Geo-Trips :: Up and over Ben Aden from Lochan nam Breac

Eastern Knoydart - day 2 of 2

A walk from Lochan nam Breac, Fri, 13 Apr 2018 by Richard Law

preceding legThis trip is part of a series.

A wild camp on the shores of Lochan nam Breac, pre-midge season, was our starting point for a foray over the remote Ben Aden - we'd left the gear & rucksacks near the lochan, so the first part of the day was a circular one, then the rest of the walk was the way back out to Kinloch Hourn via the rather magnificent stalkers' paths of the area. It must have been a particularly harsh winter in the area, as we found the carcasses of no fewer than 7 dead deer.

At nearly 15 miles and with 5700' of ascent, this is not a short day out in this part of the world.

Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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NM8999 : Bac na Cloiche by Richard Law
Bac na Cloiche
Steep-ish ground on the north side of Ben Aden. The hillside falls away roughly... more

NM9099 : Campsite by Lochan nam Breac by Richard Law
Campsite by Lochan nam Breac
After a day of wall-to-wall sunshine on Thursday, the next morning dawned rather... more

NM9199 : Ruins of shieling hut by the stalkers' path by Richard Law
Ruins of shieling hut by the stalkers' path
One of several such huts in the glen, but in rather better condition than others... more

NM9199 : Small 'standing stone' beside shieling huts by Richard Law
Small 'standing stone' beside shieling huts
Unlikely to be a standing stone in the traditional ('Druid') sense, or in any way... more

NM9199 : Ruined shieling hut and shelter beside a burn by Richard Law
Ruined shieling hut and shelter beside a burn
Just south of the path that runs through the glen, this is the eastern one of a... more

NM9199 : Stalkers' path on the north side of Lochan nam Breac by Richard Law
Stalkers' path on the north side of Lochan nam Breac
Looking back along the well-made path that runs through the glen. It's come from... more

NM9199 : North side of Lochan nam Breac by Richard Law
North side of Lochan nam Breac
The path here impressively winds its way up, down and around some pretty... more

NM9199 : The path fords about here by Richard Law
The path fords about here
The map gets a bit vague & non-committal at this point, but the stalkers' path... more

NM9199 : Tussocks and sand at the eastern end of Lochan nam Breac by Richard Law
Tussocks and sand at the eastern end of Lochan nam Breac
Taken in the area where the stalkers' path fords the inlet burn of the lochan.

NM9199 : Across Coire na Cruaiche by Richard Law
Across Coire na Cruaiche
This corrie occupies much of the eastern side of Ben Aden, and drains to the... more

NM9198 : Heading up to the NE ridge of Ben Aden by Richard Law
Heading up to the NE ridge of Ben Aden
A long view downhill, with Loch Quoich in the distance.

NM9198 : View up to Ben Aden by Richard Law
View up to Ben Aden
Somewhere up there, in the clag, lies the Corbett of Ben Aden; climbed on this... more

NM9198 : Testing the adhesive properties of Knoydart rock by Richard Law
Testing the adhesive properties of Knoydart rock
Moine schist, when dry, seems to have quite a reasonable coefficient of friction,... more

NM9198 : View down the eastern ridge of Ben Aden by Richard Law
View down the eastern ridge of Ben Aden
Downhill into rough country between Ben Aden and the distant Loch Quoich. The... more

NM9098 : On the eastern ridge of Ben Aden by Richard Law
On the eastern ridge of Ben Aden
View up into the clag plaguing the summit on this occasion, where we followed the... more

NM9098 : Snow and rocky outcrops by Richard Law
Snow and rocky outcrops
On the eastern flank of Ben Aden, looking towards the Bealach a' Chairn Deirg.

NM9098 : Steep ground on the east ridge by Richard Law
Steep ground on the east ridge
Easy scrambling on the east ridge of Ben Aden; there are more steep craglets and... more

NM8998 : The top's up there by Richard Law
The top's up there
In complete contrast to the wall-to-wall sunshine we'd had the previous day, this... more

NM8998 : Summit cairn - Ben Aden by Richard Law
Summit cairn - Ben Aden
Hard to tell you're at the top on this occasion, but the well-built cairn is a bit... more

NM8998 : Descending from Ben Aden by Richard Law
Descending from Ben Aden
Heading down this way seemed like a good idea to begin with, but we quickly ran... more

