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Advice requested - Mid May from Fort William to Dalwhinnie

Advice requested - Mid May from Fort William to Dalwhinnie


Postby Plavuizen » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:25 pm

Mid May I'm planning on a hike, with day 1 from Fort William to Kinlochleven by Glen Nevis, day 2 from Kinlochleven to Bridge of Gaur and on day 3 from Bridge of Gaur to Dalwhinnie. Yes, I'm aware that these are long distances (which I'm used to - it's the ascends and descents that I'm not used to as a Dutchman).

My question is: can I expect snow on the following high points?
On day 1: An Gearanach, An Garbanach, bealach a' Chadha Riabhaich (see: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/osmaps/route/3183964/short-cut-glen-nevis-kinlochleven)
Alternatively, I could go by the bealach between Binnein Beag and Binnein Mor, Coire Binnein and Coire an Lochain (see: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/osmaps/route/3185880/short-cut-2-glen-nevis-kinlochleven)
On day 2: Stob na Gruaiche and ridge.
On day 3: Bealach Beithe and The Fara ridge.

Any advice is welcome, also on condition of paths and terrain and water crossings!
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Re: Advice requested - Mid May from Fort William to Dalwhinn

Postby Caberfeidh » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:21 am

It is possible that there may be snow lying then, it may even fall then; blizzards in mid-summer are not unknown in the high hills. Rain and wind will kill you just as dead. It might be a heatwave, blowing a gale in your face or from behind or the side, there may be hailstorms or it might be balmy and nice. Or clagged in with fog. Or lashing freezing rain. Those are long distances over very rough ground, you are underestimating the distance and difficulty. River crossings may be very low or very high or anywhere in between.
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Re: Advice requested - Mid May from Fort William to Dalwhinn

Postby NickyRannoch » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:31 pm

As Caberfeidh says, all things are pssible weatherwise. You know yourself how fit you are but that day 2 seems very ambitious.

It's a bit of a circuitous route. Do you need to hit a village each night?

You could go From A to B with nights at Meanaach or Staoineag on night 1 and Ben Alder Cottage night 2
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Re: Advice requested - Mid May from Fort William to Dalwhinn

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:34 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:It is possible that there may be snow lying then, it may even fall then; blizzards in mid-summer are not unknown in the high hills. Rain and wind will kill you just as dead. It might be a heatwave, blowing a gale in your face or from behind or the side, there may be hailstorms or it might be balmy and nice. Or clagged in with fog. Or lashing freezing rain.


Welcome to Scotland :D
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Re: Advice requested - Mid May from Fort William to Dalwhinn

Postby jmarkb » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:49 pm

Given the current lack of snow on the hills, it is unlikely, but not impossible, to cause you problems in mid May. The An Garbhanach ridge is quite narrow and exposed with some scrambling required. Your day 2 route covers a lot of pathless and rough terrain!
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Re: Advice requested - Mid May from Fort William to Dalwhinn

Postby Plavuizen » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:01 pm

Thanks for the replies so far. For the more concerned: I'm experienced in long distances, done many times 40km, do weekly 25km, and am used to boggy ground and rain. And I'm travelling from hotel to hotel, so not carrying tent and much food, as I like a proper bed, shower, toilet, dinner and breakfast. That's why I'm travelling from village to village. Except King's House, there are no hotels in the middle of nowhere (although one guesthouse has that as web address :wink: ).
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Re: Advice requested - Mid May from Fort William to Dalwhinn

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:34 pm

Here is the route I took from Kinlochleven to Glen Nevis road end. Add about another 10km from there to Fort William. Its a long day and an unforgiving route should things go wrong. I wouldn't attempt it in poor conditions.
Your alternative involves a potentially difficult crossing of the River Nevis but an easier route overall.

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There is accommodation at Corrour which is in the middle of nowhere :D
https://www.corrour.co.uk/station-house/signal-box-accommodation/
All the best :D
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