Read other users walk reports for the long distance trails - and add your own.

NB. This board is for reports on multi-day long distance routes - reports on simply long walks should be added to the standard boards.
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.

WHW part 3 - Come to the mountains and climb (2013)

WHW part 3 - Come to the mountains and climb (2013)

Postby nigheandonn » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:17 am

Route description: West Highland Way

Date walked: 20/06/2013

Time taken: 2 days

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Day 6 - Glencoe to Kinlochleven

With a relatively short day ahead, I had a chance in theory for a morning off before getting the bus back along to the ski centre at lunchtime - but in practice my idea of a rest turned out to be walking along to Ballachulish, which wasn't restful at all, although I quite enjoyed seeing a village which was more than a string of houses along the road.

This was the day of the famous Devil's staircase, illustrated back at Inveroran with a surprising gleeful little devil. It really wasn't as bad as the name made it sound - definitely the home of a small minor demon, rather than the man himself.

Since this is really the first time you go over instead of through, the view from the top was a genuine new horizon, with the distinctive summit of Ben Nevis suddenly in sight, and the Blackwater reservoir stretching out to the west.

The way down, however, was far more difficult than I had expected - a seemingly endless stony trudge which finally deposited me in Kinlochleven past the old factory buildings, exhausted and sore-footed.

This was the original of the occasion when, having ordered fish and chips in the pub, I ate all the peas in about 30 seconds and sat looking at the rest of it as if wondering what it was for (a thing which has occasionally happened since, although not quite to the same level) - I felt especially bad about it as some people who came in after me couldn't get any chips and were disappointed!

Gleeful devil (from the Inveroran Hotel)

Flying low over Glencoe

The Kings House

Buchaille Etive Mor

Looking down the Devil's Staircase

New horizons

Blackwater reservoir

Smily face

Entering Kinlochleven

Day 7 - Kinlochleven to Fort William

Kinlochleven was remarkable as the first place I'd been in since Milngavie which had a street with a ROW of shops. Not a very long row - two or three - but a shock to the system all the same. Apart from that, and the climbing centre, it also had a local charity shop where I bought a WHW keyring which is still hanging on one of my bags, and a waterfall - all quite exciting.

To a much greater extent than I had realised this was a repeat of the day before, just without the exciting name, and with the ascent continuing after the first steeper section as a long slow rise through the Lairig Mor. The guidebook had promised views of the Aonach Eagach, but the tops of the hills all around were in cloud.

For a while the path shadowed a minor road without touching it, making Lundavra on its loch and the scattering of buildings at Blarmachfoldach seem tantalisingly unreachable, before curling round towards Ben Nevis, apparently covered with Carn Deargs of different sizes, and making a slow way down to join the Glen Nevis road and follow it into the town.

There were two ends - one at a roundabout on the edge of the town, and one in the centre where a sore-footed walker sits on a bench. I meant to have a celebratory meal that night, but I was really too tired for the effort - I ended up with takeaway pizza down by the waterside and a collapse into bed, and saved the extravagance for smoked salmon and scrambed eggs for breakfast, and a lunchtime feast on the train home which included a reminder of an earlier point.

River Leven

Ominous signs

The Lairig Mor



Ben Nevis

Glen Nevis

The first end

The real end

Celebratory feast
User avatar
Posts: 1642
Munros:19   Corbetts:9
Fionas:7   Donalds:26+10
Sub 2000:55   Hewitts:133
Wainwrights:214   Islands:34
Joined: Jul 7, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Long Distance routes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests