Two Nights in Knoydart: Sgurr na Ciche via Loch Nevis - The Approach

To paddle into the heart of Knoydart and climb Sgurr na Ciche, the highest point of the 'Rough Bounds', is a trip that I have had in mind since I first sat in a sea kayak...
It has taken that long for all the variables to come together to make the trip possible. With a forecast for light winds and clear skies, predicted by all the usual sources (and none of the usual anomalies between them), it all finally came together for 3 superb days amongst some of the finest mountain scenery in Scotland.
The most logical and common starting point for a trip into Loch Nevis, this being a popular paddle, is Mallaig. With a more peaceful and to my mind more independent start appealing, I decided to launch from the white sands of Morar. This would add approximately 6km to the journey...
...but would also provide spectacular views to the Small Isles; a slight swell breaks as it meets the ebbing tide and River Morar. It would also give a taste of the open sea...
...before heading into the fjord like narrows of Loch Nevis.
Passing through a narrow passage between small skerries, large numbers of good sized mussels were exposed by the falling tide; being back in season and not one to pass by such an offering, I collected a few for dinner. Beware the pearls...
Passing Sgeir a Ghaill, the light northerly began to pick up and before long I was being surfed rapidly towards Tarbet.
As I progressed along the loch, so the steep slopes either side funelled the wind; with small waves breaking all around it was an exhilarating and fast ride and almost before I realised how much distance I had covered, the narrows of Kylesknoydart approached. (Sgurr na Ciche the prominent conical summit, centre right.)
The tide had turned and was now flooding rapidly into the heart of Knoydart, (3kn Sp), boils and riffles littering the surface of the channel and as I entered the inner loch, the wind dropped completely, the surface mirror calm. I sat awhile, contemplating the scene ahead, before returning to the boat and plodding on, the last few Kms...
...to a wonderful camp beside Eilean Tioram, overlooked by Ben Aden...
...and a spectacular sunset which promised a fine day to head up the ridge, Druim a Ghoirtein, to the summit of Sgurr na Ciche (1040m).

Comments