Rough Bounds of Knoydart, again!!!

Our second trip to Knoydart this year, abandoned once again but this time I lost my soul, or more correctly my sole! First time was a dry joint in a power cable and no spare!

The tread on the toe of the right boot of my LOWA Camino GTX boots (2 years old) started flapping. I admit that they have had a pretty hard life, but were comfortable boots right from the start.

All was not lost. Despite the midges I was able to use a piece of cord cut from the end of a resonant half wave inverted-V dipole (20m) to secure the sole allowing activation of GM/WS-105, only the second ever and 6 years apart (GM4COX being the first). Subsequently I was able to walk out, rather than hop, along the absolutely splendid footpath back to Kinlochourn (highly recommended); only once having to stop and repeat the repair. Bizarrely the boots remained waterproof throughout!

However, there is still one remaining summit left, but not sure when I will summon the enthusiasm to go back into Knoydart yet again! Anyway, no desperate rush as I need to buy some new boots first!




We used to repair flapping soles with black araldite. It happened to me once descending Moel Siabod, luckily I had a spare bootlace.

Those should be repairable at a competent cobbler. The soles are “just” glued on. I had a Meindl that did the same. The cobbler charged £5 to remove the sole, clean up and glue it back on. It did another 18months of heavy duty dog walking before it detached again. Probably worth a £5 punt so you have a spare pair of boots.


Splendid. Reuse, Repurpose, Restore, and Upcycle. Do you have the name of a local “competent cobbler?”

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You’ll probably find a Timpson branch in Edinburgh. There will be specialists too as opposed to chain shops. Yellow Pages for Edinburgh shows a number of independents.

The reason why I have used Timpsons for a fair amount of work is their policy of recruiting, training and employing ex-convicts. It’s all very well sending people to prison to punish them for their crimes but if you don’t do something to help them when released, it’s trivial for them to re-offend. In their 2021 figures, they have employed over 1500 former prisoners since 2002 and only 4 have gone on to re-offend. That’s a more successful rehabilitation rate than all the government schemes!


When my alpine boots needed a flappy sole fixing, a guy at the climbing shop did it for me. I don’t know if that happens today, but your local climbing shop is always worth a browsing visit!

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Many years ago I was bequeathed a beautiful pair of Dachstein walking boots by the wife of a very good friend that died of a heart attack. Unfortunately a very wet day on The Cheviot followed by inadequately drying them out destroyed the glue and the soles fell off both boots. I was persuaded to part with them and buy new. I have always regretted not having them repaired… so go do it Colwyn! :grinning:

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Colwyn, check out


Lancashire Sport Repairs also claim to be able to resole approach shoes etc. I have a 3.5year old pair of TNF Hedgehogs which are still 100% waterproof and OK on top but the sole is worn away. I’m going to see if these are resolable as it will be very much less than buying another pair of Hedgehogs.

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The uppers of my Meindl Bhutans gave out after only two years of use and the rubber rand around the boots is only half what it was when new. The guy in Tiso couldn’t believe I’d trashed them in that timescale.

New ones are now £250.

Never mind, I picked up a bargain - Meindl Kansas GTX, 30% off, so £132. They actually have more rubber around the toes than the Bhutans, so all good.

Anyway, I took them out the box and walked 55 miles in them at the weekend, so that’s them broken in.

As for flappy soles, I keep a few rolls of duct tape around my sigg bottle for things like fixing boots, re-attaching severed limbs etc…


I’ve used them twice to repair my boots. Good job both times. :grinning:


My 8 year old pair have just developed a few cracks in the leather. Annoying as there is still plenty of life in the sole. I now just rub a thick smear of Grainger’s Wax in the cracks with my thumb before walking now. I do have another pair of Bhutans that are broken in and worn on a 5 uses of the old boots to 1 use of the new ones. Being diabetic I have to take extra care of my feet so having two pairs of boots is essential. Good to know a heavy boot user rates the Kansas.

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Colwyn will be weighing his options, knowing that if he spends £70 getting them resoled the Goretex membrane will promptly go and start leaking badly.!. my Meindl Bhutans did that and now dry weather only… you cant win it seems.

Knoydart from Kinlochourn is sounding very appealing before winter, we shall see. Is the bunkhouse at Barrisdale open?

73 Gavin

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Not everyone will know the visual delights of Knoydart. So I offer this, the pictures are sublime.


Best add a health warning to your post Andy in case Tom decides to read the article. You know he doesn’t like exposure. :wink:


Ladhar Bheinn and Luinne Bheinn (Larven and Loon-ya ven) are a cracking pair of summits for the connoisseur but best not for the beginner, Tom could probably do them but I doubt he would enjoy the exposure!

I’m thinking “sod the exposure look at those views” !

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Yes Gavin, the bothy at Barrisdale was open and looked very well kept by the estate. There is a large solar array nearby and the bothy has electric lighting, flush toilet and running water. Cost was £5 per night in the honesty box (same price if you camp on the cut grass opposite) and I noted there were even smoke alarms fitted as required now in every occupied Scottish building.

There is no fireplace so better to visit before it gets too cold, but midges were bad so maybe wait a few weeks. Bare bunk beds so remember to take a camping mat of some type and a sleeping bag, probably toilet roll as well!

Drive to Kinlochhourn is single track and seemed to take a long time from the A87 after Invergarry.

It is a stunningly beautiful place to visit and the walk in is interesting and varied; herons and otters seen. We took 3 hours to walk to the bothy. I had the added benefit of bright sunshine and no breeze allowing a t-shirt activation of GM/WS-105 on Saturday, but it will not be like that often. We had camped part way up the peak.

The views are so good don’t go unless there is a good weather forecast.

The estate seems to be called Barisdale now and these website details are out of date. The stables is not the bothy!!!



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As there is a LOT of handwork on Stob a’Chearcaill and more to come before the summit of Ladhar Bheinn, its best to concentrate on the job in hand!

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The last time I stayed at the bothy it had a single electric light, powered from a hydro in the stream. There was no charge then. We had the place to ourselves. Collected mussels from the shore and cooked them up on our gas stoves. A great memory.



similar memories although I think the electric light was powered by a generator for the stalkers house.

There have been a lot of improvements; new jetty, lodge has been renovated, grass airstrip(I think), new out buildings, estate office, huge solar panel array and I think there is a new run of the river hydro scheme.

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