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The West Highland Way

The West Highland Way


Postby Early Riser » Mon May 07, 2012 12:37 pm

Route description: West Highland Way

Date walked: 20/05/2010

Time taken: 8

Distance: 152 km

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The West Highland Way

I had wanted to do the WHW for several years but I'd never had the time until I retired, even then I worked an extra year, not retiring until my 66th birthday. I started getting into shape early in the year doing five miles a day plus a ten mile bash once a week, often carrying a fifteen pound piece of concrete in my back pack to get me used to carrying some weight. I had intended going solo but I received an e-mail from Kieran, my 22 year old Grandson telling me he wanted to join me, "Excellent News" I thought. I more or less planned the walk and we agreed to start the walk on Thursday the 20th of May so as to avoid the bulk of the people starting at the weekend. I met my grandson off the train in Glasgow on the 19th and caught a train for Milngavie, pitching our tent at Bankell Farm campsite giving ourselves the afternoon to sort out our gear. We had far to much so decided to use Travel-Lite to carry the bulk of it.

Day One Milngavie to Easter Drumquhassie Farm
A nice easy walk to get ourselves into the swing of things. The campsite was fairly small the facilities were poor but site was relatively inexpensive. Curried Noodles and coffee for our main meal. Weather dry with some sun.

Day two Easter Drumquhassie to Rowendennan ( wild Camping)
A longer walk today and saw our first Slow Worm or Smooth Snake just lying on the path soaking up the sun. Picked up our pack from the YHA in Rowendennan and wild camped on the shore of Loch Lomond a lovely site that we had to ourselves. We enjoyed a Guinness in the Rowendennan hotel. Weather dry and sunny

Day Three Rowendennan to Inverarnan.
The hardest day of the whole walk, the North Loch Lomond path we found very tough going although the views through the trees were at times stunning. Here we met the wild goats big shaggy things that ignored us even when I got close to take a photograph. A little later we came upon a male and female Slow Worm doing what male and female Slow Worms do. I tried to photograph them but was too slow to catch them "at it" I don't normally do "porno" well, not often, but it was a case of "coitus interruptus" I'm afraid. I felt quite bad about that, there's nothing worse than being interrupted when.... well that's another story. Slow Worms are quite rare, but relatively common on North Loch Lomond. We were quite sunburned by the time we reached Inverarnan campsite. A lovely site serving good beer and good food. We spent the evening in the Drover's Arms. A popular pub serving good food, well worth a visit. Very warm and sunny.

Day Four Inverarnan to Strathfillan
Auchtertyre Farm Campsite provides all you need, a large site good hot showers and a well equipped kitchen and a farm shop where you will find a large variety of food (we got some excellent sausage here) Weather dry with some sun.

Day Five Strathfillan to Bridge of Orchy
An easy day today Kieran’s feet were giving him trouble so we decided to use the Bridge of Orchy Hotel bunkhouse and have the next day off to give his feet a chance to heal. The bunkhouse is very good but has no kitchen, only a microwave and an electric kettle. It was very clean with good hot showers but very expensive. there is a nice bar with good food and beer. The weather remained dry with some sun.

Day Six Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse
Kieran's feet were ok the next morning so we set off early, we were at the pub at Inveroran just as they opened but managed to walk right past and up onto Rannoch Moor. The old drove road takes you all the way over the moor. excellent scenery all day, weather still holding, good food and beer at Kingshouse (the steak pie was excellent) good wild camping red deer wandering around camp looking bedraggled after the winter.

Day Seven Kingshouse to Kinlochleven
I had been looking forward to this day, The Devils Staircase and fish and chips in Kinlochleven (and a six pack from the co-op) The Devil's Staircase was not nearly as tough as I expected, but the view from the top was the best of the whole walk, looking down into Glen Coe brilliant. How many times have I driven through Glen Coe and wondered what it would be like to look down into the Glen. A fabulous view of Buachaille Etive Mor, a mountain I've wanted to climb for years when I eventually I work up the courage, some day perhaps. Then the long walk down into Kinlochleven, The fish and chips were perfect and the campsite at the Macdonald Hotel was very good. A small campsite but good showers and reasonably priced. We encountered our first midges here, much smaller teeth than those at Fort William

Day Eight Kinlochleven to Fort William
An early start again and the long haul from sea level up to 250 metres then a lovely walk through the pass of Lairig Mor here we had our first taste of rain, with low cloud over the tops. We had the whole of the glen to ourselves. Our first view of Ben Nevis was disappointing as there was lots of low cloud and the walk down into Glen Nevis seemed to go on forever. The campsite in Glen Nevis, although quite expensive is to my mind one of the best in Scotland. I had arranged to arrive on the Thursday to give my grandson a day to do Ben Nevis, I've done the Ben twice so just stayed in camp, relaxed, and just entertained the midges while he did his first Munro, what a way to finish the walk, Brilliant!!!!
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The Devil's Staircase
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Early Riser
Wanderer
 
Posts: 24
Munros:14   Corbetts:2
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Apr 18, 2012
Location: Dunoon

Re: The West Highland Way

Postby walk aboot » Mon May 07, 2012 4:16 pm

I saw two bullfinches today but I couldn't get my camera out of my bag in time :? . Didn't know slow worms were common in those parts, I'll keep a look out for them :) .

Great report, must be proud doing the WHW with your grandson :) .
User avatar
walk aboot
 
Posts: 2465
Munros:36   Corbetts:4
Donalds:1
Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:2   
Joined: Feb 12, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: The West Highland Way

Postby morag1 » Tue May 08, 2012 8:20 am

Great report and photos, one of the best descriptions of the WHW I have seen on the website :thumbup:

Well done to you getting in training and doing this at the age of 66!!!

Have you any plans for further walking? If so hope you keep posting :D
morag1
 

Re: The West Highland Way

Postby Early Riser » Tue May 08, 2012 10:18 pm

walk aboot wrote:I saw two bullfinches today but I couldn't get my camera out of my bag in time :? . Didn't know slow worms were common in those parts, I'll keep a look out for them :) .

Great report, must be proud doing the WHW with your grandson :) .



Hi Walkaboot, Thanks for the comments, I must admit walking with my grandson did make the walk even more enjoyable. Later on in the year he brought two of his palls up from Newcastle and we did four munros over two days but it was hard keeping up with boys in their twenties but good fun. This was one of the slow worms we saw on North Loch Lomond
Attachments
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Slow Worm (Smooth Snake)
Early Riser
Wanderer
 
Posts: 24
Munros:14   Corbetts:2
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Apr 18, 2012
Location: Dunoon

Re: The West Highland Way

Postby Early Riser » Wed May 09, 2012 1:07 am

morag1 wrote:Great report and photos, one of the best descriptions of the WHW I have seen on the website :thumbup:

Well done to you getting in training and doing this at the age of 66!!!

Have you any plans for further walking? If so hope you keep posting :D


Hi Morag, Thanks for the comments, I've lots of plans for this year for adding to my munro tally but it's the longer walks that I really enjoy. Being in a glen by yourself is to my mind the greatest feeling of all, although I will admit that having my grandson with me did, when we met other walkers make me feel really proud. As for not getting your camera out in time, I now just carry a cheap one in my pocket, the only problem there is, it's never on the right setting! I hope I meet you on a hill sometime. Early Riser.
Early Riser
Wanderer
 
Posts: 24
Munros:14   Corbetts:2
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Apr 18, 2012
Location: Dunoon

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