Sgurr Coire Choinnichean from Inverie

Sgurr Coire Choinnichean

An exhilarating ridge walk with wide views over one of the most remote parts of western Scotland, the wild and wonderful Knoydart peninsula. The route up this fantastic Corbett starts from Britain's most remote pub, the Old Forge Inn, which offers an incredibly friendly atmosphere, real ales and fresh seafood. The Knoydart peninsula's remote village of Inverie is only accessible by boat from Mallaig or a very lengthy walk in from mainland roads. You would most likely be looking to do this walk if you were staying in Inverie, backpacking through Knoydart or day tripping during long summer days using one of the taxi boat services available. Visiting Knoydart is an experience no one ever forgets, the community here and its history are incredible, and the wild and untouched mountain scenery breath taking.

Route Directions

  1. This walk starts from the Old Forge at grid reference NG766000. The Old Forge is mainland Britain's most remote pub, situated on the wild and wonderful Knoydart Peninsula. The pub is the social hub of the village of Inverie and home to an incredibly welcoming self sufficient community.
  2. Inverie is only accessible by either boat or an eighteen mile walk in over high mountain terrain. There are regular small ferries from Mallaig harbour, situated forty miles west of Fort William. Visit the Knoydart Foundation website here for ferry information.
  3. The Old Forge can be seen from Inverie harbour. To reach it just turn right from the harbour and walk along the road for a hundred and fifty metres. From the Old Forge head north west along the road for thirty metres then turn right up the rough forestry track.
  4. The track bends sharp left and then climbs in a straight line and in a north west then north direction through the forest until it reaches a large deer gate on the track to the open Mam Uidhe glen.
  5. After heading through the deer gate on the track at the edge of the forest you need to turn right and basically just stomp your way over steep pathless heather and grass slopes in an east to south east direction for just over a kilometre.
  6. As you gain height the views across to Eigg, Rum and eventually Skye open up behind you. After just over a kilometre of constant ascent you will top out on a flat area where you now get a side on panoramic view in front of the target for the day, the summit ridge of Sgurr Coire Choinnichean.
  7. Head towards the right slightly now and head in a southerly direction and you will reach the top of the surprisingly deep and impressive ravine of Slochd a' Mhogha with a view down to Inverie's Long Beach area.
  8. You are now in a position to step on to the south east ridge of Sgurr Coire Choinnichean and start your ascent of this fantastic ridge.
  9. Ascend the ridge in a northerly direction. There is one scrambly section near the start but nothing too technical.
  10. The only part of the ridge that may be uncomfortable to some is the narrow and exposed section that bends round to the final ascent of the south summit. It is exposed but as long as you watch your footing you should be fine.
  11. The first part of the mountain you reach is the double summited south summit which has a highest spot height of 779m.
  12. From the south summit looking east to north east you will now see the true and highest north east summit of Sgurr Coire Choinnichean with a spot height of 796m.
  13. To reach the higher north east summit simply head down in to the often windy bealach between the two and then head up the other side over a small knoll and to the actual summit with its small cairn of stones. The views from here are pretty incredible with huge and rarely seen munros all round for miles.
  14. To descend the summit of Sgurr Coire Choinnichean head east for three hundred metres then descend quite steep in a north east direction for another three hundred metres to reach the bealach between Sgurr Coire Choinnichean and Stob an Uillt-fhearna.
  15. From the bealach if it is clear looking to your right or south east you should now be able to see Loch an Dubh-Lochain at the bottom of the glen and also the Barrrisdale to Inverie track skirting it through the glen.
  16. You now need to find your own descent route to reach that track. The terrain is completely pathless, boggy and difficult. Head down in a south east or south direction from the bealach towards the track far below. There are a few small streams that can be used for handrailing navigation as they all lead to the track.
  17. Once you finally reach the track after the interesting two kilometre pathless ascent turn right and head south west along the easy track. After a kilometre or so you will pass the Brocket Monument. Continue along the track for four kilometres to get back to Inverie.
  18. At Inverie the Knoydart Foundation have setup an information centre where you can learn all about the fascinating history of Knoydart. No better way to finish a walk than a visit to the warm and welcoming Old Forge where you will find a friendly atmosphere, real ales and freshly caught seafood.

Maps for this walk

Paper maps for this walk

Click to buy OS Explorer 413 Map Click to buy OS Landranger 33 Map Click to buy Harvey Super Walker Knoydart Map Click to buy Harvey Knoydart Mountain Map

GPS files for this walk

Route map of this walk

Photos & Trip Reports

Planning for a walk

Check the weather

The weather is a very important part of hill walking. Weather conditions and daylight hours will dictate where you walk, what gear you will need to carry, how far you walk, and may even decide if you go at all. The following links will help you gather information on weather conditions for areas of Britain...

Plan your journey

Planning your journey before you set off for your walk can save you vital hours on the day. You need to make sure you know the area surrounding your starting point as many factors can influence or change the place you park. Don't forget change for parking meters and fees.

Maintenance of your vehicle and being ready for breakdown situations when driving to remote areas is also vital. Pack a full spare petrol can in your boot, and take de-icing tools in winter, including a shovel. The Transport Direct website below is a great resource for anyone wanting to get to the start of their walk using public transport...

Pack the right gear

Carrying and wearing the right gear is essential for walkers to remain comfortable and safe while hill walking in Britain. However, the best gear in the world is of no use to anyone who doesn't know how to use and care for it. Knowing how to use your gear will give you a much more enjoyable experience. The following items are, in my opinion, the essential items to wear and carry for a hill walk in Britain. It would be foolish to head into the hills and mountains of Britain without these essential items and the knowledge of how to use them. Check out the gear section of this site for techniques and gear lists...

  • Footwear
  • Clothing
  • Rucksack
  • Warm Clothes
  • Waterproofs
  • Map & Compass
  • Emergency Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food & Drink
  • Seasonal Gear

Know what to do in emergencies

It is good practise to tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return. If you don't get in contact when you said you would on your return, and those you told can't get hold of you, at least they will be able to provide the search party with your general location.

Emergency equipment in the check list above means items such as a survival bag, whistle, and emergency food rations. This isn't anything special; any whistle will do, the orange emergency bags only costs a few pounds, and basic food rations can consist of a couple of chocolate bars. Carrying a head lamp is also an important component and a vital piece of kit used for signalling when you require rescuing.

You should always try and get out of a difficult or emergency situation using your own gear, knowledge and energy. If you cannot do this, then you should dial 999 and ask for the police. Use all the gear you have to keep any unwell or injured members of your party or yourself safe and warm, and use your signalling devices to let the rescuers know your whereabouts. To do this blow six good long blasts on your whistle, or flash six flashes of your torch. Stop for one minute. Repeat. Carry on with the whistle blasts until someone reaches you, and don't stop because you've heard a reply.

Never contact mountain rescue unless absolutely necessary, but on the other hand don't ever feel guilty for having to do so, especially if you are a prepared walker. The Mountain Rescue teams are full of fantastic like-minded souls who love nothing more than people who are prepared for being safe in the mountains.