West Highland Way, Day 5. 4th May 2012

The weather forecast was for colder weather and it was absolutely spot on. Today was more like early March than May with a bitterly cold wind blowing from the east. I set off early as this was a long day – I planned to be at Kingshouse for lunch then Kinlochleven in the evening.

Loch Tulla from the old Glencoe road

Rannoch Moor










The Way across Rannoch Moor was empty and rather bleak but there were signs of improvement in the weather – dramatic light on the hills. I expected to meet other people but between Inveroran and Kingshouse, the only people I met were a group of mountain bikers crossing the road. I felt very small in the landscape.

Looking across Rannoch

The summit of the road across the moor.









The views open out to Buchaille Etive Mor and Glencoe and the Way drops quite quickly to Blackrock Cottage. The sun was shining on the Buchaille – this is the classic view that has appeared on a thousand calendars.

Black Rock Cottage and Buchaille Etive Mor

Off to the Kingshouse Hotel bar for lunch – Scottish multiculturalism – a haggis and cheese panini and my usual pint. Bumped into the lady who helped me with her friends – they were also heading for Kinlochleven that day. They were a bit apprehensive about the Devil’s Staircase – the path to the top of the pass from Glencoe.

The Devil’s Staircase is a bit of a pull up the hill but is nothing like as strenuous as it is portrayed. It was pretty cold again – but good views back to Glencoe. The path from the summit is very stony and rough – going down here was the first time I felt that boots would have been better than my trail shoes, which had been incredibly comfortable all week. Views of Ben Nevis on the descent to Kinlochleven.

Looking back from the Devil's Staircase

Ben Nevis










Arrived in Kinlochlevel planning to camp at the edge of town. But the place was absolutely packed with bikers – there was a trail biking competition that week end – and there was no room at all at the campsites. Luckily, I met up with Ian and his van so we first looked for and failed to find a wild camp site so we headed back to Glencoe. We camped at the Red Squirrel site – which meant we were only a short distance from the Clachaig where we adjourned for Friday night pints. The Clachaig was packed – the singer murdered some rock classics but it all added to the great atmosphere.

One thought on “West Highland Way, Day 5. 4th May 2012

  • May 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    That haggis and cheese panini might sound odd, but it tastes bloody good!


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