As an American taking my 17-year-old son on a trip, I had very little time for what I call "hiking" while in Scotland. The Pap of Glencoe was not my first choice. However, the confluence of our rental car blowing a tire and my son's tiredness led me to change to this shorter venture. It took us longer because my teenager needed to stop many times on the way up. It is rather steep. We were lucky to have absolutely gorgeous weather.
I have been on many trails in the U.S., but this climb made me realize that I am somewhat spoiled because although I have hiked many miles, through more dangerous terrain or populated with frightening animals, I found this trail somewhat difficult because I am accustomed to more obvious trails (better signage; distinct paths). Our biggest obstacle was figuring out if we were indeed still on the trail. In fact, coming down I realized that there were time when we had not been on the trail. I was thankful for a good guidebook (which I borrowed so I cannot report which one it was). I have never used a guidebook so thoroughly! Additionally, the trail was very watery and rocky, but we had good waterproof boots, so the water was not a problem. The rocks were ok going up; down I worried a bit about breaking an ankle, especially near the top, but all went well!
It was definitely worth the confusion and sore knees for the gorgeous view at the top! I truly hope I can come back someday and walk more of the highlands.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.