walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best

Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best


Postby dogplodder » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:54 pm

Route description: West Highland Way 6: Inveroran to Kings House

Date walked: 30/04/2018

Distance: 15.5 km

6 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

When I was a kid I remember crossing Rannoch Moor in the old family car on our way north. It struck me then as a bleak and desolate place where it wouldn't be a good idea to get lost and was probably my least favourite of all the places we visited. It's funny how childhood memories stick and until we walked across it as part of the WHW that's how I still thought of it. I did get an inkling it might deliver more than I was expecting when my brother and sister in law said when they did the WHW it had rained every day but one and they had saved that one good weather day for the Rannoch Moor, even though it meant doing it out of sequence. They thought it was worth a good day and now I know they were right.

Our day for it dawned bright and beautiful. Peter delivered us back to the Inveroran Hotel where we got the usual photo with the dogs. After her previous day's training session, and not expecting to find sheep on the moor, Callie was coming with us.

This old coaching inn dates back to 1707 and would have been a busy staging post when this was the main route north. I imagine the opening of the WHW brought some welcome business back through its doors and very welcoming we found it.

Inveroran Hotel
IMG_5651-large.JPG


From the hotel we followed the same route we'd taken a few years earlier on our way to Stob a' Choire Odhair, past Inveroran Cottage, over the Allt Tolaghan, past where we had parked and over the Victoria Bridge.

View west from Victoria Bridge to Etive hills
IMG_5655-large.JPG


View east from Victoria Bridge to Loch Tulla
IMG_5656-large.JPG


We passed Forest Lodge and through a gate on to Telford's old Parliamentary Road, which replaced the old military road and remained in use until 1933.

Telford's road with Meall a' Bhuiridh ahead
IMG_5662-large.JPG


As I'd thought, there were no sheep about so I was able to have Callie off lead which made life so much easier for her and me. Her recall is almost 100% instant (secret with labs is having food in pocket!) and she doesn't have the exploring off track wanderlust like old Jack used to have.

South east to Bridge of Orchy hills
IMG_5664-large.JPG


Here we were on a beautiful day in the heart of Rannoch Moor's wetlands, safe on the solid ground of Telford's road. These wetlands are important. At an altitude of about 300 metres, the moor is covered with a “blanket bog”, formed out of plants that thrive on acidic soils, usually in upland areas above 200m and subject to heavy rainfall and low temperature. The uplands of Scotland cover almost two thirds of the country and around 14 per cent of that land can be classified as blanket bog.

The blanket bogs and lochans of Rannoch Moor drain into Loch Tummel, via Loch Rannoch. Due to its very specific fauna and flora, typical of peatland areas, the moor has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It has also been declared a National Nature Reserve, is a proposed Special Area of Conservation and has been listed as a site of worldwide wetland importance. Who would have thought of bog as so important.

The views were superb and it was wonderful to see so many hills we'd climbed from a different perspective. We spent a lot of time reminiscing about those different days we'd spent and what the weather had been like. I don't think any of the days, apart from the day on Creise and Meall a' Bhuiridh, were quite as perfect weather as today was!

Creise and Meall a' Bhuiridh from lunch stop
IMG_5666-large.JPG


We sat on the wall of one of the bridges we crossed for lunch and chatted to some other walkers who came along. They were from somewhere overseas but I don't remember where.

Another look back to Orchy hills
IMG_5667-large.JPG


And another
IMG_5669-large.JPG


I didn't realise when I was on top of it how impressive Stob a' Choire Odhair is from this angle.

Stob a' Choire Odhair and Stob Ghabhar from north
IMG_5670-large.JPG


The Black Mount
IMG_5672-large_stitch-large.jpg


We could see the whole of the Clachlet Traverse which is a 25 km walk over the four Munro peaks of the range, namely Stob a' Choire Odhair, Stob Ghabhar, Creise and Meall a' Bhuiridh. The route begins at the Inveroran Inn and ends at the Kingshouse Hotel, the same place we were heading, but at a higher and more challenging level than ours!

IMG_5674-large.JPG


Zoomed to Clach Leathad
IMG_5675-large.JPG


Alpine scenery
IMG_5677-large.JPG


IMG_5678-large.JPG


Easy walking courtesy of Thomas Telford
IMG_5679-large.JPG


Thomas Telford (1757 - 1834) was a Scottish civil engineer, architect and stonemason, and a noted road, bridge and canal builder. Such was his reputation as a prolific designer of highways and related bridges, he was dubbed The Colossus of Roads (a pun on the Colossus of Rhodes) and has left a long lasting mark on the road network in Scotland.

