- DD Hammocks 3x3m tarp
Alpkit Cloudbase Sleeping mat
- 3 season sleeping bag
- two walking poles
- bivvy bag
- over trouser waterproofs
Osprey 65 Rook Backpack
North Face Terra Mid Gore-Tex Boots
North face wind shield
Water proof jacket
1 complete change of clothes (minus the wind shield and waterproofs)
Harvey XT40 Great Glen Way Map
1/2l Scottish whiskey (monkey shoulder - blend. Sorry!)
Flight up to Inverness Saturday evening. A few cheeky pints before bed in a hotel.
Day 1 (Sunday): Inverness to Drumnadrochit (20 miles)
As I wasn't allowed to take a gas cannister for the JetBoil on the plane and the delivery times to Inverness are 3rd world, I had to make a quick pitstop to GoOutdoors to pick up some gas.
0905: Started the Great Glen Way from the alternative starting place, GoOutdoors. 20 minutes later I was on the official route by the golf club.
The first climb is a nice introduction to the walk! Once that is past, it's mostly flat going until you start to desend after Abriachan Forest.
With low cloud and heavy mist my first sighing of Loch Ness on the latter part of the walk to Drumnadrochit when you start running parallel with the A82.
Drumnadrochit has a village shop, co-op, fish and chips shop, a few restaurants and a pub.
Quick couple of pints for me and then to loch Ness campsite for a solo tent pitch (£10.50).
A few walkers on the route (Sunday) all heading towards Inverness.
Time: 0905 to 1530
Distance: 20 miles
Day 2 (Monday): Drumnadrochit to Invermoriston
Again the day starts with a up hill walk over the hill onto the northern side of Loch Ness. For the first few miles quite a bit of road walking, but only encountered a few cars.
Best part of the walk so far - along Ruskich Wood with great views of the Loch (when the cloud gave way!)
Choose the high route and again great views onto the Loch and then Northwards in the latter part of the route.
Met a single walker going in the opposite direction!
Small shop and hotel in Invermoriston. Hotel bar opens at 5pm once into autumn season.
Wild camping by the waterfall close to Telford Bridge.
Distance: 15.5 miles
Time: 0800 to 1400
Day 3 (Tuesday): Invermoriston to Leitirfearn
Chose the low route out of Invermoriston as the cloud and mist was low. Route to Fort Augustus is track and easy going. Majority of the route, Loch Ness is hidden, except a nice section in the middle where good views up and down the Loch.
Weather wasn't as bad as I initially thought, so got some good views!
Into Fort Augustus and the Locks are undergoing renovations, so everything is protected with steel fences. As expected the tow path around Kytra Locks were closed, so a free taxi ride between Fort Augustus and Aberchalder was provided by the construction company. Fair dues, nice and simple.
Again I chose the low route along Loch Ouch as I wanted to stay at the Trailblazers informal campsite at Leitirfearn in the south side of the Loch.
Short walk along the dismantled railway to the campsite. 2 fire pits and plenty of space. Great location to be close to the loch!
Time: 0800 - 1500 (includes 2 hours in Fort Augustus)
Day 4 (Wednesday): Lietirfearn to Fort William
Day started as Clunes or maybe Gairlochy as the target destination, but good progress, flat trails and the thought of a warm meal spurred me on all the way to Fort William.
The trail between Laggan and Gairlochy is track and relatively flat. Good views along the way of Loch Lochy are nice with it opening out more towards the end.
Going through the small village of Clunes, the loch opens up and when round the bottom you have great views eastern wards up the Lochy. This was the only time I felt the wind on the whole hike.
Gairlochy to Fort William is along the Caledonian Canal. Very flat as expected. The only good views are the canal itself, Ben Nevis on your left and some small hills in front.
Marched along this quickly and then hit the Neptune Lochs. From here to Fort William is not great (housing estates etc) but a warm welcome in Fort William was much appreciated. Food and a pint, then hopped onto the Caledonian Sleeper train onto London (swapped my ticket during the day - buy flexible tickets if you think you might want to swap).
Distance: 29 miles
Time: 0830 to 1730
Bad: Lack of water points on the whole route. Only 1 is marked. Many other options though.
Meh: Tarp. When it got cold on the 3rd night I would have preferred to be in an enclosed tent. Yes I should have enclosed the tarp and weighted down the sides.
Good: Upgraded from an 35L Osprey to a 65L Osprey with little weight difference in the pack itself. Allowed me to carry more.