NM8999 : Remains of the winter's snow on Bac na Cloiche by Richard Law
Remains of the winter's snow on Bac na Cloiche
This is quite high on the northern side of Ben Aden, and there was still a fair... more

NM8999 : Quick descent via a snow run by Richard Law
Quick descent via a snow run
As a descent tactic, snow-running is very similar to scree-running, but without... more

NM8999 : Meltwater burn high on Ben Aden by Richard Law
Meltwater burn high on Ben Aden
This small burn is mostly draining meltwater from the steep northern side of the... more

NM9099 : A glimpse of Lochan nam Breac by Richard Law
A glimpse of Lochan nam Breac
Through the gorge of the upper River Carnach, which drains this remote lochan. The... more

NM9099 : The River Carnach by Richard Law
The River Carnach
A little way downstream of Lochan nam Breac, and easy enough to ford here during a... more

NM9099 : Fording the Carnach by Richard Law
Fording the Carnach
After a morning up on Ben Aden, we had to get back to the stashed rucksacks, which... more

NM9099 : Looking downstream on the Carnach by Richard Law
Looking downstream on the Carnach
A view down the gorge of the Carnach, which drains Lochan nam Breac, and... more

NG8900 : Stalkers' path on the southern side of Sgùrr a' Choire Bheithe by Richard Law
Stalkers' path on the southern side of Sgùrr a' Choire Bheithe
Around the 200m contour at this point, the path heads from the west end of Loch... more

NG8900 : Rowan on a boulder by the path by Richard Law
Rowan on a boulder by the path
At a height of about 300m, a rowan has avoided the attentions of the deer by... more

NG8900 : The Allt Coire an Lochain by Richard Law
The Allt Coire an Lochain
Follow the stream back uphill on the map. Do you see a lochan? Me neither; it's... more

NG8900 : Zig-zag stalkers' path by Richard Law
Zig-zag stalkers' path
Climbing a steepish section of the hillside a little way below the Mam Unndalain,... more

NG8900 : One that didn't make it through the winter by Richard Law
One that didn't make it through the winter
A dead deer on the path; this was one of seven that we saw in the course of the... more

NG8800 : The path heads for the Mam Unndalain by Richard Law
The path heads for the Mam Unndalain

NG8800 : Towards Ben Aden from the Mam Unndalain path by Richard Law
Towards Ben Aden from the Mam Unndalain path
Still shrouded in the clag that had plagued it all morning, the Corbett tops out... more

NG8800 : Through the Mam Unndalain by Richard Law
Through the Mam Unndalain
My GPS gives a height of 524m for this pass, one of the main through-routes of... more

NG8801 : Stalkers' path down Glen Unndalain by Richard Law
Stalkers' path down Glen Unndalain
Part of the well-built path that crosses the Mam Unndalain, here seen looking back... more

NG8801 : Ford through the Allt Gleann Unndalain by Richard Law
Ford through the Allt Gleann Unndalain
The stalkers' path takes a dip in the burn.

NG8801 : Long view down Gleann Unndalain by Richard Law
Long view down Gleann Unndalain
Down the length of the valley to Loch Hourn in the distance; the settlement of... more

NG8801 : Path and waterslide by Richard Law
Path and waterslide
The stalkers' path passes by a steep waterslide, where a burn tumbles over a rock slab.

NG8801 : Path in Gleann Unndalain by Richard Law
Path in Gleann Unndalain

NG8801 : Crossing the Allt Gleann Unndalain by Richard Law
Crossing the Allt Gleann Unndalain
The map shows stepping stones here; I suppose they exist, but don't look as if... more

NG8701 : Stalkers' path in Gleann Unndalain by Richard Law
Stalkers' path in Gleann Unndalain
The path beside the burn is well engineered and easy to follow. It's come over the... more

NG8702 : Along the path that lies beside the burn by Richard Law
Along the path that lies beside the burn
A well-made stalkers' path through upper Gleann Unndalain.

