Knoydart Kayak to Sgurr Mor and Sgurr an Fhuarain
This trip had been discussed for nearly four years (well since the last time we crossed Loch Quoich in a kayak!) and we had finally scheduled it and marked it in the diaries. The last time it was Gairich (see link below) and the weather was fine and calm. The waters of the loch were like a mirror and we sat on top of Gairich at 8am looking down over Knoydart!
This time we looked to be heading up Sgurr Mor and Sgur an Fhuarain, which required a slightly longer paddle and a camp on the far side of the loch. The problem was that this time the forecast wasn’t looking as pretty as the last venture!! Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t a bad forecast, we just wanted nice calm waters for the crossing to enjoy the paddle. A westerly 15-20mph would make the crossing a little more interesting and much concentration would be required!
We decided to head up and have a look at the paddle with a hill climb on the northern shores as a plan B should we deem the weather too poor for a crossing (it’s the return journey we were thinking off!!).
However as the weekend approached, the forecast took a turn for the better ;) A glorious Saturday afternoon drive through the Highlands under blue skies saw us arrive at our put in point around 17.00. After the usually faffing and checks we eventually started paddling around 18.00. The conditions were perfect, blue skies, calm waters and no midges!!!
!!! A leisurely paddle and we made it too the southern shore of Loch Quoich where the Allt a’ Choire Bhuide meets the loch. A short scout about and we decided on camping on a sandy bay (hoping the waters of the Loch would rise to quickly ;). Camp set, tea had and we enjoyed a rather good sunset. The near full moon rose and the brightness was amazing, we even contemplated a night ascent of the hills given the conditions! No wind and lit by moon light in the middle of nowhere it was a grand evening.
We decided not to go for a night ascent and eventually headed to bed after some star gazing and photos.
05.45, and It was time to get up. Knowing the weather was deteriorating (a halo round the moon the night before was nice to look at but also suggested some weather was approaching from the west!). we got going early. The cloud was down on the tops but the wind was still light lower down and the loch flat clam.
Up Sgurr Mor first, and after a bit of a slog we eventually disappeared into the cloud but made the summit at 10 am. No views and a strong wind, we soon got going and in under an hour we were stood on a breezy Sgurr an Fhuarain. The cloud was starting to lift off the summits now and the views east over to Gairich were grand.
Keen to get back across the loch we headed north and then west at the col to reach the path we had ascended in the Corrie.
By 11.45 we were striking camp. The flat calm loch had now relinquished its mirror like appearance and replaced the mirror with some white horses!! Care was required on the crossing as the now stiff westerly wind had caused a choppy crossing with the waves side on. We made a direct bee line for the northern shore to minimise the time in the middle of the loch where it was most choppy and soon we were hand railing to northern shore finally reaching the calm bays were we had set off from.
By 13.00 the rain was on but we were now headed south and back home.
A grand 24hr adventure J
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...