Over the moor to Beinn a' Ghreachain, Beinn Achaladair, Beinn an Dothaidh & Beinn Dorain
IMG_5680-large.JPG


Glencoe ahead
IMG_5682-large.JPG


Are you coming?
IMG_5683-large.JPG


Buachaille Etive Mor and Beinn a' Chrulaiste
IMG_5684-large.JPG


Much photographed guardian of Glencoe
IMG_5686-large.JPG


Much photographed cottage
IMG_5688-large.JPG


IMG_5689-large.JPG


Black Rock cottage is a club hut for the Ladies' Scottish Climbing Club and is a magnet for photographers. When we arrived a man was there with his tripod and camera, his car waiting at the road side. Being just off the A82 it's easily accessed which is probably a lot to do with its popularity. But there's no denyng the mesmerising effect of the towering block of black rock known as the Great Herdsman of Etive. It's hard to drive past and not stop and gaze at it in wonder and with the generosity of digital photography take far more photos than we could ever possibly need.

The Great Herdsman
IMG_5692-largec.JPG


When we reached the cottage I put Callie on lead as we were close to the fast flowing A82, where cars take no prisoners, and kept her on until we were safely on the track on the other side. It wasn't too much further to the Kingshouse Hotel where we were meeting Peter but I already knew there would be no cake and coffee there as the place currently resembles a building site. Despite all the machinery and work going on, the Kingshouse deer were still grazing in an adjoining field and barely spared us a glance as we passed, dog and all.

Deer grazing by the Kingshouse building site
IMG_5693-large.JPG


Meall a' Bhuiridh, Creise and Stob a' Ghlas Choire from Kingshouse
IMG_5694-large.JPG


I met a couple of women who had been expecting their transport to pick them up here then discovering they would have to walk all the way back to the Glencoe Ski Centre. If I'd found Pete at this point I could have offered them a lift but by the time I did they were away. Due to the building work he'd been unsure how to get into the place we'd arranged to meet and had found a bit of old road coming in from the main road and pulled in there. It was good to see him and we headed off to our new abode in Glencoe to dump our stuff and have a shower before going for food to the Clachaig. It was heaving with folk and we were fortunate to get a table together, thanks to a guy on his own insisting on moving, which was very kind of him. It was also nice to have a catch up with some friendly blokes we'd met earlier. A good end to a fabulous day.

Looking back, both of us had enjoyed each part of the WHW, each with its own distinctive beauty. But we easily agreed that the sometimes gloomy and forbidding Rannoch Moor had been the highlight with its blue skies, crystal visiblity and snow-capped mountains. Definitely one to keep for a good day!
Last edited by dogplodder on Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3409
Munros:221   Corbetts:52
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:24   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Didn't expect bleak boglands to be so stunning on WHW 6

Postby dogplodder » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:49 am

Rannoch Moor from Stob a' Choire Odhair, taken June 2013
DSC_0081-largec.jpg
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3409
Munros:221   Corbetts:52
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:24   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best on WHW 6

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:01 pm

What wonderful photos :clap: :clap: - your camera work does the area justice :lol: :lol:

I've never really fancied doing the WHW but your reports are very seductive :crazy: but it would have to be in autumn or spring ...
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 884
Munros:233   Corbetts:15
Grahams:8   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:18   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best on WHW 6

Postby denfinella » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:59 am

Jaw dropping indeed - looks like you picked the perfect time of year to do the WHW, with snow on the hills but none lower down. Thanks for posting!
User avatar
denfinella
Walker
 
Posts: 955
Munros:60   Corbetts:33
Grahams:18   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:49   Hewitts:11
Wainwrights:6   
Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best on WHW 6

Postby dogplodder » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:00 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:What wonderful photos :clap: :clap: - your camera work does the area justice :lol: :lol:

I've never really fancied doing the WHW but your reports are very seductive :crazy: but it would have to be in autumn or spring ...


Spring is good for snow-capped hills but autumn would be good too. Definitely avoid midge season. :o
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3409
Munros:221   Corbetts:52
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:24   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best on WHW 6

Postby dogplodder » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:35 pm

denfinella wrote:Jaw dropping indeed - looks like you picked the perfect time of year to do the WHW, with snow on the hills but none lower down. Thanks for posting!