NG8702 : Stalkers' path in Gleann Unndalain by Richard Law
Stalkers' path in Gleann Unndalain
Looking downhill, towards the Barrisdale direction, along the well-made path... more

NG8602 : The partially wooded slopes of Toman Odhar by Richard Law
The partially wooded slopes of Toman Odhar
The map shows a wood or forest on this hillside, but as in many parts of the... more

NG8602 : A scattering of Scots Pines by Richard Law
A scattering of Scots Pines
A few Scots Pines survive in a large fenced area on the slopes of Toman Odhar, and... more

NG8602 : Stalkers' path in Gleann Unndalain by Richard Law
Stalkers' path in Gleann Unndalain
Looking back up the well-made path that hugs the burn, here the view is towards... more

NG8702 : The path curves on the slopes of Doire Asamaidh by Richard Law
The path curves on the slopes of Doire Asamaidh
Here the path skirts the Asamaidh woodland, and then dives off leftwards in the... more

NG8602 : Down the path towards Barrisdale by Richard Law
Down the path towards Barrisdale
Just at the fenced edge of the Doire Asamaidh, the path heads downhill fairly steeply.

NG8603 : Nearly down into Barrisdale by Richard Law
Nearly down into Barrisdale
Approaching the lower end of the path from Gleann Unndalain, where things look... more

NG8703 : Croft ruins at Tomnaheilde by Richard Law
Croft ruins at Tomnaheilde
Sad, rather lonely, and distinctly ruinous. The map of 1876 shows the buildings... more

NG8703 : Ruined sheepfold at Tomnaheilde by Richard Law
Ruined sheepfold at Tomnaheilde
Much as described on the old maps this pile of rough stones looks most likely to... more

NG8703 : View up Glen Barrisdale by Richard Law
View up Glen Barrisdale

NG8603 : Footbridge over the Allt Gleann Unndalain by Richard Law
Footbridge over the Allt Gleann Unndalain
Actually rather more substantial than a simple footbridge, as it's intended to be... more

NG8703 : The White House, Ambraigh by Richard Law
The White House, Ambraigh
One of Barrisdale's scattered buildings, this one being the most southerly of the... more

NG8703 : Track leading away from the White House by Richard Law
Track leading away from the White House

NG8704 : The Allt Glen Barrisdale by Richard Law
The Allt Glen Barrisdale
Seen here in decidedly benign conditions. The ground was very dry for early spring.

NG8704 : Barrisdale bridge and a new barn by Richard Law
Barrisdale bridge and a new barn
A new, dark green, steel-walled barn has been erected immediately to the south of... more

NG8704 : Deer grazing on the flats at Barrisdale by Richard Law
Deer grazing on the flats at Barrisdale
These animals seem to have no real concerns about human presence, unlike the ones... more

NG8704 : Barisdale House by Richard Law
Barisdale House
Glimpsed through the trees to its east; there is a scaffolding tower erected... more

NG8705 : Estate track beside Loch Hourn by Richard Law
Estate track beside Loch Hourn
The track gives access between the farm area to and from a boat landing area just... more

NG8705 : Track from Barrisdale to Kinlochhourn by Richard Law
Track from Barrisdale to Kinlochhourn
The first part of a bit of a trek back from the Barrisdale area along the southern... more

NG8705 : Croft ruins beside the track by Richard Law
Croft ruins beside the track
Immediately south of the track from Barrisdale to Kinlochhourn, this pile of... more

NG8705 : Stalkers' track above Loch Hourn by Richard Law
Stalkers' track above Loch Hourn
This section is well drained and stony. Not so all the way back to Kinlochhourn,... more

NG8805 : Stalkers' path above Loch Hourn by Richard Law
Stalkers' path above Loch Hourn
One of the boggier sections of the path; this length would be a bit of a thankless... more

NG8806 : Stalkers' path above Loch Hourn by Richard Law
Stalkers' path above Loch Hourn
A narrow and well-drained section on the descent of the hillside approaching... more

NG8806 : Footbridge over the Allt a' Chaolas Bhig by Richard Law
Footbridge over the Allt a' Chaolas Bhig
The bridge referred to in [[1044241]]. On the occasion of our visit, the water was... more

NG8806 : Upstream view of the Allt a' Chaolas Bhig by Richard Law
Upstream view of the Allt a' Chaolas Bhig
Taken on a benign low-water day, certainly by comparison to [[1044241]]

NG8806 : Ruins by Loch Hourn by Richard Law
Ruins by Loch Hourn
Unnamed as far as I can see on any of the old maps, this appears to be the remains... more

NG8806 : Stalkers' path from Barrisdale above Loch Hourn by Richard Law
Stalkers' path from Barrisdale above Loch Hourn
A narrow section of the path, here dropping down a bit of a gully, back towards... more

NG8806 : Lochside Scots Pine tree by Richard Law
Lochside Scots Pine tree
One of a number of mature pines scattered along the side of Loch Hourn.

