Knoydart (May 2021)

Fri 28 May – Sun 30 May 2021

The Knoydart Cuckoo…

Andy had provided precise instructions for the rendevous on Friday eve – somewhere, along a 6 mile stretch of the Kinlochourn road, he would make camp… I had just about given up when i finally found his car and camp in Coire nan Subh around 9.15pm Time to pitch, swat a few midges, listen to the Cuckoos calling, then enjoy a beer round the fire joined by a guy from Fraserburgh parked in a Camper Van nearby. No sign of the others until near midnight which ultimately put paid to an early night. Andy is a stickler for a prompt start so we were off by 8am, probably no bad thing considering the rough walk into the wilds followed by an ascent of Ben Aden (Aodainn?). The fearsome Abhainn Chosaidh was a mere trickle and we found a great pitch about a km back from Loch Quoich (Cuaich?). Onto Ben Aden which is a fantastic rocky peak, with a fine ridge to follow, winding it’s way up and over some subsidiary tops before landing you on the summit – probably a rarely climbed Corbett.

Back to camp to listen to a Cuckoo calling… I mean there is hardly a tree in sight, let alone a forest, and exactly who’s nest are they going to lay their eggs in?? Not that i’m complaining about the sign of summer and they are meant to sing their song in May after all… but with 20 hours of daylight means that it / they never shut up!! In fact at one point i’m sure it was answering it’s own echo across the glen..

I had a mad round planned for Sunday to include two Corbetts and two Grahams plus long approach ridges, a tough day (34km and 3,000m) in quite hot and sunny conditions and with only the larger streams carrying water, The others took the long E ridge of Sgurr a Coire Bheithe which was to be my ultimate descent at the end of the day.. and it just goes on and on and on…. Between us we met less than half a dozen people, this despite one of the best weekends of weather so far this year, just underlining how special this area is. A walk out with Andy on Monday morning, followed by an ascent of Bhuide Bheinn, capped a great weekend, some 28 years after i last visited the Knoydart Cuckoo’s.

  • Report by Iain