Yep, recommend going in April - not too busy, snow on hills and pre midges, clegs and high bracken. 8)
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3409
Munros:221   Corbetts:52
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:24   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best on WHW 6

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:24 pm

My own childhood memories of Rannoch Moor date back to the long hot summer of '76. My parents took me and my brother out wild camping somewhere from the station side, apparently an idyllic spot. Until late afternoon, when the hordes arrived. Despite being pretty seasoned hillwalkers, my folks hadn't done much in Scotland, and hadn't planned well for the midges. We were all in shorts. My brother, aged 6, suffered the worst, but fair to say we cowered in the Vango Mark 5 that has so many childhood memories, with a Moskil coil doing its best in the porch. And got the heck out the next morning.

Since then, I've driven across it at high speed, recognising the beauty of the place, but mostly due to the surrounding hills. Only now have I explored it a little more on foot, and am now planning a canoe crossing of Lochs Ba and Laidon, with a little dragging and lining in the middle bit. Some of my friends are less convinced of its beauty, and refuse to join me!

I shall show them your report to help swing it in my direction! Thanks, lovely photos.
User avatar
Mal Grey
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2792
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best on WHW 6

Postby dogplodder » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:14 pm

Mal Grey wrote:My own childhood memories of Rannoch Moor date back to the long hot summer of '76. My parents took me and my brother out wild camping somewhere from the station side, apparently an idyllic spot. Until late afternoon, when the hordes arrived. Despite being pretty seasoned hillwalkers, my folks hadn't done much in Scotland, and hadn't planned well for the midges. We were all in shorts. My brother, aged 6, suffered the worst, but fair to say we cowered in the Vango Mark 5 that has so many childhood memories, with a Moskil coil doing its best in the porch. And got the heck out the next morning.

Since then, I've driven across it at high speed, recognising the beauty of the place, but mostly due to the surrounding hills. Only now have I explored it a little more on foot, and am now planning a canoe crossing of Lochs Ba and Laidon, with a little dragging and lining in the middle bit. Some of my friends are less convinced of its beauty, and refuse to join me!

I shall show them your report to help swing it in my direction! Thanks, lovely photos.


Interesting both of us have negative childhood memories of RM. For me it was a dismal place to be got through as fast as possible and for you a place you were tormented by midges. It's maybe a place more to be savoured at a maturer age? :lol:

Didn't see this when you posted it and wonder if you managed to pull off your canoe trip on Lochs Ba and Laidon? :wink:
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3409
Munros:221   Corbetts:52
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:24   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best on WHW 6

Postby Mal Grey » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:49 pm

dogplodder wrote:
Mal Grey wrote:My own childhood memories of Rannoch Moor date back to the long hot summer of '76. My parents took me and my brother out wild camping somewhere from the station side, apparently an idyllic spot. Until late afternoon, when the hordes arrived. Despite being pretty seasoned hillwalkers, my folks hadn't done much in Scotland, and hadn't planned well for the midges. We were all in shorts. My brother, aged 6, suffered the worst, but fair to say we cowered in the Vango Mark 5 that has so many childhood memories, with a Moskil coil doing its best in the porch. And got the heck out the next morning.

Since then, I've driven across it at high speed, recognising the beauty of the place, but mostly due to the surrounding hills. Only now have I explored it a little more on foot, and am now planning a canoe crossing of Lochs Ba and Laidon, with a little dragging and lining in the middle bit. Some of my friends are less convinced of its beauty, and refuse to join me!

I shall show them your report to help swing it in my direction! Thanks, lovely photos.


Interesting both of us have negative childhood memories of RM. For me it was a dismal place to be got through as fast as possible and for you a place you were tormented by midges. It's maybe a place more to be savoured at a maturer age? :lol:

Didn't see this when you posted it and wonder if you managed to pull off your canoe trip on Lochs Ba and Laidon? :wink:


Hah, not yet, my friends still reject it out of hand! Assynt instead, for Easter's annual paddlin' trip...

I will do it though, but might not be this year. One of the gang is up for it...
User avatar
Mal Grey
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2792
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best

Postby past my sell by date » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:05 am

sorry duplicate
Last edited by past my sell by date on Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
past my sell by date
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 580
Munros:282   Corbetts:83
Grahams:27   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:146
Wainwrights:159   
Joined: Apr 24, 2013

Re: Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best

Postby past my sell by date » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:06 am

Wow! - if only the weather were always that good :lol: :lol:
past my sell by date
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 580
Munros:282   Corbetts:83
Grahams:27   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:146
Wainwrights:159   
Joined: Apr 24, 2013

Re: Unexpectedly and jaw-droppingly the best

Postby dogplodder » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:55 pm

past my sell by date wrote:Wow! - if only the weather were always that good :lol: :lol:


I know - seeing these pics again has put me in the mood for blue skies and sunshine! 8)
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3409
Munros:221   Corbetts:52
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:24   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

6 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AWC88 and 35 guests