upwards. This was one of the most well-walked paths we’d followed on our trips with lots of previous walker’s footsteps to guide us.

It turned out to be one of those climbs that just as you think you’re nearing the top, you reach a plateau and then find another incline sneakily hidden ahead. The hill went on and on with the wind slowly picking up as we climbed higher. We reached the ridge and I stepped closer to the edge to see a stomach-turning drop below, so took a lower path away from the edge and followed our noses to the summit. Confusingly, Ladhar Bheinn has two summits, one with a small cairn and another further along the ridge with a large pile of rocks placed on top.

As the wind picked up I took shelter, watched on by a single wooly sheep, and enjoyed a piece of marzipan-filled fruit cake from my lunch bag while Nige braved the gusts to get some more panorama shots. The views were again spectacular and we could see all the way over the sea to Skye as well as some of the mountain ranges we’d hiked over in the last few days.

We followed our own footsteps all the way back down, stopping for lunch on the way and made it back to Inverie around 3pm. As our pick-up was arranged for much later, we decided to take the road back to Doune of about 8km or so. In total, we covered almost 30km in the day and so I was excited to arrive back to the promise of fresh langoustines on the menu for dinner, one of the food highlights of my trip!

Our final evening on Knoydart couldn’t have been more perfect. With tired legs and hungry bellies we shared our stories of the day’s adventures with our fellow guests, now friends, while enjoying another spectacular feast cooked by Liz and her team, finished off with ginger and pear upside-down cake! Happy but sad to be leaving the next day, we headed off to pack our bags and enjoy our last sleep in the quiet and tranquil peace of our little lodge.

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