NG8906 : Uphill again by Richard Law
Uphill again
The track from Barrisdale to Kinlochhourn does not, by any stretch, hug the... more

NG8906 : Downhill to Loch Hourn by Richard Law
Downhill to Loch Hourn
The path now runs back down the hill from the low pass seen in [[5782681]],... more

NG8906 : One dead, one alive by Richard Law
One dead, one alive
A scattering of (mainly) Scots Pine trees beside the path on the shore of Loch... more

NG9006 : Path on the hillside by Richard Law
Path on the hillside
Part of the ancient pathway between Barrisdale and Kinlochhourn, here passing... more

NG9006 : Shoreline of Loch Hourn by Richard Law
Shoreline of Loch Hourn
Low on the northern slopes of Meall nan Eun, this is taken from the path that... more

NG9006 : Birch woodland by Richard Law
Birch woodland
Ancient birch scrub and woodland on the southern shore of Loch Hourn.

NG9006 : First sight of Runival by Richard Law
First sight of Runival
The lonely cottage of Runival, which does not appear to be inhabited at present,... more

NG9006 : Another uphill bit by Richard Law
Another uphill bit
The path from Barrisdale, which has been at or near sea level for a while,... more

NG9106 : Track from Barrisdale behind Creag Raonabhal by Richard Law
Track from Barrisdale behind Creag Raonabhal
Looking at the descent from the top of a 300' climb on the track back into... more

NG9106 : Down to the Camas Bàn by Richard Law
Down to the Camas Bàn
Taken from the side of the Barrisdale - Kinlochhourn track; at least one ruined... more

NG9106 : Ford through the Allt a Chamuis Bhain by Richard Law
Ford through the Allt a Chamuis Bhain
The ford takes the Barrisdale - Kinlochhourn path through a burn draining Coire... more

NG9206 : Track on the hillside above the Camas Bàn by Richard Law
Track on the hillside above the Camas Bàn
The last of the climbs on the coastal track. All downhill or level from here back... more

NG9206 : At the old fence surrounding Skiary by Richard Law
At the old fence surrounding Skiary
The remains of a gateway on the boundary fence around Skiary. This is shown on the... more

NG9206 : Path down to Skiary by Richard Law
Path down to Skiary
From the fence around the lands of the old crofting hamlet of Skiary, this is the... more

NG9207 : Skiary cottage by Richard Law
Skiary cottage
The cottage is currently available as a guesthouse, with dining facilities... more

NG9206 : Bridge over the Allt Coire Mhicrail by Richard Law
Bridge over the Allt Coire Mhicrail
Marked as a footbridge on maps dating right back to the 1840s, this slightly more... more

NG9207 : Croft ruins at Skiary by Richard Law
Croft ruins at Skiary
Stone walls and former farmland on the alluvial outwash fan of the Allt Coire Mhicrail.

NG9207 : Disused? Not sure, but still roofed by Richard Law
Disused? Not sure, but still roofed
One of the only two remaining roofed buildings at Skiary - the other being the... more

NG9307 : Barrisdale path back to Kinlochhourn by Richard Law
Barrisdale path back to Kinlochhourn
The narrow footpath from Barrisdale has now descended virtually to sea level, and... more

NG9307 : Approaching Caolas an Loch Bhig by Richard Law
Approaching Caolas an Loch Bhig
The well-constructed path alongside Loch Hourn hugs the shoreline, as the hillside... more

NG9307 : Who you lookin' at? by Richard Law
Who you lookin' at?
A surprise encounter with an otter; this chap swam past us from the Kinlochhourn... more

NG9307 : Barrisdale to Kinlochhourn path by Richard Law
Barrisdale to Kinlochhourn path
Here the path passes through a small patch of rhodedenron, an invasive species... more

NG9307 : Path beside Loch Beag by Richard Law
Path beside Loch Beag
This scattering of out-of-place rhododendrons on the south shore of the loch... more

NG9407 : End of the path by Richard Law
End of the path
The last few yards of the long footpath from Barrisdale, here joining the metalled... more

NG9406 : Sheds at Kinloch Hourn by Richard Law
Sheds at Kinloch Hourn
These presumably house a couple of small boats and associated kit, as there's a... more

All images © Richard Law and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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